Dave's Reviews > Mexican Whiteboy

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 01, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: ya
Read in December, 2011

The story of Danny, a product of a broken home with an absentee father, who is struggling to find his niche in society as a boy of two distinct races, takes place in California. The story could fit in many major metropolitan areas, Chicagoland included. And I have met Danny on a number of occasions I am sure in my decade plus of teaching. He is a quiet kid, and a talented one at that. The author gives Danny dimension by characterizing him as an athlete with ability but no team, with skill but no mental toughness. It left me wondering how many people are there in this world who have the talent to be a professional athlete but never make it because of circumstance...lack of money, lack of guidance, lack of guts, lack of drive or emotional stability; the list is interminable. His sidekick, Uno, is a classic antagonist turned protagonist, and I found myself succumbing to prejudicial thoughts, denouncing his status because he simply seemed like a punk to me. One I have also met numerous times over the years. But then Uno slowly reveals himself to be more, someone with heart and maybe just an edge that is a product of the hand he was dealt through no fault of his own. How many students have I dismissed over the years because I found their hard exterior intolerable? Perhaps they too had a good person within and I missed it. Yes, this book contains all the elements young adults I am assuming are drawn to: teen romance, some mild violence, foul language, and most importantly an air of authenticity. The FEEL of the conversations were genuine. The lingo seemed to be spot on, culturally and socially. Matt De La Pena must have channeled his inner angst in composing such prose. Worth the read, as it is a Lincoln Award finalist, and the book certainly showed why.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Mexican Whiteboy.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Doreen Fritz Great review, as always. You really nailed it. I especially appreciated your personal reflection on the characters.

back to top