My Fate According to the Butterfly
Light and deep, smart and funny, crushing and hopeful all at the same time, My Fate According to the Butterfly will open your eyes to both the world's potential for magic, and to its harsh realities.* "Villanueva's debut is a beautiful #ownvoices middle-grade novel. Tough topics -- the brutal war on drugs in the Philippines, family reconciliation, and recovery -- are addressed, but warmth and humor... bring lightness to Sab's story. This immersive novel bursts with life." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewWhen superstitious Sab sees a giant black butterfly, an omen of death, she knows that she's doomed! According to legend, she has one week before her fate catches up with her -- on her 11th birthday. With her time running out, all she wants is to celebrate her birthday with her entire family. But her sister, Ate Nadine, stopped speaking to their father one year ago, and Sab doesn't even know why.If Sab's going to get Ate Nadine and their father to reconcile, she'll have to overcome her fears -- of her sister's anger, of leaving the bubble of her sheltered community, of her upcoming doom -- and figure out the cause of their rift.So Sab and her best friend Pepper start spying on Nadine and digging into their family's past to determine why, exactly, Nadine won't speak to their father. But Sab's adventures across Manila reveal truths about her family more difficult -- and dangerous -- than she ever anticipated.Was the Butterfly right? Perhaps Sab is doomed after all!

My Fate According to the Butterfly Details

TitleMy Fate According to the Butterfly
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 30th, 2019
PublisherScholastic Press
ISBN-139781338310504
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Contemporary

My Fate According to the Butterfly Review

  • Hazel (Stay Bookish)
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my god THIS BOOK. I love it so much. It captures perfectly how it is to be a Filipino kid living in Metro Manila. And it doesn't stop there, it establishes economic privileges and inequality too, along with colonial mentality. Moreover, the way it examines substance abuse and the war on drugs is so important and moving. I can't help but wish I had this book when I was Sab's age so I could've known better about all this and learned early– I'm so excited for the youth who will get to do so soon Oh my god THIS BOOK. I love it so much. It captures perfectly how it is to be a Filipino kid living in Metro Manila. And it doesn't stop there, it establishes economic privileges and inequality too, along with colonial mentality. Moreover, the way it examines substance abuse and the war on drugs is so important and moving. I can't help but wish I had this book when I was Sab's age so I could've known better about all this and learned early– I'm so excited for the youth who will get to do so soon. All that said about the many issues MY FATE tackles, this story is absolutely fun and heartwarming. These dark scary times don't take away from Sab's light summer adventures, and I know my fellow Filipinos will laugh, get hungry for local food, and will hope our country can heal and find peace like Sab's family.
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  • Shealea
    January 1, 1970
    Made me cry twice.Review to follow.
  • Divine Anas
    January 1, 1970
    WHO'S CRYING NOW IN A MILK TEA SHOP HOLDING THIS BABY???? DEF ME. Truly, this book is a piercing and heartwarming tale wrapped in Filipino truths. THIS IS UTTERLY RELEVANT AND EDUCATIONAL. OHMYGLOB. Full RTC when I gather my thoughts!I have the opportunity to read an ARC of this thanks to Caffeine Book Tours. ------------------------------------------------------------- "Sab embarks on a quest that sends her on a collision course with the realities of Manila and the war on drugs" ANOTHER BOOK WHO'S CRYING NOW IN A MILK TEA SHOP HOLDING THIS BABY???? DEF ME. Truly, this book is a piercing and heartwarming tale wrapped in Filipino truths. THIS IS UTTERLY RELEVANT AND EDUCATIONAL. OHMYGLOB. Full RTC when I gather my thoughts!I have the opportunity to read an ARC of this thanks to Caffeine Book Tours. ------------------------------------------------------------- "Sab embarks on a quest that sends her on a collision course with the realities of Manila and the war on drugs" ANOTHER BOOK ON THE WAR ON DRUGS IN MY OWN COUNTRY. WELL, WELL, WELL, THIS IS DEFINITELY ON THE TOP TIER OF MY WANT TO READ BOOKS NEXT YEAR!!!
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    "You can either recognize and understand your privilege so you can make our society better, or you don't and let things stay the same."
  • Kathie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Scholastic Press for an ARC of this book.Sab thinks she's about to die. She just saw a black butterfly, which her father told her is a omen of death. Her best friend, Pepper, and her sister, Ate Nadine, don't believe it's actually going to happen, but Sab can't help by worry about it. It also happens to be just before her 11th birthday, and what she really wants this year is to find a way to get her dad and sister to start talking again after they mysteriously stopped about a year a Thank you to Scholastic Press for an ARC of this book.Sab thinks she's about to die. She just saw a black butterfly, which her father told her is a omen of death. Her best friend, Pepper, and her sister, Ate Nadine, don't believe it's actually going to happen, but Sab can't help by worry about it. It also happens to be just before her 11th birthday, and what she really wants this year is to find a way to get her dad and sister to start talking again after they mysteriously stopped about a year ago. As Sab tries to bring everyone together, she learns more about what tore them apart, and family secrets are revealed.I love middle grade stories set in other countries. This one takes place in Manila, Philippines, and looks at the drug trade and the impact it has on families. Many books about drug use are aimed at older middle grade audiences, while I felt this was an excellent book to speak to a younger crowd. Sab's gentle awakening to her father's history with addiction is a great way for readers to learn about the topic with her. I also love that her parents are both in new relationships, and there is a supportive network of adults and older teens to help and care for her. I'd love to see this book in classroom and libraries after it's released on July 30th.
