Sonia’s entire village believes she has a gift, but it’s only in leaving home that she finds out who she truly is. A compelling tale from a rich voice in young adult fiction.
Sixteen-year-old Sonia Ocampo was born on the night of the worst storm Tres Montes had ever seen. And when the winds mercifully stopped, an unshakable belief in the girl’s protective powers began. All her life, Sonia has been asked to pray for sick mothers or missing sons, as worried parents and friends press silver milagros in her hands. Sonia knows she has no special powers, but how can she disappoint those who look to her for solace? Still, her conscience is heavy, so when she gets a chance to travel to the city and work in the home of a wealthy woman, she seizes it. At first, Sonia feels freedom in being treated like all the other girls. But when news arrives that her beloved brother has disappeared while looking for work, she learns to her sorrow that she can never truly leave the past or her family behind. With deeply realized characters, a keen sense of place, a hint of magical realism, and a flush of young romance, Meg Medina tells the tale of a strongwilled, warmhearted girl who dares to face life’s harsh truths as she finds her real power.
About the Author
Meg Medina, the 2023–2024 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is a Cuban American author who writes for readers of all ages. Her middle-grade novel Merci Suárez Changes Gears received a Newbery Medal and was a New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of the Year, among many other distinctions. Its sequel, Merci Suárez Can’t Dance, received five starred reviews, while Merci Suárez Plays It Cool received four stars, with Kirkus Reviews calling it “a fabulous finale to a memorable trilogy.” Her most recent picture book, Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away, received honors including a Charlotte Zolotow Award and was the 2020 Jumpstart Read for the Record selection, reaching 2.24 million readers. She received a Pura Belpré Author Award Honor for her picture book Mango, Abuela, and Me. Her young adult novel Burn Baby Burn earned numerous distinctions, including being long-listed for the National Book Award and short-listed for the Kirkus Prize. Meg Medina received a Pura Belpré Author Award and a Cybils Award for her young adult novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which has been adapted and illustrated as a graphic novel by Mel Valentine Vargas. She also received an Ezra Jack Keats Writer Award for her picture book Tía Isa Wants a Car. When she is not writing, Meg Medina works on community projects that support girls, Latino youth, and literacy. She lives with her family in Richmond, Virginia.
Medina creates a compelling narrative within a Latin American culture where parents cling to old ways and their children thread their paths between hope and despair, trying to find a viable future. Though touches of magical realism appear in the novel, the real magic here arises from the story of a girl struggling to see beyond others’ perceptions and find her own way in a society that seems to offer few options. —Booklist Online
This multilayered debut novel is particularly successful in presenting the complexities of Sonia’s thoughts as she tries to understand her identity and her social role. As the town mystic, she never allowed herself to consider the possibility of a future of her choosing, and her experience in the city finally allows her to dream. —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Medina’s writing is fluent and lovely, weaving Spanish words in with the English text to paint a heartwarming story of a girl’s journey to find out who she is. —School Library Journal
Medina breathes life into Sonia and many of the secondary characters, and the vivid descriptions and touches of magical realism will enthrall readers. —Kirkus Reviews
Medina persuasively depicts the sights, rhythms, and relationships of both village life and the servants' world at Casa Masón... —Publishers Weekly
With a hint of magical realism and a Latin influence, THE GIRL WHO COULD SILENCE THE WIND tells the story of 16-year-old Sonia Ocampo with an enchanting narrative... Sonia's satisfying story of self-discovery combines friendship, family, love and adventure. A book for those fond of alluring storytelling. —Shelf Awareness
The plot of THE GIRL WHO COULD SILENCE THE WIND is highly plausible, with down-to-earth characters and situations highlighting how a young woman learns to find her place and happiness in her world. —The New York Journal of Books
Sonia is an endearing protagonist with whom many readers may identify.... THE GIRL WHO COULD SILENCE THE WIND is a charming story of hope, courage, dreams and identity. —TeenReads.com