Friday, December 26, 2008

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena

This novel starts out with a simple plot: a boy moves to his cousin's home, who is very popular. The boy is just about the complete opposite of his cousin, Sofia. Danny is shy, doesn't talk much (because he is ashamed of his non-Mexican accent), and doesn't understand the fashion style in Sofia's world. Sofia introduces him, gets him started in school, and Danny begins his story slowly, revealing his anxiety and self-mutilation problems. A few chapters into the book, an African-American/Spanish boy named Uno enters the story, from his point of view. He doesn't trust Danny and has already given him stitches. However, he is infatuated with Sofia.

I wasn't as happy with the beginning; it had a very small plot, and I was hoping for a more involved story. But Matt de la Pena soon complicated it, and was able to captivate me by the fifteenth page! I was very impressed by his foreshadowing, and there were many examples of it, such as hitting a road sign with a stone: three out of five hits means whatever you're wishing for will happen.

De la Pena was adept at explaining how racial status meant so much to those who were under pressure for it. Spanish, English, and African-American people experience so much more than I had imagined. I am very glad I had the chance to read Mexican WhiteBoy.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Eagle Creek, OR USA

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