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  • maegan ✷
    January 1, 1970
    "Determined to reconcile her journalist older sister and their father before her time is up, Sab embarks on a quest that sends her on a collision course with the realities of Manila and the war on drugs."this is a book based on the philippines. A BOOK BASED ON AND SET IN THE PHILIPPINES. i could cry. like, seriously. i can't wait for 2019.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    An incredible debut!
  • Kath
    January 1, 1970
    Check out my Blog Tour post here.My Fate According to the Butterfly is a middle grade fiction novel set in the Philippines. Sab, our main character, admires his father a lot. He inspires her to be an artist just like him. She believes everything he says including the one about the big black butterfly being an omen of death. When this butterfly appears and lands on her locket few days before her eleventh birthday, she knows that she has to make every second of her remaining life counts. She wants Check out my Blog Tour post here.My Fate According to the Butterfly is a middle grade fiction novel set in the Philippines. Sab, our main character, admires his father a lot. He inspires her to be an artist just like him. She believes everything he says including the one about the big black butterfly being an omen of death. When this butterfly appears and lands on her locket few days before her eleventh birthday, she knows that she has to make every second of her remaining life counts. She wants to celebrate her birthday with her entire family and friends but the problem is Ate Nadine, her older sister, and their father are not in speaking terms. Sab doesn't have any idea why so she and her bestfriend Pepper go on a little adventure. They start spying on Ate Nadine. Sab then discovers the real reason which turns out to be more darker than what she's expected.I loved the characters in this book including Lawin (Sab's pet pekin duck). Sab is very brave and talented. I loved her innocence and willingness. Her friendship with Pepper (a white American) was one of my favorites. I could totally relate to Ate Nadine because I'm also the eldest and I can also be very strict to my brother especially when we were young but it's somehow one of my ways of showing how much I care and love him. Jepoy is another interesting and great character. I also loved how the LGBTQ+ was represented in this book.Family is one of the main focus in this book which is not surprising because in reality it plays a huge part in Filipino culture. Same goes with superstitions. I know this might sound strange but sometimes these beliefs affect how we live our lives. I've been living outside the Philippines for years now but I still feel nervous whenever I see a butterfly (especially the black one) around me. I also don't cut my nails/toenails at night because it brings bad luck or death. Do I believe in this? No, but I don't want to take a risk.Instead of focusing so much on the violence surrounding the drug war, the author highlighted more the people involved (users/victims), their struggles and recovery, and how their loved ones (especially the children) are being affected by the situation. The author reminded us that support and love from families and friends really help a lot.The writing was impeccable! The story is written in Sab's perspective and the author successfully managed to tell a story that has sensitive and intricate topics (such as mental health and substance abuse) in a way that is honest and effective yet very light and insightful. Aside from the war on drugs and corruption, colorism and colonial mentality were also mentioned in this book. I personally think that it's complicated to explain these kind of things to children but the author did it flawlessly. I would definitely let my nephews and niece (who are in middle grade) to read this book. I wish that libraries in the Philippines can get some copies of this book as well so everyone can have access on reading it.I almost forgot. This is definitely one fo my favorite book covers. It's like looking at my younger self. Brown, thin, short hair. Also, the mention of kwek-kwek, dirty ice cream, chicken sopas, even the traffic, and riding the MRT (Metro Manila Rail Transit) during rush hour made me miss the Philippines even more.I still have a lot of things to say about this book but I know that my words can't give justice on how remarkable this book is. My Fate According to the Butterfly is an accurate portrayal of what is really happening in the Philippines. It's also a great introduction to Filipino culture because it shows not only the good but also the bad/ugly side. I cannot recommend this book enough!Thanks to the hosts, author, and Scholastic Press for providing me an early copy of this book. This did not affect my overall opinion of the book.
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  • M.L. Little
    January 1, 1970
    @kidlitexchange #partner: Well let me say I loved this book. Guess how many previous books I had read set in the Philippines? Zero. This book absolutely immerses you into the world, language, culture, and surroundings of the Filipino people. It sparked my interest so much, I began exploring the country on the Internet and Google Earth. If I did those things, so would a curious kid. It’s an amazing introduction to the Philippines.As for the story itself, I loved 11-year-old Sab and her panicked n @kidlitexchange #partner: Well let me say I loved this book. Guess how many previous books I had read set in the Philippines? Zero. This book absolutely immerses you into the world, language, culture, and surroundings of the Filipino people. It sparked my interest so much, I began exploring the country on the Internet and Google Earth. If I did those things, so would a curious kid. It’s an amazing introduction to the Philippines.As for the story itself, I loved 11-year-old Sab and her panicked notion that a butterfly has determined her fate (hint: it’s not a good one). I loved the troubled, untraditional, yet still intensely caring family. Sab and her friend Pepper were such real kids to me and a joy to chase through the markets and shopping centers as they got crazy ideas and tried to repair broken relationships.This book releases July 30, 2019, and will make a perfect late-summer read!Thank you @kidlitexchange for providing me with a review copy—all opinions are my own.
