Book Reviews

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Emoni, a high school senior, has a life filled with more responsibilities than her classmates. She has a young daughter and an abuela to help support. 

But through all the stresses of her life, one place calms her down: the kitchen. It it, Emoni creates something magical in every single dish. Despite all the obstacles in her way, Emoni is determined to let her talents shine and live a life she can only dream of.


Emoni Santiago is unlike most high school seniors; she is the mother of her three year old babygirl, Emma. When she was just 14, she became pregnant and her life was changed forever. Since her mother passed away when she was an infant and her father lived in his forever home of Puerto Rico, Emoni relies heavily on her abuela.

Emoni found peace within the kitchen; it is where she is free. She loves putting her own spin on every dish she encounters… and she is good at it, too. When she discovers her high school offered a cooking course, she enrolls. Despite being busy with school work, her child, and her job she manages to make time for her craft. 

Throughout the entire process, Emoni encountered several obstacles but she managed it all. Most teen pregnancy stories place the focal point there, but this book is unique in that we learn about Emoni as an individual and as a mother. The story that unfolds is one of unconditional love and growth. It’s a beautiful book that I highly recommend.

This remarkable story is written by Elizabeth Acevedo, from New York City. She is a spectacular poet and winner of the winner of the 2016 Berkshire Prize. Other publications are, The Poet X and Beastgirl And Other Origin Myths. She’s a great author and I’m eager to check out her other books!

Let me know if you read the story; I’d love to discuss it with someone. I hope you continue having a wonderful summer!

PUBLICATION DETAILS: Quill Tree Books; May 7th, 2019; 0062662856; Fiction/Young Adult