“The only word I can use to properly describe this book is ‘delicious.’ I first fell in love with Acevedo’s poetry in The Poet X, and now I’m even more in love with her prose in With the Fire on High. This gorgeously relatable story of a teen mom who dreams of life as a chef will rip your heart out, season it, fry it up, and serve it back to you in the tastiest of ways. My only warning is this: Do not read it while hungry.”
— Emelie Burl, Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT
From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.
Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.
Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.
About the Author
Elizabeth Acevedo is the author of The Poet X, which won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. She is a National Poetry Slam champion and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo lives with her partner in Washington, DC. You can find out more about her at www.acevedowrites.com.
“Acevedo has done it again: the multi-award-winning author of The Poet X (2018) here delivers perfection... This sophomore novel is simply stunning.” — Booklist (starred review)
“[A] stunning sophomore novel from National Book Award and Printz winner Acevedo.... With evocative, rhythmic prose and realistically rendered relationships and tensions, Acevedo’s unvarnished depiction of young adulthood is at once universal and intensely specific.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The acclaimed author follows up her celebrated The Poet X with a love letter to food and a tribute to young, single mothers... Acevedo’s second serving offers a much-needed nuanced exploration of teen parenting that belongs on all shelves.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Acevedo continues to create beautifully realized characters with complex lives... Readers of all sorts will find something to connect with in this honest and ultimately hopeful story.” — Horn Book (starred review)
“With the Fire on High is a worthy follow-up to Acevedo’s nationally lauded debut. Emoni’s headstrong perseverance is inspiring. Acevedo’s clever imagery and explorations of language and culture make the journey not only beautiful, but thought-provoking.” — Entertainment Weekly
“Acevedo’s first novel, written in verse, centered on a teenage poet. Now, we have a teenage chef. A former eighth grade English teacher, Acevedo sees these young talents not as rarities. They are everywhere — and in Acevedo’s hands, their stories transcend what is expected of them.” — Washington Post
“Emoni’s story is a gift... With its judicious depth and brilliant blazes of writing that simmer, then nourish, With the Fire on High is literary soul food.” — New York Times Book Review
“With such distinctive ingredients combined with Acevedo’s already established sizable audience, this Fire on High should undoubtedly prove to be a sizzling success.” — School Library Journal