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  • coffee
    January 1, 1970
    I am part of the blog tour being hosted for MFATTB by Kate from Your Tita Kate, Cara from The Little Miss Bookworm, and Shealea from Shut up, Shealea. All thoughts are my honest opinions. And I'll be sharing more fun content on my blog. Check out the full schedule hereOk, I have a confession to make. When I first picked up this book (after an IG photoshoot, of course, COUGH), I didn't know what I was getting into. I mean, I'm sure I read the summary when I signed up for the tour (...) and I skim I am part of the blog tour being hosted for MFATTB by Kate from Your Tita Kate, Cara from The Little Miss Bookworm, and Shealea from Shut up, Shealea. All thoughts are my honest opinions. And I'll be sharing more fun content on my blog. Check out the full schedule hereOk, I have a confession to make. When I first picked up this book (after an IG photoshoot, of course, COUGH), I didn't know what I was getting into. I mean, I'm sure I read the summary when I signed up for the tour (...) and I skimmed it when choosing some IG hashtags, but I didn't REALLY know what I was getting into. So imagine my surprise when the story revolves around the dreaded Black Butterfly. The same one I wrote about for my OWLS post on metamorphosis this yearSabrina (Sab) knows her fate is sealed when the Black Butterfly pays her a visit. It doesn't matter that she's only ten and that her best friend Pepper says it's "only" a superstition. She is going to die on her eleventh birthday, which is a week away. And just like anyone who knows their future holds immediate death, she has one wish. Well, actually a couple but the one that matters most to her is that she can celebrate her birthday at her Lola Cordia's Garden Resort (aka. the place where her dad is living at) with her whole family. Of course, this is a tall order, what with her mother on a business trip that might take longer than a week to finish up, and, most importantly, her big sister (Ate) Nadine isn't on talking terms with her father. She isn't sure why Ate Nadine can't seem to stand the mention of their father, but she plans to find out why and hopefully, reunite the family!My Fate According to the Butterfly was an interesting book to read. Even weeks after reading it, I probably won't stop thinking about it. I think it's the type of book to create discourse and as much as I love to read fantasy YA titles, I feel like Gail really created something that can be read by a range of ages and in different situations. It's a book that gives you insight about a culture and social issues that I feel many people don't know about, and also how certain mentalities can unconsciously affect childrenBut let's break it up (or at least I'll attempt to)The StoryAfter encountering the Black Butterfly, who lands on Sab's necklace, Sab goes into a frenzy over dying within a week. You usually hear people say that you should live every day to the fullest and like it's your last day. And Sab, who could be described as shy and introverted, finally comes into herself on her journey to discovering why Ate Nadine can't stand her dad. It's actually in this journey that we get to learn more about both sisters and ManilaWe learn that while Ate Nadine can't stand the mention of their father, she's actually very like him. When it comes to her news reporting, Nadine will lock herself up in her own bubble. She doesn't like it when Sab touches her papers related to work and while we can see that there's a deep sisterly bond between the two, there's also a sense of detachment. Perhaps I might be reading into it too much, but it almost seems like Nadine is afraid of Sab and her innocence. Perhaps it reminds her of how things used to beOn the other hand, we have Sab who likes to draw, has always had an affinity for it and had a family who supported her artistic side. It is also something she has in common with her dad and she seems to cherish this time of creativity. But possibly, more importantly, is that she has a best friend named Pepper who is her complete opposite and partner in crime. I really enjoyed this dynamic. While Sab often makes comparisons between the two, I felt like they each gave each other strengthsWhen Sab didn't know what to do or was worrying too much about the Black Butterfly, Pepper would always be by her side to lend a helping hand. Similarly, I felt like Pepper found some solace with Sab and was always proud of having her as a friendOverall, the story is very basic and reads really well as the POV of a child. I loved the aspects of art since I'm an artist myself. Sometimes it feels like some people just make their characters artists but hardly mention it later on. Not in this case. Here Sab is constantly creating something and there is even an art exhibit that plays an important part in the story. And all the characters have their own passions that make them very admirableSo then why the conflict in figuring out a rating? Why don't I know if I enjoyed this book or Really enjoyed it?A Feeling of DiscomfortIt seems like this excerpt/quote has been making its way around so I thought I'd drop it here too, to use it as reference: Pepper could have a career as a tween model if she wanted to - girls who have a light complexion usually do. With her blue eyes and creamy-white skin, she's the most beautiful ten-year-old I know.Ate Nadine said that I think of Pepper this way because I'm a product of colonial mentality. "When Spain colonized the Philippines, they made sure we remember they're better than we are. They had this whole tax system where rich, white Spaniards paid little. We paid more even though we did more of the work, just because we're brown, " she explained. "Our American colonizers weren't any better. Sure, we got more rights and education and all that. But the mentality remained the same - white is beautiful, brown is not."My sister tends to sound like a boring history book if you make the mistake of asking her to explain something. I just know that my friend's pretty, prettier than I'll ever dream to be. I don't mind topics like drug use and complex family situations. I also don't mind lgbtq elements, which YES, I love both Ate Nadine (my bi daughter) and my gay/bi dads Wendell and Christopher. And while I enjoyed that these topics are out in the open in a way that educates us, I have to admit that there was something about this book that rubbed me the wrong way, and I especially feel this way during moments like the one I quoted aboveIf Sab doesn't understand these concepts of the colonial mentality and colorism and privilege, how are middle schoolers going to understand what's in this book? is what I ask myselfI felt Gail did a great job at presenting and "closing" the topic of drugs and the stigma people can carry because of this (not just through the use of words but through the whole story). However, the other topics are less clear cut, especially when we are reading from Sab's perspective who I found consistently bashed her best friend...just because she was light-skinned. It was moments like this where I would squint at Sab because isn't this your best friend? Except that I would then remember that one of the themes in this book is this mentalityI feel like the topics of privilege and colorism are incredibly important but there are a lot of grey areas because there is a lot of generalization in advocacy. What does it mean to be dark-skinned? Where does a dark-skinned Westerner fall in this spectrum of "privileged and disenfranchised"? Are all "white" people taking advantage of privilege? Are all westerners "evil" because they are colonizers (even though technically the individual wasn't the one who colonized)? Should we be targeting just individuals or also larger corporations and governments?Why should Pepper have to be treated as less by her darker best friend just because she is "white and therefore privileged"? Perhaps this is why I only liked (vs. Liked) Pepper. I felt like her primary role was to show us that colorism and privilege existBut perhaps it's more discomforting how MFATTB could be an actual representation of what a kid living in the Philippines might be thinking (or really any minority/dark-skinned individual towards their light-skinned counterparts, after all, we don't live in a void). But is it? Sab mentions she doesn't really understand what her sister is talking about when Nadine mentions these "adult" topics, that she just know[s] that my friend’s pretty, prettier than I’ll ever dream to be, and yet she can quote her sister from memory. I feel it's too coherent to be from constant repetition? Perhaps that's what bothered me the most, they weren't really Sab's wordsIt's something that I go back and forth with and I feel like this discomfort is a good thing because it creates discussion. I want to know what others think. I want to learn what I can do to help rid ourselves (or at least lessen, I feel like we'll never rid ourselves of prejudices) of these harmful ways of thinking.I can really see this book being used in a classroom setting!
