What If a Fish by Anika Fajardo is a juvenile fiction book for 4-6th graders.
“Little” Eddie Aguado is half-Colombian but has never really connected with his Colombian side. When he was little, his Papa passed away and anything Colombian only seemed to sadden his mother. Because Eddie’s mother keeps her memories of Papa locked inside, his own memories of his father are hazy and vague. That’s why he’s determined to be just like his Papa by winning his local fishing tournament.
When Eddie’s half-brother’s Abuela gets sick, he puts his fishing plans on hold as he travels to Colombia for the summer. He thinks this is the perfect opportunity to embrace his heritage and learn more about his Papa. But becoming a true Colombiano, may be harder than it seems.
This was a nice little book. Thinking back on it now, there’s actually quite a lot to it. Themes of friendship and family, death and grief, bullying and sticking up for yourself and other, being responsible and more. Eddie is a really relatable character. He has insecurities and is trying to figure out who he is and his place in the world.
I love his relationships with both his half brother, Big Eddie, and his new friend, Cameron. Both relationships grow and go through their ups and downs. Each has a lesson and helps Eddie to grow in different ways.
A big part of this book, is dealing with grief. Eddie doesn’t remember his father, so his grief isn’t like his mother. Instead he is grieving for the lack of a father, rather than the man himself. His grief over Abuela is different from Big Eddie’s because he only just met her, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t sad.
There certainly is a lot going on in this book and this may hinder some young readers, but ultimately it was a good story with some valuable lessons. This one just sneaks in to the 3.5-4 star range.
That’s all for now