#INTLYALITMONTH: Furia

Written by Yamile Saied Mendez

ISBN: 978-1-61620-991-9

Publisher: Workman: Algonquin Books for Young Readers

Buy it here.

Furia is an #ownvoices novel, set in Rosario, Argentina, and it’s the story of a young woman named Camila Hassan, also known as, La Furia.

Camila dreams of playing fútbol professionally and being one of the best Futboleras in the world.  Camila has to keep her life as La Furia a secret as her parents, especially her dad, would not approve of her playing Fútbol. He believes this sport is only for men and that girls do not belong on the fútbol field. Camila feels she lives in the shadows of her rising soccer star brother that gets the full support of their parents.

As Camila continues to hide the big secret of being a fierce futbolera and the captain of the Eva Maria fútbol club she starts experiencing breakthroughs which will lead her to making life-changing decisions. Let’s not forget about Diego, Camila’s love interest. He is back from playing with Juventus Futbol Club and wants to win Camila back.  Diego and Camila’s romance is genuine, and well done throughout the story, but it is not Camila’s sole focus as Camila has her own dreams. 

“I wanted what he had,” she says. To be great. I wanted Diego’s life. But I wanted to live it, not watch it from the sidelines.”

Furia is a beautiful well-written story with a brilliant protagonist in Camila, an excellent example of going after your dreams, believing in yourself and breaking away from a deeply patriarchal, sexist society. 

While reading Furia I felt like I was in Rosario, Argentina as the story transports you into the streets of Argentina, its people, the food, culture, and their love for fútbol and the passion that is felt in the soccer stadiums and celebrations.

The story goes beyond sports as it explores various themes such as gender roles, sexism, feminism, women in sports,abuse, colorism, identity, and charting your own path and following your dreams.

Furia we’ll leave you inspired by Camila’s resiliency and conviction to go after her own dreams despite all of the obstacles that come her way. It will also give you a glimpse into Argentinian culture, the diversity of its people as reflected in Camila’s multicultural family that have Black, Indigenous, European and Palenstinian ancestors in their family tree.

Yamile Saied Méndez

Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American Pura Belpré gold medal winning author. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She writes picture books, middle grade, young adult and adult romance fiction. Yamile is a founding member of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.

Awards:

Pura Belpré Award

Whitney Awards

New York Public Library Best books for Teens 2020

Reese Witherspoon Book Club

Interview with Yamile Saied Mendez

Reviews:

Kirkus Review

Publisher’s Weekly

Elisa A. Garcia

Elisa A. Garcia is a Supervising Librarian of Teen Services at the New York Public Library. She is motivated to foster a love of reading in reluctant teen readers and therefore strives to introduce them to a diverse world and experiences through books. Mentoring new librarians, Elisa has savored the opportunity to broaden her scope in promoting diversity in librarianship by building on her love to help our communities and instilling in others the passion she has for libraries and readers as a whole.

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