When I started writing “Summer of the Mariposas,” I wanted to write something fun, something light, something totally different from “Under the Mesquite.” But I also wanted to write something that would empower young women. I wanted young ladies to read the book and say, “Hey, I’m just like these girls. I am strong. I am courageous. I am wise.” I wanted them to find the Mariposa inside themselves and not be afraid of life.
So what does it take to find the Mariposa within us? I think in order to truly find out what we’re made of, we have to face our fears. We have to be brave enough to take that journey, to ask ourselves the difficult questions. Who or what am I afraid of? Why am I so scared? What’s keeping me from moving forward with my goals—my dreams—my future? Sometimes, we let outsiders, family, friends, and foes, dictate what we do instead of taking the initiative and saying, “It doesn’t matter what people say or do. I am strong, I am courageous, and I am wise. So I decide.”
Sometimes, we let bad circumstances or a temporary predicament, like problems at home, our parents’ divorce, or the loss of a loved one set us back. We tend to let our emotions engulf us, trap us, keep us rooted to the problem. But we should not let outside forces keep us from our divine providence. We should think about the situation and ask ourselves, “What would a Mariposa do if the garden she found herself in had been hit by a storm and it had no more blossoms—no life to sustain her?” She would sit still for a moment, rest, and reflect. Then, when the time wa
s right, she would test her wings, slowly, delicately, to make sure they were working properly. And when she was ready, she would brave the wind and fly.
I would hope that after reading “Summer of the Mariposas,” young ladies can take that emotional journey inside themselves and go from self realization into self actualization. I want them to understand that, as women, we have what it takes to make our way in the world, because we are part of the universe too. We are strong. We are courageous. We are wise. Our destiny is written in the stars. –Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Guadalupe Garcia McCall is the author of our December Book of the Month, “Summer of the Mariposas,” as well as “Under the Mesquite,” which won the 2012 Pura Belpré Award for Text and was selected as a 2012 William C. Morris Award finalist (for debut novels). You should follow her on Twitter and check out her blog. Stay tuned for our Book of the Month reviews at the end of December!