Hardcover ✓ Mexican WhiteBoy ePUB ↠

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 ledDanny was who I thought I would be the most enad with and while I absolutely loved him and wanted to protect him from the world there was another character who snuck up on me and stole my heart completely and became my precious little cinnamon roll de la Peña's writing is not complicated It's not perfect nor is it imperfect It's very simplistic There is not a lot of fluff It's very straightforward But the dynamic that is captured by the simplicity of his writing is fantastic Never once was I bored Never once did anything feel unimportant I found a way to connect with every single character throughout this book despite having experienced NOTHING similar to any of them But on an emotional level I was so in tune with Danny with Uno with Sofia and many others Witnessing Danny struggle with his identity figuring out who he was and what he meant to people on BOTH sides of his family was probably the most impactful part for me outside of Uno's amazingly complicated story I also found that de la Peña did a great job of using the secondary characters for delivering additional bits of life lessons especially through SofiaOverall I just adored this book I think it's an excellent introduction to the insight of what it's like to feel othered Danny felt othered He felt outside of BOTH of his ethnicities This book captured a lot of that confusion and hurt I would LOVE to read from this author 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 considersRead my full review here From the author of Ball Don't Lie comes another excellent book that nails baseball but is about much 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 baseball either If his dad hadn't left then maybe Danny wouldn't be stuck feeling stupid when his relatives in National City tell jokes in Spanish Danny's mom who's white can't help him out in that department The official word is that Danny's dad took off to Ensenada Mexico but it starts looking like there's to the story than that as Danny spends the summer with his dad's family in National City a mostly Latino pocket of greater San DiegoBut the eventual revelation regarding Danny's dad is much less important than Danny figuring out how to be himself a task made a little bit easier with the jokey easy going crew his cousin Sofia hangs with Danny's best friend turns out to be Uno the same half black half Mexican kid who welcomed Danny to the neighborhood by busting his face at the beginning of the summer Things are good but they're also ugly the way things are in real life What matters is that Danny starts finding his footing in that real life and baseball takes its place as one bad ass game that helps him bring things into focus without beating up on himself Pena M 2008 Mexican white boy New York DelacorteMexican White Boy is a multicultural book that portrays the life of a HispanicAmerican 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 to the difficult feelings of being split between two cultures Pena’s book is great for teens to read no matter their ethnic or racial background It explores the themes of displacement culture and a boys will to figure himself out I could use this book in my classroom to help my students learn about the differences in their peer’s cultures as compared to their own For this I could have them each share their own cultural traditions as they make comparisons with their own culture 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 itBut at his private school they don’t expect much else from him Danny’ s brown Half Mexican brown And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes they’ve got him pegged But it works the other way too And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico That’s why he’s spending the summer with his dad’s family Only to find himself he may just have to face the demons he refuses to see the demons that are right in front of his face And open up to a friendship he never saw comingSet in the alleys and on the ball fields of San Diego County Mexican Whiteboy is a story of friendship acceptance and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions 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 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 uite fit in with the neighborhood kids’ pro jerseys gold and silver chains and Timberlands On the surface of the story the reader follows Danny on his journey to fit in and figure out his baseball problems can’t control his pitching aim but once Danny meets Uno a young black teen searching for his own answers and struggling to rekindle the relationship with his father the reader begins to see the problems that plague a deeper part of Danny Danny hasn’t seen his father in 3 years and he is hoping to find the answers that would lead him to understand and see his father once again Through their trust and faith in each other Danny and Uno help each other to realize their potential and not only find the answers they’re looking for but also find themselves in the process There is so much to this book than meets the eye The fact that the main character is a teenage boy who plays baseball will hook any high school boy even girls because Danny is just so likeable and easy to root for but as they go further into the story the deeper issues and themes become apparent and these are what makes the story memorable and not simply a story about baseball No worries if you don’t know anything about baseball—the author makes it easy to connect with Danny and appreciate the baseball premise of the story The book itself would work in any unit about family relationships self discovery racial identity and friendship I would include this book in any high school classroom library There are some instances of alcohol smoking and very mild sexual references which would lead me to suggest this for high school students; although the language is easy enough for a mature middle schooler to understand One point about language de la Peña naturally weaves both English and Spanish dialect and language throughout the story so this would be an inviting text for reluctant Spanish ELL students to read 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 beginning and in subseuent chapters and trusts us to discern the necessary facts about character relationships and feelings and such instead of spelling it all out I don't know if I've just read a spate of over explanatory YA books or what but it was a nice change when reading Mexican WhiteBoy to have to be in the dark for a few paragraphs before knowing for sure where the scene was taking place who was there how much time had passed since the last scene etc Also the Spanish words and phrases weren't immediately translated and explained I liked that too Most can be figured out from contextThe title and cover and flap copy all point to Danny being the sole protagonist in the book but Danny's rival turned friend Uno was to me just as important and interesting a character as Danny And Uno's dad who's gotten off of drugs and out of trouble and who likes to expound freuently on his beliefs is one of the most interesting characters I've encountered in a book in a while De la Peña leaves it up to the reader as to whether the guy should be admired or trusted at allThe only scene that irked me slightly was an emotional scene toward the end that reminded me too much of the it's not your fault sobfest from Good Will Hunting And to be fair that scene totally worked back in 1998 or whenever but I think it's Narmed over time Anyway minor uibble for a very good book 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 half black half Mexican kid with a totally different set of identity issues Uno has a half brother who's mentally retarded a mother who's remarried an abusive drunk and a born again Christian father who offers him hope well sort of The novel is really about a group of characters and it's hard not to feel connected with Danny Uno or Dannny's cousin Sofia The mood that this writer set throughout the book was unlike anything I have seen a while At one point I was mentally comparing the mood set in this book to that in Laurie Halse Anderon's Speak Both novels have characters that are depressed and act almost mute and the writing clearly communicates how they feel The imagery created by the author is also amazing because I could not stop visualizing these places streetscapes landscapes even the graffiti in my head as I read this book And of course the character development is phenomenal I don't think my middle school kids could handle this but I strongly recommend this to high school students and beyond The ethnic identity issues that the book deals with are probably the number one thing that I was able to connect to but I think it's such a fanastic read for just about anyone 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 relatableThis 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 feel extremely real I saw so much of myself in Danny Lopez a high school boy who is trying to figure himself out in a world of definitions and labels I can't tell you how many times I found myself reading and thinking de la Pena had hijacked my brain in a time when I was really struggling with the exact same uestions Danny asked himself and that other people asked him throughout the novel It was a breath of fresh air to see that on the page and in a way that is handled so nicely and realistically KudosSide note Matt de la Pena is also writing the YA Superman coming out this year and I am HERE FOR IT Mexican WhiteBoy

About the Author: Matt de la Pena

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

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