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TUMBLE by Celia C. Pérez.jpgKids All Iowa Reads Program Resources

The 2024 All Iowa Reads selection for kids is Tumble by Celia C. Pérez.

About the Book

Twelve-year-old Adela “Addie” Ramírez has a big decision to make when her stepfather proposes adoption. Addie loves Alex, the only father figure she’s ever known, but with a new half brother due in a few months and a big school theater performance on her mind, everything suddenly feels like it’s moving too fast. She has a million questions, and the first is about the young man in the photo she found hidden away in her mother’s things.

Addie’s sleuthing takes her to a New Mexico ranch, and her world expands to include the legendary Bravos: Rosie and Pancho, her paternal grandparents and former professional wrestlers; Eva and Maggie, her older identical twin cousins who love to spar in and out of the ring; Uncle Mateo, whose lucha couture and advice are unmatched; and Manny, her biological father, who’s in the midst of a career comeback. As luchadores, the Bravos’s legacy is strong. But being part of a family is so much harder — it’s about showing up, taking off your mask, and working through challenges together.

Book Discussion Questions

  1. Addie says talking to her mom is like handling delicate glass ornaments. “Each word, each feeling was a delicate glass ornament that could break if it wasn’t handled carefully.” (pg. 10). What do you think Addie means by this?
  2. Sometimes adults keep information from young people, just as Addie’s mother keeps the secret about her birth father from her. Why do you think that is?
  3. When Cy reads the Bravo’s quote, “There’s no crying in wrestling” (pg. 55), she responds with “Okaaaay.” Why do you think Cy responds that way? How can this quote be helpful? How can it be harmful?
  4. At the historical society, Addie decides to take the Bravo family biography (pg. 84). Why is it a problem to take something from the historical society without permission?
  5. Have you ever seen a live wrestling match? What was it like? How can pulling off a wrestler’s mask be like a “spiritual death” (pg. 147)?
  6. How is wrestling like a combination of science and myth (pg. 251)?
  7. What do you think about the knowledge that some wrestling watches are choreographed?
  8. What does Uncle Mateo reveal about Manny’s childhood (pg. 302-303). Does this change the way you see Manny? Do you think this changes the way Addie sees Manny?
  9. What is the significance of Rosie leaving her cape with Addie (pg. 326)?
  10. Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

About Author Celia C. PérezCelia C. Pérez.jpeg

Celia C. Pérez is the author of the award-winning and critically acclaimed books The First Rule of Punk (2017), Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers (2019), and Tumble (2022). She lives in Chicago with her family, where in addition to writing books about lovable weirdos and outsiders, she works as a community college librarian. When she was in middle school, she filled diaries with recaps of televised wrestling matches. You can read more about her on her website. 

Reviews and Interviews

Reviews and interviews with Celia C. Pérez and other information about Tumble:

  • Tumble is a complex, emotional story about loss, self-discovery and belonging, about forgetting who you were and remembering who you are.” - BookPage (starred review)
  • “A plucky, heartwarming tale that celebrates the complexity of family relationships.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “Very entertaining … Any child who also likes professional wrestling will eat this right up.” - School Library Connection (starred review)
  • “This fresh realistic fiction novel is heartwarming, adventurous, and strong … Middle grade readers will find resonance in the realistic flow of this novel. Pérez writes the struggle of Adela and her family in an authentic way throughout. The ups and downs mixed with the mystery of why Adela's mother kept so much of her life with her father a secret will have readers wanting more. Fans of luchador wrestlers and wrestling will appreciate the sports themes woven all around the family story. A must-have for any library collection serving tweens.” - School Library Journal (starred review)
  • NPR’s All Things Considered Interview with Celia Pérez: August 16, 2022


  • 2023 Pura Belpré Honor Award Winner
  • NPR’s Books We Love 2022
  • 2022 Horn Book Fanfare Selection
  • BookPage’s Best Middle Grade Books of 2022
  • Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2022
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of 2022 
  • New York Public Library’s Best Book for Kids 2022
  • Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Book for Kids 2022
  • Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Book of 2022
  • 2023 Illinois Reads selection
  • 2023 Rise: A Feminist Book Project List Selection
  • 2023 ALSC Notable Children’s Book
  • Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year (2023 edition)
  • New Mexico’s Great Reads from Great Pleases selection for the 2023 National Book Festival, Children's Category
  • Judy Lopez Memorial Award for Children’s Literature Honor Book

Other Readalikes For Further Reading: 

  • Mercy Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
  • Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee
  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds 

Find Copies of Tumble to Borrow

Find out which Iowa libraries have copies of Tumble to borrow, or find out how to request sets for discussion groups.

Find in Iowa Libraries:

Find on Bridges: Iowa's eLibrary:

Multiple Copies for Discussion Groups: