Can You See Me Now?


by Estela Bernal
Publication Date: May 31, 2014
Bind: Paperback
Pages: 161
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On Amanda’s thirteenth birthday, her father is killed by a drunk driver while on the way to pick up her birthday present. She’s stunned when she overhears her mother blaming her: “If she hadn’t insisted on that stupid watch for her birthday, he would still be alive.” Her mom retreats into extra shifts at work, leaving Mandy with her grandmother and making her feel as if she has lost both parents.

To make matters worse, she’s the butt of cruel pranks at school. One day, some girls even glue her skirt to the chair! But things take a turn for the better when she befriends Paloma, an unusual new student at Central Middle School, who introduces her to yoga and meditation. And she reluctantly becomes friends with Rogelio, a fat boy who is bullied even more than she is by their classmates.

Mandy’s new friends, a dog named Lobo and an interesting school project help to ease the pain of her father’s death and her mother’s absence. She maintains a connection to her father by writing letters to him each night. But will she always be invisible to her mother?

Estela Bernal’s debut novel, a fast-paced and entertaining read for middle school teens, explores tough issues—including death and bullying—with sensitivity and humor.

“Bernal has succeeded in crafting a story that acknowledges tragedy without wallowing in it, placing her emphasis on resilience and personal growth. The quick pace and distinctive characters make smooth, well-crafted read. Middle grade readers should respond to this tender story of learning to connect with others through open eyes and an open heart.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This wonderful story will capture your heart…very appealing…an insightful read.”—

“Along with a dog named Lobo, the band of unlikely friends find courage and strength in one another, forming bonds that make their spirits unbreakable.”—The Monitor

ESTELA BERNAL was born and raised in Texas, and lived in California for several years before moving to Portland, Oregon. This is her first published novel.

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