Store Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 7:00pm | Sunday: 12:00pm - 5:00pm

My Account

What If a Fish (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
What If a Fish By Anika Fajardo Cover Image
Add to Wish List

Staff Reviews

⭐  Minnesota Book Award 2021 Winner in Middle Grade Literature

— From Minnesota Book Awards


A whimsical and unflinchingly honest generational story of family and identity where hats turn into leeches, ghosts blow kisses from lemon trees, and the things you find at the end of your fishing line might not be a fish at all.

Half-Colombian Eddie Aguado has never really felt Colombian. Especially after Papa died. And since Mama keeps her memories of Papa locked up where Eddie can’t get to them, he only has Papa’s third-place fishing tournament medal to remember him by. He’ll have to figure out how to be more Colombian on his own.

As if by magic, the perfect opportunity arises. Eddie—who’s never left Minnesota—is invited to spend the summer in Colombia with his older half-brother. But as his adventure unfolds, he feels more and more like a fish out of water.

Figuring out how to be a true colombiano might be more difficult than he thought.

About the Author

Anika Fajardo was born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota. She wrote a book about that experience, Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family. Anika is also the author of What If a Fish, which won a Minnesota Book Award and was a CCBC Choices selection, and Meet Me Halfway. A writer, editor, and teacher, she lives in the very literary city of Minneapolis.

Praise For…

"Poetic and believable. Multilayered and convincing, the book will have readers rooting for its sweet and smart protagonist."
— Kirkus Reviews

"Fajardo’s honest, heartfelt text evokes sorrow and grief but also understanding, navigating the many complexities of identity, friendship, family, loss, and death."
— Booklist

"A whimsical and inviting #OwnVoices story of family, friendship, and identity."
— School Library Journal

"This is a beautifully written tale–a gentle story that explores the depths of grief, the loss of loved ones, the expanses of family, and the building blocks that make all of us human. So what does this have to do with fish, or fishing? Not a whole lot, and everything. I highly recommend you read the book to find out."
— Anjali Sanghvi

Minneapolis author Anika Fajardo’s first middle-grade novel mines painful life lessons and in its magical middle section, it sings.
— Trisha Collopy
Product Details
ISBN: 9781534449831
ISBN-10: 1534449833
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 11th, 2020
Pages: 240
Language: English