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Mexican Whiteboy

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  4,601 ratings  ·  901 reviews
Danny's tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it.

But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny’ s brown. Half-Mexican brown
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published August 12th 2008 by Delacorte Press
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Yamil Martinez This book does have strong language and lots of sexual thematic words, but it is probably doesn't compare to what he/she hears and says at school.…moreThis book does have strong language and lots of sexual thematic words, but it is probably doesn't compare to what he/she hears and says at school.(less)
Cyral Neeley Many people use physical pain to neutralize emotional pain. When he works out, it has the same effect. It stimulates Endorphins which is to my underst…moreMany people use physical pain to neutralize emotional pain. When he works out, it has the same effect. It stimulates Endorphins which is to my understanding the bodies morphine for pain. Digging into his arm is an emotional reaction to situations he is uncomfortable with and tragedy, it takes away the discomfort. (less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  4,601 ratings  ·  901 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mexican Whiteboy is a YA text written by Matt De la Peña, and I really liked this book a lot (and my friend Jenn suggested over my shoulder that I add, for veracity’s sake, that he is, based on his picture, “cute,” which okay, he is, done). De la Peña is the author of picture book Last Stop on Market Street, that was winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal, a 2016 Caldecott Honor Book, and a 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book (Christian Robinson), so he knows his way around words. I heard D ...more
Christina Marie
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Matt de la Peña book that I've ever read and I am happy to say that ALL of my expectations were met. I simply adored every single aspect of this book! From the moments of confusion to anger to sadness to happiness to humor. I just felt everything I could possibly feel for these characters and the lives they led.

Danny was who I thought I would be the most enamored with, and while I absolutely loved him and wanted to protect him from the world... there was another character who
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
From the author of _Ball Don't Lie_ comes another excellent book that nails baseball but is about much more.

Danny is wicked gifted when it comes to baseball--he can knock baseballs out of the park, and his pitching maxes out the meter at the local fair even when he was smashed. But he couldn't throw anything but wild pitches the tryouts at his prep school, and not even he can understand why.

His number one theory, though, is that things would be different if his dad were still around. Not just
Carlos Gastelum
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Pena, M. (2008) Mexican white boy. New York: Delacorte.

Mexican White Boy is a multicultural book that portrays the life of a Hispanic/American boy named Danny who finds himself trying to figure out his own self-identity. Amongst white boys he is considered Mexican while among his own family he feels white because he can barely speak in Spanish. In the story Danny leans towards his passion for baseball as a way to help him escape the barrio (neighborhood), in which he lives in. Danny, gives voice
Angela Cuéllar
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pooled ink Reviews:

Mexican Whiteboy is a gripping story about finding oneself, baseball, and friendship. Moments will make you laugh, make your heart ache, make you sit on the edge of your seat with your eyes glued to that fastball, and make you stop and think as it delves into themes deeper than you might’ve been prepared to go. Captivating and emotional it opens the door to a conversation so many of us secretly wrestle with but hardly anyone ever considers.

Read my full review here: https:/
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena is about two boys named Uno and Danny, the book focuses on their friendship and baseball. To be honest I did not like the book very much, I started reading it and had no interest in it. But as I got further into the book it did get a bit better. I feel that it was a hard story to follow and the baseball parts were a little bit too detailed. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes baseball.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
In Mexican WhiteBoy, Matt de la Peña tells the story of Danny Lopez, a half-Mexican half-White 16 year-old with a crazy fastball, but lacking the confidence to show his skills. At the start of the summer, Danny’s mom and sister have gone to live with his mom’s new boyfriend in his fancy condo in San Francisco, but Danny chooses to stay at his uncle and aunt’s place in National City, CA—a place where his polo shirts, cargo shorts, and slip-on Vans don’t quite fit in with the neighborhood kids’ pr ...more
Feb 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This sat on my bookshelf for several months until I picked it up earlier this week. Do I not like orange dustjackets? Was I unconsciously wary of there being too many baseball-related plot points? I don't know -- I'm just sorry it took me so long to read it. I enjoyed getting to know the characters, loved the economy of the language, and even thought the baseball stuff was totally and completely interesting. I liked how De la Peña drops the reader into the middle of the action, both in the begin ...more
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adults
I honestly can't put into words just how much I liked and connected with this novel. It's a very well written, engaging story about identity and what it means to be "half-something" in America. The main character, Danny, is a 17-year-old half-Mexican, half-white aspiring baseball player who spends the summer with his dad's side of the family, trying to figure out who he is. But the story isn't just about Danny. It's way deeper than just one single storyline. Danny becomes friends with Uno, a hal ...more
Jacob Devlin
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short, simple book caught my eye at my favorite used bookstore in Tucson. I'd never heard of it before, and I'd never read a story by Matt de la Pena, but I think it was the title that really grabbed me because honestly, it was relatable.

This is a different kind of book than what I usually read. It's not really "about" one thing in particular, and it's not the kind of book that has a ton of things happening or an intricate plot. But it does give you a lot to think about and characters that
3.5 stars
If you love baseball and don't mind reading strong language, you will probably like this better than I did. The sports stuff was more than I care for, but it is central to the story.

The blurb is all about Danny and his struggles with being bi-racial, his absent father and his talent for baseball, and these are all integral to the story. What the blurb leaves out is that it is about two biracial boys with absent fathers and their struggles and how they form a friendship that transforms b
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mexican Whiteboy is a coming-of-age sports novel that deals with not knowing your place in the world, family relationships and learning more about oneself. Danny’s mother is a white woman and his father is a Mexican man who is absent from his life. Danny grew up not speaking Spanish and without financial hardships. It’s not until he visits his father’s family near San Diego that he realizes how much he doesn’t fit in anywhere and really wants to. This was a great read to build suspense, discuss ...more
Phil Jensen
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading this book was an act of defiance. It is a very good book about the mixed-race experience and male bonding that I could never get away with putting in my classroom. The main character drinks alcohol, gets a contact high, and gets into fistfights. This should be okay for at least some eighth graders, but my curriculum director loves banning books, and she would ax this one in a heartbeat.

I enjoyed this book and I enjoyed imagining that I worked at a school that would allow it.
Vamos a Leer
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was one of those books that I didn’t like the first time I read it, but I loved the second time through. In all honesty, my first impression may be due more to secondary factors influencing my experience than the book itself. Since I always read everything at least twice before writing a guide, I thought I’d listen to the audio version of the book the first time through while driving back from Tucson. The audio version does not do de la Peña’s writing justice. I only made it through about 4 ...more
Diamond Vaughn
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
In my English Literature class. We had choice books to read. I had chosen Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt de la Pena. When i first seen the cover it had caught my eye.

Danny a son of an American mother and a Hispanic father. 16 year old Danny Lopez,the smart semi-Mexican kid. Danny’s father left three years earlier.later finding out that he was actually sent to prison for beating a man. Danny has to spend the summer with his father side of the family in National City. Who mainly speaks Hispanic. He pret
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most powerful books I've read that addresses toxic masculinity honestly and yet poetically. Some of the males in this book behave so badly, I don't think anyone under 13 should read it. Seriously. There is graphic violence vividly described in this book, one scene so intense I winced in pain myself and had to put down the book for a little break. But the violence is not gratuitous. It's there as the backdrop against which the male characters trying to behave humanely act. Ther ...more
Melissa Aguirre
I truly enjoyed this book because the characters and their situations were very 'real world'. In my opinion, the author did an excellent job of creating each character and intertwining their relationships. In particular, the friendship that evolved between Uno and Danny - it was very touching. While they had things in common (broken families, lack of money, big dreams), it was obvious their lives were headed into different directions. However, their friendship and the memories they made together ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this young adult novel about friendships, family and identity. My favorite characters were Danny and Uno. I loved how their friendship evolved and bloomed. Peña is a talented author and I can see why his books win award after award. I look forward to reading more of his work (I absolutely loved The Last Stop on Market Street).
Mrs. Owens
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable and hopeful read about the complex family relationships we sometimes have. The story alternates between two teenage boys: Danny (half white, half Mexican) and Uno (half Mexican, half black) united by difficult circumstances, a search for their own identities and a path to success, and baseball. Both of the boys' struggles are presented in realistic and engaging ways. ...more
Jacqueline Gurliaccio
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible novel with themes of Race identity, race relations, family dynamics, PTSD, economic struggles, anger & violence, and finally hope on learning how to grow & survive. These are issues teens are dealing with and can relate to. This is a great and quick read.
Jake Sicard
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt de la Pena is about a half mexican and half white boy named Danny who hasn't belonged in either the mexican or white population due to racist views.This will also follow a mexican boy named uno who is trying to live with his fathers family.
This book has a strong sense of mature content which gives a more realistic look on the lives of the characters.Danny isn't connected with his mexican family and tries to fit in but isn't rejected by the family.His father left him wh
Feb 08, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a four star read for the first 80% or so for me. I found Danny and Uno's unique but parallel needs compelling and wished we had gotten to go more fully into their experiences. Still, it was an enjoyable read and a good exploration of identity and belonging. (There is a potential minor spoiler ahead.) However, there is a horrific and gratuitously graphic beating a little more than 80% of the way through that completely took me out of the story. After that, every piece that didn't quite s ...more
While the exploration of teen awkwardness and angst is timeless, this outsider didnt really draw me in.
Of course I empathised like crazy with Danny and Uno and I did enjoy the saucy camaraderie of our girls yet in the end it just didnt hang together for me.

