86 pages 2 hours read

Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land

Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | YA | Published in 2020

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Chapters 1-3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary: “Camino”

The novel’s first poem is set in Camino Rios’s perspective as she muses on the mud from her barrio that she must wipe clean each night. Camino wants to be a doctor, following in her aunt Tía Solana’s tradition of caring for others. Camino vows she will provide a better life for her aunt: “I will make it. / I will make it. / I will make it easier for us both” (7).

In the morning, Camino and Tía Solana lock up their house and travel to tend to a woman in their community who is bedridden with cancer. A stray dog named Vira Lata accompanies them. Camino helps feed the woman a drink of water while Tía Solana lights incense in the corners of the room. Tía Solana is a healer in the neighborhood. She has raised Camino since her mother’s death with some monetary help from Camino’s father, Papi, and mentors Camino in homeopathic treatments and spiritual ceremonies. Together, Camino and Tía Solana place their hands on the woman’s stomach, bloated by cancer, and chant. Camino is careful not to let her feelings about the woman’s dire condition be known, reflecting, “You do not let your words stunt unknown possibilities” (5).