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 16-19

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 16 Summary: “Yahaira”

On their first video call together, Yahaira considers her sister’s beauty and their similarities. As she does, Yahaira immediately intuits Camino’s guardedness: “She seems like she is not the type to deal / with emotions well” (277). Consequently, Yahaira switches tactics, laying out her plan to arrive in Puerto Plata and attend Papi’s funeral. Camino is slow to agree but ultimately nods.

Yahaira and her mother go shopping together, and Yahaira considers the ways in which she is unlike her mother’s version of womanhood: “Not that I don’t look cute, / but just that our styles don’t necessarily match” (279). Yahaira asks if Mami wishes they shared more of a resemblance. Although she seems caught off guard at first, Mami expresses her unconditional acceptance of Yahaira’s differences, refuting the one-sided comparisons to her father that so many impose on Yahaira: “I have my fingerprints all over you” (283).

Later, Mami returns from identifying the body, visibly shaken. Yahaira notes that despite her refusal to attend the funeral, she goes about dutifully in preparing Papi’s funeral rites. She takes Papi’s favorite suit to the mortician, carefully ironing his pocket square. Mami makes sure to call the family in the Dominican Republic, telling them to make sure the funeral is a closed casket: “whatever you do, don’t let the girl see / what is left” (284).