First Generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz Does What It Takes To Fit In At Her New Nearly All White School But When Family Secrets Spill Out And Racism At School Ramps Up, She Must Decide What She Believes In And Take A StandFifteen Year Old Liliana Is Fine, Thank You Very Much It S Fine That Her Best Friend, Jade, Is All Caught Up In Her New Boyfriend Lately It S Fine That Her Inner City High School Is Disorganized And Underfunded It S Fine That Her Father Took Off Again Okay, Maybe That Isn T Fine, But What Is Liliana Supposed To Do She S Fifteen Being Left With Her Increasingly Crazy Mom Fine Her Heathen Little Brothers Fine, Fine, Fine But It Turns Out Dad Did Leave One Thing Behind Besides Her Crazy Family Before He Left, He Signed Liliana Up For A School Desegregation Program Called METCO And She S Been Accepted Being Accepted Into METCO, However, Isn T The Same As Being Accepted At Her New School In Her Old School, Liliana Half Guatemalan And Half Salvadorian Was Part Of The Majority Where Almost Everyone Was A Person Of Color But Now At Westburg, Where Almost Everyone Is White, The Struggles Of Being A Minority Are Unavoidable It Becomes Clear That The Only Way To Survive Is To Lighten Up Whiten Up And If Dad Signed Her Up For This Program, He Wouldn T Have Just Wanted Liliana To Survive, He Would Have Wanted Her To Thrive So What If Liliana Is Now Going By Lili So What If She S Acting Like She Thinks She S Better Than Her Old Friends It S Not A Big Deal It S Fine But Then She Discovers The Gutting Truth About Her Father He S Not On One Of His Side Trips And It Isn T That He Doesn T Want To Come Home He Can T He S Undocumented And He S Been Deported Back To Guatemala Soon, Nothing Is Fine, And Lili Has To Make A Choice She S Done Trying To Make Her White Classmates And Teachers Feel Comfortable Done Changing Who She Is, Denying Her Culture And Where She Came From They Want To Know Where She S From, What She S About Liliana Is Ready To Tell Them
Jennifer De Leon is the author of Don t Ask Me Where I m From Atheneum Simon Schuster, August 2020 and the editor of Wise Latinas University of Nebraska Press An Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Framingham State University, and a GrubStreet instructor and board member, she has published prose in over a dozen literary journals, including Ploughshares, Iowa Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review She lives in the Boston area.
- 336 pages
- Don't Ask Me Where I'm From
- Jennifer De Leon
- 15 January 2019 Jennifer De Leon