|Don't ask me where I'm from|
Author: De Leon, Jennifer
Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school, but when family secrets come out and racism at school gets worse than ever, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 508744
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2020 When half-Guatemalan, half-Salvadoran Liliana, writer supreme at her inner-city Boston high school, discovers that she’s been accepted into a very “white,” very “bougie” academic program she never applied to, she must decide whether or not to let this new school determine who she is and who she wants to be. Adding to her angst is the mystery of her dad’s absence, about which no one in her family seems to have answers. De Leon takes readers on an action- and dialogue-packed emotional roller coaster that explores self-identity and pride in one’s diverse roots, centering on the perspective of a typical high-schooler worried about not only boys and grades but also the safety of her family. Readers will truly feel for and understand who Lili is, rooting for her as she discovers herself and begins to participate in social justice activism. An energetically paced, boundary-pushing novel that raises important questions of race, identity, belonging, true friendship, and how to stand up for a cause you truly believe in. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2020 Gr 7–10—Everything is changing. American-born Liliana and her twin brothers live in Boston with their El Salvadoran mother and Guatemalan father, who has been mysteriously absent for weeks. No one talks about where her dad is or when he is coming back, and Liliana doesn't have the heart to ask her mother, who is often crying and exhausted. The book opens just as Liliana has been accepted into METCO, a program to desegregate schools by putting good students from low-performing urban schools into high-achieving suburban schools. Liliana switches schools reluctantly, accustomed to her own community of people who look like her, sound like her, and have shared experiences. She cannot easily relate to her white classmates, from the way they talk to their reactions to her cultural norms. Feeling ostracized, Liliana meets Dustin, who gives her butterflies whenever they interact. De Leon uses frequent Spanish words and Latino pop culture references, with plentiful context clues, to portray Liliana's world and family. That, paired with slang-heavy dialogue, keeps the story moving along. It will be familiar territory for readers who straddle two cultures, for anyone who has had to be a newcomer, and, in this era, anyone who has ever worried about the impact of deportation on families. VERDICT A timely addition to most collections, this realistic fiction title will resonate with many readers.—Katie Llera, Brunner Elementary School, Scotch Plains, NJ - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.