somehow i feel obliged to add that this book suffered from being read alongside a two masterpieces and and a Murakami collection of short stories.
Ethan Fowler
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was a great way to show his identity all throughout and i think that the author hit it spot on . This was one of the best books i have read in a while
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was a really good book. At first, I had a little bit of trouble understanding what was going on because the book would go back and forth. But other than that it was really good. I liked how at first the author had Danny and Uno be enemies, but then they became very best friends.
Zeke Perez
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The type of YA story I wish I had when I was growing up. It does a good job of addressing how it can feel to come of age as a Mexican-American in different settings. I did feel like the story rushed to advance the plot at times, but I think most storylines were wrapped up fairly nicely by the end.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I liked the story and theme of this book. However, I did not like the way it was written. It was a bit confusing how it was written in present tense and Danny would remember things that happened before, and it was hard to tell what was going on in the moment and in his memory. Also, there was a lot of slang I didn’t understand when some of the characters spoke. Another thing was that I don’t know much about baseball, so that limited how much I could enjoy the story. It wasn’t really the type of ...more
Howie M
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I chose this book because I read a tiny bit of it and noticed it was revolving around a kid who loves baseball, and I like baseball so I decided to read it.

This is a book about a boy named Danny lopez. He had moved to a suburban town outside of San Diego because his parents separated. He had moved in with his cousin, Sofia. It was obvious he did not fit in with everyone else as soon as they got there. Everyone was wearing mexican style clothing and talking in spanish, while Danny didn't know spa
Marielle Koladzyn
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 9th-grade
These lyrics by Eminem really remind me of this book because Eminem's fear was rapping in front of others for a really long time [ if you watched 8 mile , you would understand ] but when he was alone he was super good and that's basically the same thing with Danny he can pitch really really well when he's alone but when he's around others he loses his control.

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it? Or just let
Raven Palmerie
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mexican Whiteboy, by Matt de la Pena, is about a teenage boy named Danny who is struggling to find his identity within two cultures: Mexican and white American—as the title suggests. The most interesting aspect of this novel is that the author seems to be portraying a stereotypical community of Mexican young adults; however, take away the Spanish slang and the novel could illustrate any group of teenagers. The theme of finding oneself among two different cultures is an issue rarely written about ...more
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Dr. Moran's AppSt...: Mexican Whiteboy Review 2 2 Apr 19, 2021 11:49AM  
Play Book Tag: Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena 3.5 stars rounded down 1 9 Feb 10, 2021 03:22PM  
Reflecting on the Story 1 2 Oct 11, 2017 10:37AM  

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Matt de la Peña is the New York Times best-selling, Newbery-medal-winning author of six young adult novels and four picture books. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific, where he attended school on a full athletic scholarship for basketball. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. He teaches creative writing and ...more

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