Thirteen-year-old Erica is a plain-Jane girl with no special talents and a Boyfriend Wish List a mile long. She's not super duper smart like her younger sister or always the center of attention, like her greedy little brother nicknamed Jimmy Gimme. Then, one day, her mother comes home with nine bikinis--one to wear each day before her mastectomy. After the family learns of her cancer, they travel to South Texas to visit the cuarto de milagros, a room in a church where people leave treasured items in exchange for God's help. While there, Erica vows to convince 500 people to join a fundraiser walk for breast cancer awareness. In the end, she doesn't know if her mom will fully recover, but as she stands before a cheering crowd of women and survivors at the walk, she knows that when family and friends work together, miracles can happen.
Diana is a stand-out Latina middle grade author on our list and she is able to incorporate multicultural themes into the story in a way that adds an extra layer to her writing and makes her characters even more memorable. Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel is an empowering novel, written in an engaging, commercial voice that addresses one of the most prominent and heart-breaking diseases of the twenty-first century. Introducing a young protagonist who is as resilient as she is inspiring, Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel is a testament to the supporters and the caretakers who battle breast cancer along with those who suffer from it.
2nd Place Winner of the 2014 NACCS Tejas Award for Young Adult Fiction
A Bank Street College Children's Book Committee Best Book of 2014 Selection
"A funny and heartfelt story...Balancing the heavy subject matter with generous doses of humor and an authentic young teen voice, López crafts a story that blends family and middle school drama successfully."
"López (Choke) skillfully balances emotional moments with humorous ones, offering an honest portrait of a family under strain. Chia's clever, cheeky voice and a strong cast contribute to an inspiring story about developing "a special kind of bravery."
Diana Lopez is the author of the novels Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel, Choke, and Confetti Girl, which won the 2012 William Allen White Award. She is the editor of the journal Huizache and the managing director of CentroVictoria, an organization devoted to promoting Mexican American literature. She lives in South Texas and teaches at the University of Houston-Victoria.