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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Contributor(s): Sanchez, Erika L.
ISBN: 1524700487     ISBN-13: 9781524700485
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Qty:
Annotation: When the sister who delighted their parents by her faithful embrace of Mexican culture dies in a tragic accident, Julia, who longs to go to college and move into a home of her own, discovers from mutual friends that her sister may not have been as perfect as believed. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Sisters; Fiction.
Mothers and daughters; Fiction.
Grief; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2017042153
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.55" H x 6.00" W x 1.10" (1.05 lbs) 344 pages
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 August #1)

Why isn't 15-year-old Julia Reyes a perfect Mexican daughter in her mother's eyes? Mostly because of her older sister, Olga, who puts family first, listens to her parents, and dresses conservatively. Julia, by contrast, argues with her mother, talks back at school, and dreams of becoming a famous writer. When Olga dies suddenly, Julia is left wishing that they had been closer and grieving what she sees as Olga's wasted life. And when she starts to suspect that Olga might not have been so perfect, she follows every clue. Sánchez's debut novel covers a lot of ground, including Julia's day-to-day activities in Chicago, her college ambitions, her first boyfriend (who is white and comes from a wealthy neighborhood), her difficult relationship with her overprotective parents, and her search for Olga's secrets. As the book moves along, Julia's frustration with the many constraints she lives under—poverty, family expectations, and conditioning that she resents but can't quite ignore—reaches dangerous levels. Julia is a sympathetic character, but Sánchez's often expository writing keeps her and her struggles at arm's length. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michelle Brower, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 September)

Gr 10 Up—Fifteen-year-old outcast Julia Reyes longs to attend college in New York, in order to get away from the suffocating watch of her undocumented Mexican parents in Chicago. The unusual death of Julia's older sister Olga—considered the perfect child by her family—only bolsters this desire, as her parents focus their attention even more strongly on their now only child. When Julia stumbles across unexpected items in Olga's bedroom after the funeral, she sets off on a course to discover her sister's secrets while trying to find some escape from her strict parents. Sánchez makes Julia's unflinching candidness very clear from the start, with the opening sentence providing her stark description of Olga's corpse. This attitude intermittently brings levity to heavy moments, but also heartbreak when the weight of it all comes crashing down. That honesty and heartbreak is skillfully woven throughout, from the authentic portrayal of sacrifices made and challenges faced by immigrants to the clash of traditional versus contemporary practices, and the struggle of first-generation Americans to balance their two cultures. The importance of language, a lens through which Latinxs are often viewed and sharply judged, is brilliantly highlighted through an ample but measured use of Spanish that is often defined in context without feeling forced or awkward. The author interweaves threads related to depression/anxiety, body image, sexuality, rape, suicide, abuse, and gang violence in both the U.S. and Mexico with nuance, while remaining true to the realities of those issues. VERDICT Like Isabel Quintero's Gabi, a Girl in Pieces, sans the diary format, this novel richly explores coming-of-age topics; a timely and must-have account of survival in a culturally contentious world.—Alea Perez, Westmont Public Library, IL

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.