When I Am Singing to You

Fourteen-year-old Carmen Delgada, the daughter of migrant workers, ends up living with other homeless teens at an urban YWCA after her jealous mother kicks her out of the house. When Carmen learns that her new friend Hazel is pregnant, she vows to help her—a decision that results in tragedy. More

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About Rebecca Burke

The young women in my three Young Adult/crossover novels face tough tests with humor, intelligence, and a fierce heart. Of course, this is easier for fictional characters than real human beings!

When I was a teenager, I worked in fields and factories like Carmen, the main character in When I Am Singing to You. And like Valerie, in The Ahimsa Club, I've always been passionate about animals and wish they never had to suffer. But I've never gone on a cross-country road trip with my mother, like Piccolo in What If the Hokey Pokey Really Is What It's All About? Too bad--we would have laughed our way up and down the interstate, feasted on good food whenever possible, and stayed only with people we liked. We never would have adopted a stray Irish Setter because our family dog was a setter (the runway models of the dog world). We'd never make that mistake again.

Two and one-fifth of my books are set in Iowa, where I grew up and now live with my family--a husband, two teenagers, and another neurotic dog, a Yorkie named Smokey.

In between teaching and work as an editor and professional book reviewer, I've lived and sometimes taught in Mexico, England, Spain, and the Netherlands. I am always plotting the next trip.


My novel When I Am Singing to You has won First Place, YA fiction ebook (English/Spanish) in the 2012 International Latino Book Awards! I am so honored.

When I Am Singing to You is also named one of the "16 Essential Latino Children's Books by ¿Qué Más?, the blog for MamasLatinas, the leading bilingual online site for Hispanic moms. This site has 780,000 unique visitors a month


Listen to my latest interview with Bill Thompson, host of The Bookcast: http://www.thebookcast.com/ya/its-not-snooping-read-this-14-year-olds-hilarious-diary/

See my latest interview with Ben Wallace: http://benjaminwallacebooks.wordpress.com/

See my interview at Kindle Author with David Wisehart:

When I Am Singing to You is featured at Kindle YA Authors. See excerpt plus my thoughts on writing Young Adult novels, especially one with a Latina teen. http://www.kindleyaauthors.com/2012/01/when-i-am-singing-to-you-by-rebecca.html

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Review by: Lisa Kamphuis on Dec. 05, 2011 : (no rating)
Wow! This book really grabbed me and wouldn't let me go until I'd finished it! The characters and settings were surprisingly real and I felt like I was there with the detailed descriptions. My heart was squeezed and then set free again at the end. I hope lots of people read this and get such a clear picture of what it's like to be an immigrant worker in our country.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)

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