82 pages 2 hours read

Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2019

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Part 1, Chapters 1-22

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “The Sour”

Part 1, Chapters 1-22 Summary

Teenager Emoni Santiago is preparing her two-year old child, “Babygirl,” for daycare. Her grandmother, ’Buela, whom she lives with in Philadelphia, is going to drop the girl off, as Emoni must go to school for the first day of the new term. Emoni explains the choice to give her child the name Emma. Her reasoning is that such a name “doesn’t tell you too much before you meet her” (9). In other words, this name will not reveal anything about her ethnicity. Emoni talks with her best friend, Angelica, on the way to school. Angelica came out as lesbian the previous year, and Emoni agrees to make a meal for Angelica and her girlfriend, Laura, for their six-month anniversary.

In “Magic,” Emoni discusses her special connection with food and cookery. This started as a child when, left in the kitchen, she added spices to a dish that was cooking, creating what ’Buela said was the best thing she had ever tasted.

Emoni goes into “advisory,” a class designed to give personal and career advice. She talks with teacher Ms. Fuentes about her summer job at a burger restaurant and how she is juggling this work with caring for her baby.