Thursday Quoteables: With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Thank you Lisa for hosting this great meme!

Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines will be, and you’re invited to join in!

Ms. Fuentes has been my advisor since my first day at Schomburg Charter, and her classroom has never changed. Lady still has the same motivational sign above her door: You’re the Author of Your Own Life Story. That sign has stared at us twenty advisory students from the time we walked in as little-bitty freshmen. And even though it doesn’t make me roll my eyes anymore, I still think it’s corny. Nonetheless, Advisory is my favorite class period of the day, even though it’s also the shortest; it’s where Ms. Fuentes takes attendance, makes announcements, and gives us college prep and “character-building” exercises. But most important, it’s the only class that has had the same students in it since freshman year. So we can talk here the way we can’t talk in any other class.

I chose this quote for the motivational sign, but I also love how raw and emotionally charged this quote is as well. It’s also very normal and low key. It’s amazing!

Ever since Tyrone, I don’t really talk about boys like that anymore. Boys’ at this age will say whatever they need to say to get what they want, and I’ve learned to trust pretty words even less than a pretty face.

This says more than I can say.

If I said I didn’t have a ton of questions about my mother, I’d be lying. All the time I find myself thinking: Would she be proud of me? If she were around, would I have gotten pregnant and had Babygirl? If she were still alive, would my father have stayed in Philadelphia?

I lost my sister and I lost everything. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like losing a parent when I was too young to even remember. Feeling loss is horrible. Feeling the absence that you can’t understand has to be even worse.

I’m constantly having to give people geography and history lessons on how my grandmother’s hometown is 65 percent Afro-Puerto Rican, on how the majority of slaves were dropped off in the Caribbean and Latin America, on how just because our Black comes with bomba and mofongo doesn’t mean it isn’t valid. And it seems I’m always defending the parts of me that I’ve inherited from my mother: the roots that come from this country, the facts that Aunt Sarah tells me about our people in the Raleigh area, the little sayings into her emails that I know come from her mother, and her mother’s mother, and her mother’s mother’s mother, to the first African mother who touched foot on this here land. The same wisdom I whisper to Babygirl every now and then, a reminder of where, and who, we are from.

This is a very educational quote that I found very appealing. I love learning about people’s cultures and about history. I’d love to dive into a book about this and just read and read. It’s beautiful.

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