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Mexican Whiteboy

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Author: Matt de la Peña

Newbery Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Matt de la Pe a's Mexican WhiteBoy is a story of friendship, acceptance, and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions.

Danny is 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 it.

But at his private school, they don't expect much else from him. Danny is 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. But 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 coming.

Matt de la Pe a's critically acclaimed novel is an intimate and moving story that offers hope to those who least expect it.

A] first-rate exploration of self-identity. --SLJ

Unique in its gritty realism and honest portrayal of the complexities of life for inner-city la Pe a poignantly conveys the message that, despite obstacles, you must believe in yourself and shape your own future. --The Horn Book Magazine

The baseball scenes...sizzle like Danny's fastball. Danny's struggle to find his place will speak strongly to all teens, but especially to those of mixed race. --Booklist

De la Pe a blends sports and street together in a satisfying search for personal identity. --Kirkus Reviews

Mexican WhiteBoy...shows that no matter what obstacles you face, you can still reach your dreams with a positive attitude. This is more than a book about a baseball player--this is a book about life. --Curtis Granderson, New York Mets outfielder

An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Publisher: Ember
Published: 01/12/2010
Pages: 272
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.50lbs
Size: 8.00h x 5.30w x 0.60d
ISBN: 9780440239383
Audience: Young Adult

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 4.3
Point Value: 9
Interest Level: Upper Grade
Quiz #/Name: 124044 / Mexican Whiteboy

About the Author
Matt de la Peña is the first Mexican American author to win the Newbery Medal. He attended the University of the Pacific on a basketball scholarship and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at San Diego State University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches creative writing. Mexican WhiteBoy is his first novel. Look for his other books, Ball Don't Lie, We Were Here, I Will Save You, The Living, which was named a Pura Belpré Honor Book, and The Hunted, all available from Delacorte Press. You can also visit him at and follow @mattdelapena on Twitter.