Set among Puerto Rican teens dealing with friendships, bullying, and gender identity, Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro's short story "Bruises" offers an unflinching, yet deeply sympathetic, look at growing up. The story is available bilingually, making it especially relevant to Latino and Hispanic Heritage Month, and Lawrence Schimel's translation preserves some of the original Spanish.
Pizarro's protagonist, Elena, is an unforgettable character equally capable of dreaming about her classmate Johana, taking part in a beat-down of a boy, and obsessing over her burgeoning chin-hairs. In a pivotal scene, the boy Elena once bullied offers her some timely advice:
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As you watch the Full Harvest Moon emerge tonight and tomorrow, remember that people around the world will be looking at the moon as they celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. During the holiday, people gather together with their families, eat mooncakes, look at the full moon, and think about the family members not with them on that day. This year, the holiday falls on Saturday, September 10th.