Aida Salazar

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Spring 2019, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 250 pp

This free verse middle grade novel tells the story of 11-year-old Cely, whose life swirls with questions about her changing body, her first attraction to a boy, her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid, and her mother’s insistence she have a Chicana moon ceremony for her first menses.


KIRKUS – “A worthy successor to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland. . . Salazar’s verse novel is sensitive and fresh, featuring modern interpretations of pre-Columbian coming-of-age traditions that arise organically from the characters. . . An authentically middle school voice and diverse Latinx cast make this book a standout.”

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL – “An excellent addition for upper middle grade and middle school readers, especially for maturing tweens in the midst of puberty.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – “The broader message is one of acceptance, celebration, and resistance: a period is just a period, Salazar suggests, but it’s also so much more.”

BOOKPAGE – “The Moon Within is both unique and universal, relatable to women and girls everywhere and singular in its context within Latinx culture. Salazar handles this story with beauty and grace, giving young girls a picture of what it means to stand in your own power and reclaim your own story.”


  • Best Youth Chapter Fiction Book at the 2019 International Latino Book Awards
  • Spring 2019 Kids Indie Next List selection
  • NCTE 2020 Notable Verse Novel
  • A Kirkus Best Middle Grade Book in Verse
  • A 2019 New York Public Library Best Book for Kids