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  • Christina Soontornvat
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the story of Sab, a sharp young girl growing up in modern day Manila, who is trying to figure out how to bring her family back together after a mysterious rift. Along the way, she also confronts issues of privilege, colorism, and addiction. This book serves up a powerful commentary on the many consequences of the Philippines’ war on drugs. And even while it covers these many important issues, the story still remains light - Sab and her bestie are so funny! I loved that it took place in t I loved the story of Sab, a sharp young girl growing up in modern day Manila, who is trying to figure out how to bring her family back together after a mysterious rift. Along the way, she also confronts issues of privilege, colorism, and addiction. This book serves up a powerful commentary on the many consequences of the Philippines’ war on drugs. And even while it covers these many important issues, the story still remains light - Sab and her bestie are so funny! I loved that it took place in the sleek, modern capital city, which is a setting many in the West still don’t expect when they think of Asia. I think young readers are going to love this.
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  • Rachel Somer
    January 1, 1970
    I was so honored to be able to read an early copy of MY FATE ACCORDING TO THE BUTTERFLY. The story follows Sab, a ten-year-old Filipina girl living in Manila. When Sab receives a death omen that she may not make it to her eleventh birthday, she goes on a mission to reunite her father and older sister. Her journey forces her to confront not only the harsh realities of the war on drugs, but also how addiction has impacted her own family.I ADORED this book. It was heart-warming, tear-jerking, and a I was so honored to be able to read an early copy of MY FATE ACCORDING TO THE BUTTERFLY. The story follows Sab, a ten-year-old Filipina girl living in Manila. When Sab receives a death omen that she may not make it to her eleventh birthday, she goes on a mission to reunite her father and older sister. Her journey forces her to confront not only the harsh realities of the war on drugs, but also how addiction has impacted her own family.I ADORED this book. It was heart-warming, tear-jerking, and also hilarious at times. Sab’s voice is fresh and relatable. She’s a girl who may not realize she’s actually the glue that’s been holding her family together and it makes perfect sense that she would be the one to attempt to reunite her older sister with their estranged father. While family is a big theme in this book, the heart of this story for me is the sibling relationship between Nadine and Sab. Their age difference is often a source of conflict, but these girls love and support each other unconditionally, and it’s Nadine who helps Sab process her feelings when she discovers the truth about their father’s past.Set in Manila, MY FATE ACCORDING TO THE BUTTERFLY is vibrant, saturated with beautiful cultural elements that are easy even for an outsider to understand. Gail D. Villaneuva discusses the war on drugs in a way that is age-appropriate but still examines how economic privilege and race intersect with crime and addiction. Additionally, readers get a glimpse of how colonial mentality and colorism operate in the Philippines and how these things affect children today.If you enjoy stories about family bonds, healing in the face of addiction, and ducks (yes, there is a hilarious and adorable pet duck!), then this book is for you. I give it five massive sobbing, heart-warming stars!
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  • Celina Daradar
    January 1, 1970
    I have so many things to say about My Fate According to the Butterfly that I honestly do not know where to begin. In 240 pages, Gail Villanueva managed to inject themes, values, issues and culture that faithfully reflect and represent Filipinos in the 21st century.In my book review, I will be tackling them in the hope of explaining why I think this book is a true gem in Philippine literature.Culture: Gail’s debut novel is bursting with Filipino cultural references that I find myself repeatedly n I have so many things to say about My Fate According to the Butterfly that I honestly do not know where to begin. In 240 pages, Gail Villanueva managed to inject themes, values, issues and culture that faithfully reflect and represent Filipinos in the 21st century.In my book review, I will be tackling them in the hope of explaining why I think this book is a true gem in Philippine literature.Culture: Gail’s debut novel is bursting with Filipino cultural references that I find myself repeatedly nodding and squealing each time I encounter them. It is such a refreshing feeling to be able to completely relate to a novel and vividly imagine myself in it. Her description of kare-kare, sopas, dirty ice cream, and kwek-kwek made me salivate and it transported me to a time when I was eating them. Kare-kare in a cheap, but oh-so-worth-it karinderia, my papa cooking sopas on a rainy day, 3 o’clock dirty ice cream once we hear the familiar ring of the bell, Kuya Bong Tusok’s food cart that sells kwek-kwek, fishball, and other tusok-tusok food. Places in the novel like metropolitan Makati, the jam-packed MRT station, a computer shop that lets you access the internet for Php 20 an hour, an alley that sells an assorted range of random, mostly useful things like cell phone cases, hair scrunchies, cheap earrings, and foot socks (to name a few) give the feeling of home while reading it.Even the mere mention of the black butterfly embodies the rich culture Filipinos have. In spite of the story’s 21st century setting, Sab’s belief that seeing a black butterfly is an ominous symbol shows a clear indication of how superstitious beliefs, to this day, continue to influence a person’s life here in our country. Having that belief as the story’s premise is a unique way of immediately introducing culture in the story and capturing the reader’s interest.Family, friendship: Based on the synopsis, you can tell that family is a huge part of the story, just as it really is in real life Philippine setting. The novel explores the dynamics of family and love in a simple but complex manner. Simple, because it highlights relationships that are commonly focused on. I adore the fact that majority of Sab’s story centers on her relationship with her sister Nadine, and later on shifts to her relationship with her father. It becomes complex because it paints relationships in an imperfect light: siblings argue, older sisters do not pay attention to their younger siblings, younger siblings are sometimes annoying, parents disappoint their children (and not the other way around)— the list goes on. However, what emerges above these flawed relationships is the love the characters have for each other. To be able to show that amidst the flaws of oneself and familial relationships is priceless.The importance of friendship is also valued in MFATTB, namely in the form of Pepper and Kuya Jepoy. I love them both with a passion, especially Jepoy. Pepper is this energetic ball of sunshine that adds so much flair and fun into Sab’s life. She is loyal and fierce—a perfect companion to go on adventures with. Jepoy, on the other hand, is this rock and anchor that gives wisdom that comes from hardship and loss. Although both of them are different from one another, they are the kind of friends that are truly valuable in our lives.Philippine drug war, addiction: Addiction is also highlighted in the novel. What I appreciate the most about how Gail showed this was the use of character backstory. I love how Sab dons her Nancy Drew hat and pieces events through her sleuthing. It is a fun way of telling a story, and it also allows readers to see how addiction is developed and how differently people are affected by it. I also love how addiction is juxtaposed with the setting of the Philippine drug war. The drug war emphasizes the violence and effects of substance abuse. Placing addiction with it shifts the focus from drugs to the struggles of the people who uses them instead. This helps us to be more empathetic and to practice seeing issues in other points of view.Other things I love about MFATTB:🦋 Characters you can relate to. From artistic, brave Sab to her fierce, loyal older Nadine and from sunny, energetic Pepper to quiet, calm Jepoy. You will love with all of the characters that you meet. I certainly did.🦋 LGBT awesomeness! This was integrated in the story naturally, and I appreciate how positive and beautiful it was portrayed. I adore the love and acceptance that stems from the family of these characters.🦋 Tito Ed. He reminds me of my father (probably because he knows how to cook awesome sopas as well), and in my opinion, represents hope amidst corruption. He is an awesome fatherly figure to Sab, and I cannot stress how much I appreciate him.🦋 THE COVER. OMG I felt empowered when I saw a brown girl against the Manila/Makati skyline in a FREAKING WHITE SANDO THAT I USED TO WEAR WHEN I WAS A KID. HOW COOL IS THAT?Final Thoughts:Man, this is just amazing. Please read it. Share it. Recommend it. I honestly can go on forever about this book (I have more to say actually lol), but I’ll stop here. This book is an authentic representation of what Philippine culture is—the good and the bad, but I have never been more proud to see myself through the eyes of a fierce and brave 10-year-old.If you are an English teacher (specifically teaching Grade 7 in the Philippines), I recommend using this text as your reference in teaching post-colonialism Philippine literature. This is packed with values and issues that truly matters to a Filipino in the 21st century, and can be a valuable learning tool as well.
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  • Camillea
    January 1, 1970
    My Fate According to the Butterfly is so genuine, and unapologetically Filipino in every page. There is a scene with Filipino street foods, the summer love for dirty ice cream, the uncomfortable MRT, the shouting vendors, the resorts in the Philippines, and the comfort foods we love like sopas. Yet even with the goodness of the Philippines, the author showed us the unpleasant side of our colonial mentality and economic inequalities.In this book, Gail D. Villanueva tackles complex themes from the My Fate According to the Butterfly is so genuine, and unapologetically Filipino in every page. There is a scene with Filipino street foods, the summer love for dirty ice cream, the uncomfortable MRT, the shouting vendors, the resorts in the Philippines, and the comfort foods we love like sopas. Yet even with the goodness of the Philippines, the author showed us the unpleasant side of our colonial mentality and economic inequalities.In this book, Gail D. Villanueva tackles complex themes from the perspective of an eleven-year-old. It is not resentment or anger that accompanies Sab's observance, but confusion. Why does her white best friend get treated better than her? Why do Filipinos idolize a fair complexion but not a darker complexion? What is privilege and how does it affect the minor communities?  Through Sabrina, Gail D. Villanueva explains to her younger readers how colonial mentality works, she also explains drug abuse and mental health in a very simple but non-judgemental way. This greatly impressed me because when I read it I knew that this was not something to scare readers away from but rather to allow them to empathize and understand how the drug war is not an answer. Superstitions play a very big role in Filipino culture so much so that many things we do are governed by our beliefs. For Sab who is only ten years old, the superstition of the Black Butterfly is not to be taken lightly. Her fear drives Sabrina to investigate why her father and sister, Ate Nadine, no longer speak with each other. She hopes that before she dies her father and sister's relationship would be mended so that they could have Sab's eleventh birthday party at their father's resort. Be mindful that while My Fate According to the Family highlights the drug abuse and violence here in the Philippines, it also educates readers on the possibility of rehabilitation. Just like the symbolism of the black butterfly, which could possibly be a metaphor about the drug war and its death toll, addiction is not the end for there are chances to change, to be rehabilitated, to be forgiven. That, I believe, is the core of this book. It is coming to understand that love and support help people out of their darkest days. And this, we so beautifully see in the relationship between Sab and her best friend, Pepper, and Sab with her sister, Ate Nadine. Despite their disbelief in the black butterfly's meaning, Ate Nadine and Pepper remained by Sab's side. Being the oldest in my family I related a lot to Ate Nadine's stern nature, how she would also have to play the role of the mother when Sab needed it. This book is warmer than a bowl of sopas on a cold day. I loved the characters, the plot, and the writing which made me feel as though this book had a bit of magic realism to it. Overall, My Fate According to the Butterfly is one of those books that is a necessary read for children and teens.  I received a free copy of MY FATE ACCORDING TO THE BUTTERFLY BY GAIL D. VILLANUEVA via Edelweiss in exchange for my participation in the Butterfly blog tour. The Butterfly blog tour is hosted by Cara from Little Miss Bookworm, Kate from Your Tita Kate, and Shealea from Shut Up, Shealea. As always, this review is my own subjective opinion. You can find me at Camillea Reads || Twitter || Instagram || Tumblr
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  • Karlita | Tale Out Loud
    January 1, 1970
    What will you do when death is knocking at your door, knowing you don't have much time to live?In this story, Gail shows how a small creature like a butterfly can make a person reflect on the things that are far more consequential, that sometimes, the simplest things in life like being with your family is a lot important than anything in the world. Like Sab, she realized that she has to value time and make every possible last moment of her life count. She put an effort to know the real reason wh What will you do when death is knocking at your door, knowing you don't have much time to live?In this story, Gail shows how a small creature like a butterfly can make a person reflect on the things that are far more consequential, that sometimes, the simplest things in life like being with your family is a lot important than anything in the world. Like Sab, she realized that she has to value time and make every possible last moment of her life count. She put an effort to know the real reason why her dad and Ate Nadine had a falling out. But by doing so, Sab finds herself diving deeper into dangerous ground while facing head-on some of the real and controversial issues the Philippines is currently experiencing right now.As I have mentioned in the interview I did with Gail, two of the things that were emphasized in the story is Duterte's war on drugs and recovery from substance addiction. The reality that some innocent like Kuya Jepoy has to deal with false accusations and unlawful arrests is just equally heartbreaking and alarming.Most of the time, it brings tragedy that can cause a family to fall apart. He used to be a fun dad until he didn't. He missed birthday parties or when he's with his family, his mind was elsewhere. But with the help and inspiration from Sab and Ate Nadine, he's trying to get better.See? Family plays a major role in helping someone towards recovery. Giving them a second chance and believing them without a doubt that they can change is also a way to show our support.The author also captured an excellent description of how Filipinos became a product of a colonized past. Issues like colonial mentality, white privilege, and colorism were perfectly fleshed out through Sab's standpoint. How being white deserves only the best or having brown skin or being a morena is unattractive, so consuming a lot of whitening products, from bleaching soap to whitening lotion, is okay to achieve the standard of beauty that everyone tries to emulate.On a positive note, Gail didn't miss introducing Filipino food to her readers. We are known for our food and cookery where we take pride how a simple chicken sopas can warm your heart or eating kare-kare feels heaven and indeed very satisfying.Don't get me started with my favorite pet character in the story, Lawin. He was such a fun addition that gave a child-like vibe and humor who will get anyone's attention. (By the way, he's a duck and I know for a fact that Gail's inspiration for Lawin was her pet, Quakie, who according to her is a real diva!)At the beginning of the story, Sab believes that she will going to die. From the stories her Dad told her, she knows that a black butterfly is an omen of death. It is one of the superstitions or “pamahiin” we Filipinos believe. Either there's a truth in it or not, it has always been and forever be a part of our culture. What's important is we don't need to rely on any kind of superstitious beliefs because our life is our own.My Fate According to the Butterfly is a story from the perspective of a young girl who learned the brutal realities in life and along the way, explores more about family, friendship, change, and forgiveness. This book will surely leave footprints in your hearts!I received an eARC of My Fate According to the Butterfly as a part of my participation in #Butterflytour and this in no way influences my rating nor my opinion on this book.Full Review at Tale Out Loud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Bookablereads Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    To be honest, the first time I saw the book I wasn't interested at all as I don't do Middle Grade except Rick Riordan. But when I learned that the author is Filipino, I told myself "Carmel, you  should definitely read and support it."Here in the Philippines, it is common that when you saw a butterfly it is more likely that someone is going to die or bad things will happen. Sabrina or Sab is a 10 year old character in the story that believes she is going to die because she saw a black butterfly i To be honest, the first time I saw the book I wasn't interested at all as I don't do Middle Grade except Rick Riordan. But when I learned that the author is Filipino, I told myself "Carmel, you  should definitely read and support it."Here in the Philippines, it is common that when you saw a butterfly it is more likely that someone is going to die or bad things will happen. Sabrina or Sab is a 10 year old character in the story that believes she is going to die because she saw a black butterfly inside their house. Now, torn between reconciling her sister and father Sab learns the harsh truth of what it is really happening in the Philippines. Plotwise, Gail wrote My Fate According to the Butterfly with such ease that readers can vividly enjoy and imagine the reality of the world through the perspective of a young girl. Different scenarios like eating the famous dirty ice cream and kwek-kwek in the street is so refreshing to the eyes. There's also the MRT scene which is a common scenario here that shows that a country has its flaws sometimes. When reading the book, you can see how beautiful Sab and Pepper's friendship is even they are just children. You can see that no matter what the world throws them they are still with each other's side.One specific thing in the book is where there's an Operation Tokhang where Sab, Pepper, Nadine and Jepoy got a ittlee involve.  For those who didn't know Operation Tokhang it is a thing here in the Philippines where police is raiding a specific place to capture the people who uses or sells drugs. And that for me is kinda alarming because a 10-year old child got to experience that kind of brutal thing. I know that even if your young you should be knowledgeable about it. But being a teacher, for me children should not see and experience it as their consciousness is still fragile. They are things that children should not experience as it may help them to have trauma and be accustomed with that thing. But with the world today we cannot avoid that and we mature and old people should just guide them.  One funny and interesting in the story is Sab's pet. Not just like the other book, Sab's pet is a freaking DUCK. Can you believe it? It's a DUCK as in D-U-C-K. Nevertheless, it's so cute and refreshing. To wrap it all. My Fate According to the Butterfly is a refreshing story about the harsh truth of the world through a perspective of young girl. 
