A couple of weeks ago the Library Association of Rockland County hosted author Matt de La Pena at the Valley Cottage Library. He was a great speaker and shared his amazing life story as the son of a Mexican man and a white, American woman. In high school Matt only finished a single book, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Yet somehow he became determined to go to college, which he did on a basketball scholarship.
In Mexican Whiteboy de la Pena’s explores elements of his upbringing. The main character, Danny, does not feel at home among the white boys at his private school or among his father’s Spanish speaking siblings and cousins. Danny doesn’t speak Spanish but he desperately wants to be a part of the culture of his father. The book takes place over a summer that Danny spends with his father’s family while his father is out of the country. Danny learns who he is, who his family is, and who he wants to be.