Kokila Barely Floating
Kokila Barely Floating

Barely Floating

By Lilliam Rivera


Publication Date: August 27, 2024

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Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7

A dazzling story full of heart about how one twelve-year-old channels her rage into synchronized swimming dreams, from the author of The Education of Margot Sanchez and Never Look Back, Lilliam Rivera.

Natalia de la Cruz Rivera y Santiago, also known as Nat, was swimming neighborhood kids out of their money at the local Boyle Heights pool when her life changed. The L.A. Mermaids performed, emerging out of the water with matching sequined swimsuits, and it was then that synchronized swimming stole her heart.

The problem? Her activist mom and professor dad think it's a sport with too much emphasis on looks—on thinness and whiteness. Nat grew up the youngest in a house full of boys, so she knows how to fight for what she wants, using her anger to fuel her. People often underestimate her swimming skills when they see her stomach rolls, but she knows better than to worry about what people think. Sometimes, she feels more like a submarine than a mermaid, but she wonders if she could be both.

Barely Floating explores what it means to sparkle in your skin, build community with those who lift you up, and keep floating when waters get rough.

Story Locale:Inglewood -- Los Angeles, California

About the Author

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and the author of the young adult novels Dealing in Dreams, The Education of Margot Sanchez, Never Look Back, We Light Up the Sky, and the middle grade novels Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit and Barely Floating. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Elle, among others. Her novel Never Look Back is slated for an Amazon movie adaptation.

Author Residence: Los Angeles

Author Hometown: Bronx, New York

Format: Paperback

Length: 240 pages

Publisher: Kokila

Publication Date: August 27, 2024

ISBN: 9780593323137

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