‘Tumble’: Challenging the meaning of growing up Latino
In her latest children's novel, Celia C. Pérez tells the story of a girl who searches for her origins in her family of Mexican-American luchadores.
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Twelve-year-old Adela 'Addie' Ramírez has a big decision to make when her stepfather proposes adoption. Addie loves Alex, the only father figure she’s ever known, but with a new half brother due in a few months and a big school theater performance on her mind, everything suddenly feels like it’s moving too fast. She has a million questions, and the first is about the young man in the photo she found hidden away in her mother’s things.
In Tumble, Chicago-based author Celia C. Pérez tells the story of a young Latino seventh grader who collects the missing pieces of her origin story from the family of legendary luchadores she’s never met.
Addie’s sleuthing takes her to a New Mexico ranch, and her world expands to include the legendary Bravos: Rosie and Pancho, her paternal grandparents and former professional wrestlers; Eva and Maggie, her older identical twin cousins who love to spar in and out of the ring; Uncle Mateo, whose lucha couture and advice are unmatched; and Manny, her biological father, who’s in the midst of a career comeback. As luchadores, the Bravos’ legacy is strong. But being part of a family is so much harder — it’s about showing up, taking off your mask, and working through challenges together.
As reported by NBC, throughout the book, all the adults in Addie’s life have faults and fears, and they don't always have all the answers or the right ones.
“I like to write adult characters that don't have all the answers, that admit that they are wrong because I think that is a realistic portrayal of adulthood. And I know as a parent, sometimes it's hard to admit those things to my child,” she told NBC.
Celia C. Pérez, a wrestling lover herself, is the daughter of a Mexican mother and a Cuban father. She is originally from Miami and is a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.
Her debut book for young readers, The First Rule of Punk (Viking / Penguin), was a 2018 Pura Belpré Award Honor Book and a winner of the 2018 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award.
Her second book for young readers, Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers (Kokila/Penguin, 2019), was named to several best-of-the-year lists, including the Chicago Public Library’s Best Books of 2019, and the Washington Post‘s Best Children’s Books of 2019.