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  • Kate Waggoner
    January 1, 1970
    @kidlitexchange #partnerThank you to @scholasticinc and @gaildvillanueva for sharing an advance review copy of My Fate According to the Butterfly. This book will be released on July 30, 2019.Sab Dulce is about to celebrate her eleventh birthday when she sees the black butterfly, something her father told her is an omen of death. Convinced that she won't make it through the end of the week to her birthday, Sab decides she must do everything she can to mend the broken relationship between her olde @kidlitexchange #partnerThank you to @scholasticinc and @gaildvillanueva for sharing an advance review copy of My Fate According to the Butterfly. This book will be released on July 30, 2019.Sab Dulce is about to celebrate her eleventh birthday when she sees the black butterfly, something her father told her is an omen of death. Convinced that she won't make it through the end of the week to her birthday, Sab decides she must do everything she can to mend the broken relationship between her older sister and father, so they can all spend her birthday together. Sab begins spying on her sister in order to figure out what caused the rift between her and their father. What she discovers is more complicated than she expected. This was a wonderful novel that deals with so many important topics including privilege, colonialism, inequality, the war on drugs, substance abuse and recovery. I think that Sab is a character that a lot of middle grade readers can relate to. Her family is attempting to shield and protect her, so she doesn't actually know what is going on with her father or why her sister is so angry at him. Her sister, Nadine, is also someone that readers can relate to and serves the purpose of sending an important message about forgiveness and understanding that sometimes people make mistakes, but that doesn't mean they can't change or try to change. I love that this book immersed me in a world and culture that I haven't experienced in life or in any other book. This book had moments that brought me close to tears and others that filled me with hope. This is an amazing book that is perfect for middle grade readers.
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  • Kristin Crouch
    January 1, 1970
    This book begins with the main character, Sab, seeing a black butterfly that she believes to be a symbol of upcoming death. From there, it goes in so many directions: friendship, sibling love and support, divorce, mental health, substance abuse, law enforcement, and facing one's truth. But it's never too heavy, and even though this book is set in the Philippines, the issues are all part of American culture as well. In fact, I think this book is a beautifully comfortable (for lack of a better wor This book begins with the main character, Sab, seeing a black butterfly that she believes to be a symbol of upcoming death. From there, it goes in so many directions: friendship, sibling love and support, divorce, mental health, substance abuse, law enforcement, and facing one's truth. But it's never too heavy, and even though this book is set in the Philippines, the issues are all part of American culture as well. In fact, I think this book is a beautifully comfortable (for lack of a better word) way to both separate and connect children to the issues. I also love the way that Sab works through the anxiety induced by the black butterfly, and that's a great discussion point as well. Both her friend and older sister work to help her stop her anxious obsession, and eventually she begins to understand the superstition is not a guarantee.This book is full of scary things, it's true, but it's also full of everything that can make the world right: love, support, empathy, caring, and a search for justice for all people. It's beautiful. I love, love, love this book and hope it's widely read, and made widely available through classrooms and libraries. Highly recommend for thoughtful students in grades 5 and up.
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  • MCZ Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.Sabrina Dulce, known as Sab, is a week away from turning 11 when she sees a black butterfly. Her estranged father once told her that a black butterfly represents death, and that seeing one means someone will die. Sab decides to reconcile whatever conflict caused her father and her sister to stop speaking before before her birthday, in case she's the one meant to die. Sab races against the deadline to uncover family secrets and he I received an ARC from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.Sabrina Dulce, known as Sab, is a week away from turning 11 when she sees a black butterfly. Her estranged father once told her that a black butterfly represents death, and that seeing one means someone will die. Sab decides to reconcile whatever conflict caused her father and her sister to stop speaking before before her birthday, in case she's the one meant to die. Sab races against the deadline to uncover family secrets and heal the rift in her family.This book would make an excellent classroom read because it covers many topics that would be good for discussion. The story is set in Manila, and it covers aspects of Filipino culture such as food, customs, honorifics, etc. The book also tackles "real-world" issues, from family members with substance issues to non-traditional family structures (Sab has three dads and a pet duck). It addresses how privilege functions in a post-colonial society, although I felt that the character's discussion of economic privilege was better handled than the mentions of colorism. I'd recommend this for readers aged 9-13, and I'll be suggesting it to teachers in that age range that I know.
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  • Laura Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to @scholasticinc for this free book to share with #kidlitexchange; it comes out on July 30!5/5 for this debut #ownvoices novel by @gaildvillanueva; this is a MUST-BUY for all elementary and middle school libraries. I'm adding it to the list for our multicultural 6th grade book clubs for next year. When Sab sees a giant black butterfly, she believes the local superstition that she only has a week to live and begins living her life differently. For one, she decides to get a radical haircut Thanks to @scholasticinc for this free book to share with #kidlitexchange; it comes out on July 30!5/5 for this debut #ownvoices novel by @gaildvillanueva; this is a MUST-BUY for all elementary and middle school libraries. I'm adding it to the list for our multicultural 6th grade book clubs for next year. When Sab sees a giant black butterfly, she believes the local superstition that she only has a week to live and begins living her life differently. For one, she decides to get a radical haircut. For another, she decides she must help her older sister Ate Nadine reconcile with their father. Sab and her best friend spy on Ate Nadine, a college-aged journalist, and in the process discover secrets about their family that are surprising and unsettling. Set in the Philippines, this book has a richly drawn setting that incorporates poverty, inequality, racism, and more, but never in heavy handed way. This is a mystery wrapped up in love and hope that you won't want to miss. Grades 3+ will enjoy this novel.
