Viking, 2017 239 pages
Meet Miami native, Arturo Zamora. He helps his extended family run the family business: a neighborhood restaurant featuring the delicious Cuban food that his beloved Abuela became locally famous for cooking. Now Abuela is old, Arturo's mother has taken over chef duties and Arturo is delegated to a job washing dishes for the summer. Even though his two best friends are away during the school break, his life brightens when family-friend Carmen moves to their neighborhood with her father after the loss of her mother. Arturo and Carmen make an instant connection and he finds himself experiencing his first crush and getting all tongue-tied around his former playmate. Carmen loves poetry and Abuela shares her late husband's writings and love of poetry with Arturo as inspiration to connect to Carmen. Meanwhile, an oily developer takes the neighborhood by storm. He wants to build a giant high-rise building with many amenities, gentrifying the neighborhood, and pushing the family restaurant out. The neighbors seem thrilled with the projected project and Arturo's family is faced with fighting a battle for their livelihood, as well as for the preservation of the soul of the neighborhood. Then tragedy strikes as Abuela's health begins to deteriorate. Arturo has to discover life’s true priorities and to fight for them, finding inner courage and personal strength along the way.