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Every Wednesday The Latina Book Club features an excerpt from 
an exciting new book written by a Latino author or for a Latino audience.

This week we are highlighting WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS by Anna-Marie McLemore.
 It’s about a magical girl, a transgender boy and four witches out to destroy them.

Happy Reading.  Read Latino.


Anna-Marie McLemore
Thomas Dunne Books

As far as he knew, she had come from the water. But even about that, he couldnt be sure.

It didnt matter how many nights theyd met on the untilled land between their houses; the last farm didn’t rotate its crops, and stripped the soil until nothing but wild grasses would grow. It didnt matter how many stories he and Miel had told each other when they could not sleep, him passing on his mothers fables of moon bears that aided lost travelers, Miel making up tales about his moon lamps falling in love with stars. Sam didnt know any more than anyone else about where shed come from before he found her in the brush eld. She seemed to have been made of water one minute and the next, became a girl.

Someday, he and Miel would be nothing but a fairy tale. When they were gone from this town, no one would remember the exact brown of Miels eyes, or the way she spiced recado rojo with cloves, or even that Sam and his mother were Pakistani. At best, they would remember a dark-eyed girl, and a boy whose family had come from somewhere else. They would remember only that Miel and Sahad been called 
Honey and Moon, a girl and a boy woven into the folklore of this place.

Excerpt printed with permission. All rights reserved by author.

To read our review of WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, click here.

BOOK SUMMARY:  To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
       Embedded in the love story, Sam faces how to claim his identity as a transgender boy, and Miel and Sam struggle with how to define their love, both to themselves and their community. McLemore tackles this relevant issue thoughtfully, coming from her own experience in her relationship with her husband, who is transgender.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and grew up in a Mexican-American family. She attended University of Southern California on a Trustee Scholarship. A Lambda Literary Fellow, she has had work featured by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, CRATE Literary Magazine’s cratelit, Camera Obscura’s Bridge the Gap Series, and The Portland Review.  Visit her at