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  • Rebecca Balcárcel
    January 1, 1970
    In the same way that FLOR AND MIRANDA STEAL THE SHOW by Jennifer Torres and LETY OUT LOUD by Angela Cervantes open windows on a Latinx cultural world, this book immerses the reader in the life of a Filipina tween whose privileged life is rocked by a dad's secret and the Draconian policies of the president. Along with a classic moments such as an important haircut, this book gives readers a taste of native lore in the form of the butterfly that might spell death for our main character, Sab. With In the same way that FLOR AND MIRANDA STEAL THE SHOW by Jennifer Torres and LETY OUT LOUD by Angela Cervantes open windows on a Latinx cultural world, this book immerses the reader in the life of a Filipina tween whose privileged life is rocked by a dad's secret and the Draconian policies of the president. Along with a classic moments such as an important haircut, this book gives readers a taste of native lore in the form of the butterfly that might spell death for our main character, Sab. With an American friend serving as foil for deeper grasp of Filipino culture and manners, and a big sister who is a savvy journalist-in-training, this book provides a rich environment for Sab to grapple with new knowledge of how complex, and even cruel, the world can be.
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  • Michelle Walsh
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED reading this book! The writing is vivid and made me feel as if I were in the Philippines. The main character, Sab, has a complicated family life and she's determined to heal the divide between her older sister and their father. The story is heart-warming and deals with the topic of addiction recovery in an age-appropriate manner. Sab is a relatable protagonist with a fresh voice, which makes this novel so enjoyable.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) My Fate According to the Butterfly is a charming, mesmerizing, and captivating upcoming middle grade. While tackling issues of drug addiction and politics, Villanueva presents a story about family, forgiveness, and truth. My Fate According to the Butterfly allows the true power of story, family, and symbols to unfurl slowly. Sab's feelings of being stuck between her family, of the (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) My Fate According to the Butterfly is a charming, mesmerizing, and captivating upcoming middle grade. While tackling issues of drug addiction and politics, Villanueva presents a story about family, forgiveness, and truth. My Fate According to the Butterfly allows the true power of story, family, and symbols to unfurl slowly. Sab's feelings of being stuck between her family, of them not caring about her, is a feeling that can resonate deeply with us. She exists in a world of wants - for families and forgiveness. What starts out as her planning her eleventh birthday ends up uncovering secrets about her family and the people she loves. It is a story that not only tackles family, substance abuse, but also belief.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/blog...
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  • Jenn Cayanan
    January 1, 1970
    I am in utter disbelief with how well written this book is and the grade level it is at. Gail is able to encapture a very well written book that tackles prominent issues in the Philippines/ Philippinx American culture. Colonial mentality? Check. Privilege? Check. Drug abuse? Check. Stereotypes? Check. Dark Skin vs. Light skin? Check. Sexual orientation? Check. I can't wait to give these books to my nieces!! Salamt Po Ate Gail.
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  • Metamorpho Dani
    January 1, 1970
    This book brought me back the love for middle grade novels. It was such an easy read even though it deals with topics like substance abuse, colorism, drug war and white privilege. I loved how important is family in this book. I have a full review in my blog https://metamorphoreaderblog.wordpres...
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  • Christina Reid
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited to read this for several reasons - it is set in the Philippines, features a young female protagonist, deals with superstition and folklore as well as a number of other issues such as drugs, family make-up, social structure, government control, etc.Full review now on my blog as part of the blog tour!
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  • Camillea
    January 1, 1970
    To be reviewed.
  • Bianca (The Ultimate Fangirl)
    January 1, 1970
    Full review up on The Ultimate Fangirl!
  • Aki
    January 1, 1970
    I’m very much pleased to say that this book is one of the few books that was able to portray the realities of living in the Philippines really well. Hands down on that part. At first, you might think “oh this is just some sort of contemporary book” and it’s okay. You’re entitled to your own wrong opinion. Kidding aside!! My Fate According to the Butterfly is so much more than that. The author deserves an applause for confronting a lot of timely issues in an appropriate manner in the book. Gail D I’m very much pleased to say that this book is one of the few books that was able to portray the realities of living in the Philippines really well. Hands down on that part. At first, you might think “oh this is just some sort of contemporary book” and it’s okay. You’re entitled to your own wrong opinion. Kidding aside!! My Fate According to the Butterfly is so much more than that. The author deserves an applause for confronting a lot of timely issues in an appropriate manner in the book. Gail D. Villanueva tackled colonial mentality and colorism in the Philippines. She also discusses the issue of drug abuse and war on drugs that are both widespread issue in the country. This is such a great book I recommend which you can read with youngsters and have a discussion after. Although the book raises a bunch of social issues it still doesn’t take away the lightness of reading it.The book is written in first person point of view and even though I don’t really have a strong preference in this matter, it made it feel like more personal whilst reading the book. I felt like I was summoned to the story itself and personally experiencing what the characters are experiencing.My Fate According to the Butterfly made me feel seen. Represented. And most importantly, I felt home. For that, this book instantly earned a special spot in my heart.Gail D. Villanueva’s strong voice and delicate writing style offered an easy yet poignant and impactful read. Basically, this book is an engaging and charming #ownvoices middle grade novel that proffered a vivid glimpse of the culture and the reality (also the harsh ones) of living in the Philippines.
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  • Dannon Hewitt
    January 1, 1970
    This book is so cute and beautiful. It was a bit difficult to read but I did have an uncorrected copy so it’s understandable but overall the story was heart warming and sweet I loved it.
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