‘Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From’ Takes Us on an Empowering Journey Between Cultural Worlds

I had the valuable opportunity to write a book review for the YA novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon, for the great organization, Latinx in Publishing!

Jennifer De Leon’s YA debut novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, takes us on an empowering journey between cultural worlds through the eyes of Guatemalan-Salvadoran American Liliana Cruz. The story is set in Boston during Liliana’s sophomore year of high school, as she explores friendship, love, racism, discrimination, and her own cultural roots. Never does De Leon fail to surprise readers, as she skillfully addresses segregation, immigration, and social activism in one narrative.

As her sophomore year begins, Liliana is given the opportunity to join the competitive METCO program, founded to give Boston students from underperforming school districts the chance to attend a high-performing school and increase their educational and professional possibilities. METCO places her at Westburg High School, a majority-white school where Liliana feels that she’s entered an entirely different sphere. Liliana’s parents submitted her application to the METCO program when Liliana was just a kid, and this story could raise awareness for numerous families about the possibilities available for their own kids, no matter their socioeconomic status. However, the METCO program itself is also a platform for De Leon to discuss school segregation; its existence highlights how for many low-resourced families, a higher educational opportunity is only possible if…continue reading here.

Enjoy and let me know in the comments what you think, what excited you, etc. ¡Todos son bienvenidos!

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