Color Me In meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in Everything Within and In Between, a deeply honest coming-of-age story about reclaiming a heritage buried under assimilation, the bonds within families, and defining who you are for yourself.
For Ri Fernández’s entire life, she’s been told, “We live in America and we speak English.” Raised by her strict Mexican grandma, Ri has never been allowed to learn Spanish.
What’s more, her grandma has pulled Ri away from the community where they once belonged. In its place, Ri has grown up trying to fit in among her best friend’s world of mansions and country clubs in an attempt try to live out her grandmother’s version of the “American Dream.”
In her heart, Ri has always believed that her mother, who disappeared when Ri was young, would accept her exactly how she is and not try to turn her into someone she’s never wanted to be. So when Ri finds a long-hidden letter from her mom begging for a visit, she decides to reclaim what Grandma kept from her: her heritage and her mom.
But nothing goes as planned. Her mom isn’t who Ri imagined she would be and finding her doesn’t make Ri’s struggle to navigate the interweaving threads of her mixed heritage any less complicated. Nobody has any idea of who Ri really is—not even Ri herself.
Everything Within and In Between is a powerful new young adult novel about one young woman’s journey to rediscover her roots and redefine herself from acclaimed author Nikki Barthelmess.
About the Author
Nikki Barthelmess is an author of young adult books, including The Quiet You Carry,Quiet No More, and Everything Within and in Between. While growing up in foster care, Nikki found solace in books and writing. A former journalist, Nikki lives in sunny Santa Barbara with her husband, daughter, and diva of a corgi. When not reading or working on her books, Nikki loves advocating for the rights of current and former foster youth, jogging near the beach, and trying to convince her abuelita that feminism means it’s okay that her husband does all the cooking.
"Barthelmess’ story thoughtfully explores intergenerational cultural dynamics and racial microaggressions as it follows Ri on her journey of self-discovery. An honest and engaging narrative." — Kirkus Reviews
"This lush coming-of-age tale will fire readers’ emotions as they follow Ri’s quest to learn more about her heritage ... full of hope and realistic situations, [it] will speak to those who enjoy stories exploring identity and true purpose." — Booklist
"Barthelmess examines identity, complicated intergenerational relationships, and the power of connection to one’s cultural heritage and community with sincerity and insight in this nuanced contemporary coming-of-age novel. Readers will find much to love in Ri’s journey as she sets out to define who she is and what she wants for herself." — Publishers Weekly
"A moving story of acceptance, this will give readers space to consider what they can’t change, what they must fight to change, and what they shouldn’t have to." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A relatable, compelling, and powerful story that offers a way forward, a way to reclaim and redefine one’s self.” — Randy Ribay, author of the National Book Award finalist Patron Saints of Nothing
“An earnest and heartfelt look at biracial identity, complicated family dynamics, and the discovery of awho we are and who we hope to become.” — Crystal Maldonado, author of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
“A hopeful coming-of-age story about new friendships, first love, and figuring out how to bridge two worlds. It's a tender novel that glimmers with all of the wonder of self-discovery.” — Monica Gomez-Hira, author of Once Upon a Quinceañera
“A moving story about family, the challenges facing biracial teens, and the importance of forgiveness.” — Ismée Williams, author of This Train Is Being Held
A stunning story about having faith in oneself, one’s friends, and one’s family. Ri and all the people she loves are so real and full of heart that it’s impossible not to root for them" — Samantha Mabry, author of Tigers, Not Daughters