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book cover of Aniana Del Mark Jumps In

Aniana Del Mar Jumps In

Twelve-year-old Aniana, a Dominican American girl who must keep her love of swimming a secret from her mother, is diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis, and is forced to reimagine her future.
book cover of Aniana Del Mark Jumps In

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In the Author’s Note, Jasminne Mendez includes a short guide to the various poetic forms she uses in Aniana Del Mar Jumps In. In the book, she also makes creative use of typography, including capitalization and added space between words, lines and letters (G     L     I      D      E      me down). Talk with students about how the playful use of verse conveys motion and emotion and how it works for Aniana’s story.

Ask students to find and share examples of the poetic forms and devices used in the book. Have them choose one poem to read aloud and share what it is about it that speaks to them.

Using the same poetic form, have students write about an activity that brings them joy. Have them use typographical effects to show the kind of energy they bring to this activity or that this activity brings them. Ask students to share their poems with their classmates.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

  1. Aniana is forbidden by Mami to swim, but she does it anyway. Why does she disobey her mother? How does Aniana feel about going against her mother’s wishes? Have you ever disobeyed a parent? What were the consequences?
  2. How does being a person with chronic illness and disability affect Aniana's relationship with her friends and family? How does Aniana sort through her feelings as she navigates her new reality?
  3. What were some of the challenges Aniana faces? How are these challenges similar to or different from things you’ve faced? What strengths do you use to face your challenges? How do those strengths compare to Aniana’s?
  4. What helps Aniana find independence and make her own life choices? How are her family and friends supportive of her? Who is there for you when you’ve had to make choices or changes in your life?

Related Resources

Virtual Book Launch Aniana del Mar Jumps In
Verse Novel Project from Diverse Verse
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) from the National Institutes of Health

Watch: Jasminne Mendez Reads Excerpts from Aniana Del Mar Jumps In

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