¡Ay, Mija! (A Graphic Novel): My Bilingual Summer in Mexico (Paperback)
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"An absolutely heartwarming and vibrant story of belonging, family, and the meaning of home. This book is a treasure." – Julie Murphy, New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’
In this bilingual, inventive, and heartfelt debut, graphic novel talent Christine Suggs explores a trip they took to Mexico to visit family, embracing and rebelling against their heritage and finding a sense of belonging.
Sixteen-year-old Christine takes their first solo trip to Mexico to spend a few weeks with their grandparents and tía. At first, Christine struggles to connect with family they don’t yet share a language with. Seeing the places their mom grew up—the school she went to, the café where she had her first date with their father—Christine becomes more and more aware of the generational differences in their family.
Soon Christine settles into life in Mexico, eating pan dulce, drawing what they see, and growing more comfortable with Spanish. But when Mom joins their trip, Christine’s two worlds collide. They feel homesick for Texas, struggle against traditions, and miss being able to speak to their mom without translating. Eventually, through exploring the impacts of colonialism in both Mexico and themselves, they find their place in their family and start to feel comfortable with their mixed identity.
About the Author
Christine Suggs is an illustrator, designer, and comic artist. Their work explores the intersection of their identities, namely being a queer, fat, Latinx feminist who loves all things cute. They're also way too into Pokémon and cats. They're currently living in Dallas, TX with their super rad husband and insanely adorable pets.
*“Chrístine’s navigation of their identity will resonate with teens who feel insecure and find belonging difficult. An accessible graphic novel for high schoolers seeking a character they can relate to and a safe space to read about mixed heritage and identity.”—SLJ, starred review
"An absolutely heartwarming and vibrant story of belonging, family, and the meaning of home. This book is a treasure."—Julie Murphy, New York Times Bestselling author of Dumplin
"¡Ay, Mija! is full of everything I love about a Christine Suggs comic. Their work magically exudes a sense of warmth and calm, even when exploring difficult or complicated topics. Snippets of introspection about cultural identity and family trauma are interspersed with vivid, effective world-building, and the love Suggs has for their family and heritage is palpable. I’ve only been to Mexico once, but ¡Ay, Mija! made me want to return as soon as possible."—Tyler Feder, creator of Dancing at the Pity Party
"A charming tale of belonging and familial connection beyond language barriers. Beautifully drawn and relatable depictions of bilingual struggles, I wish I read this as a kid. A must-read story!"—Kat Fajardo, creator of Miss Quinces
"A great exploration of what it's like to narrow the gap when being part of a diaspora group and what it means to belong somewhere and love every part of it, the good and the complicated."—Barbara Perez Marquez, co-author of The Cardboard Kingdom
"Suggs' debut soars as a tender, honest, comfortingly queer coming of age tale wrapped in a love letter to their Mexican heritage. To read it feels like a warm hug."—Rose Bousamra, illustrator of the forthcoming Frizzy, by Claribel A. Ortega
"It's magical to see a book I had nothing to do with capture my life as a Mexican-Texan so perfectly. Everything Christine Suggs felt I have felt, too. From the food to sight seeing, this book is a lovely slice of life on vacation."—Yehudi Mercado, creator of Chunky and Sci-Fu
“Suggs delves into a topic that many teens in multicultural families go through. . . . A warm and honest coming-of-age story about self-love and self-discovery.”—Booklist
"A sweet and memorable story of growth and self-discovery.”—Kirkus
“A deep reflection on family and the difficulties of growing up, making art, fearing their own sexuality, and judging their body…pair with Liz Montague’s Maybe An Artist.”—BCCB
“Via a limited blue and orange color palette that mimics Mexican Talavera pottery traditions, Suggs tackles themes of sexuality, cultural identity, and body image with understanding and heart.”—Publishers Weekly
“This engaging graphic memoir . . . poignantly highlights the journey of self-discovery that so many young people experience—often in silence—growing up in the U.S. as the children of mixed families.”—The Horn Book