82 pages 2 hours read

Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2019

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Part 1, Chapters 23-41

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “The Sour”

Part 1, Chapters 23-41 Summary

Emma, “Babygirl,” is having a tantrum, and Emoni tries to calm her. Emoni believes these tantrums started when Emma began to visit Tyrone and wonders if it is because his family is spoiling her. Emoni reflects more on her father. She loves that he reads to her over the phone and notes that he tries “to instill a love of knowledge into me” (80). He is also helpful when he visits. However, she is frustrated that he does not stay longer.

Malachi tries to talk with Emoni again, asking why she was so quiet in advisory class. He gives her the nickname “Santi.” To forestall any overfamiliarity, she tells him that they are not friends. In “A Tale of Two Cities,” Emoni explains where she comes from in Philadelphia. It is a predominantly Puerto Rican area called Fairhill that reminds her of the book the Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities (85). On the one hand, there is poverty and gang violence, but the neighborhood also has a sense of community and people who help one another.

Chef Ayden gives the class a surprise test on food hygiene. Emoni recognizes its importance as passing the ServSafe hygiene test will allow her to work in restaurants.