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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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    Love Me Back

    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077

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Mexican Whiteboy

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Mexican Whiteboy Cover

ISBN13: 9780385733106
ISBN10: 0385733100
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Excerpt

Dressed in a well-worn Billabong tee, camo cargo shorts and a pair of old-school slip-on Vans, Danny Lopez follows his favorite cousin, Sofia, as she rolls up on the cul-de-sac crowd with OG swagger.

A bunch of heads call out to her, "Hey, Sofe!" "Yo, girl!" "There she is!" and wave.

Sofia waves back, pulls Danny by the arm toward a group of girls sitting on a blanket in an uneven semicircle. "Oye putas," she says. "Yo, this my cousin Danny I was telling you about. He's gonna be staying with me for the summer." She smiles big--proud, Danny thinks. "Yo, cuz, these are my girls." She points them out and rattles off names: "Carmen, Raquel, Angela, Bee, Juanita, Flaca and Guita."

"Hey," the girls singsong in unison.

Danny nods with a shy smile, aims his eyes at the asphalt. He feels the heat of their stares and for a second he wishes he could morph into one of the ants zigzagging in and out of tiny crevices in the street. Their little lives, he thinks, totally off the radar.

Danny's sixteen, a shade over six foot and only a year younger than Sofia, but unless he's on a pitching mound he feels like a boy. He's long and thin with skinny arms hanging down skinny thighs--his arm length the reason he can fire a fastball so hard. His shoulders are wide, but his muscles have yet to catch up. Sometimes when he sees himself in a mirror it looks like his shirt is propped up by an upside-down coat hanger. Not a human body. Doesn't even look real.

And Danny's brown. Half-Mexican brown. A shade darker than all the white kids at his private high school, Leucadia Prep. Up there, Mexican people do under-the-table yard work and hide out in the hills because they're in San Diego illegally. Only other people on Leucadia's campus who share his shade are the lunch-line ladies, the gardeners, the custodians. But whenever Danny comes down here, to National City--where his dad grew up, where all his aunts and uncles and cousins still live--he feels pale. A full shade lighter. Albino almost.

Less than.

"And just so you know," Sofia adds, "Danny ain't no big talker, all right? He's mad smart, gets nothin' but A's at the best private school in San Diego, but don't get your chones in a bunch if you can't never pull him into a convo." Sofia looks prettier than Danny remembers. Less of a tomboy. Her hair long now, makeup around her eyes.

Carmen clears her throat, says: "He don't need to talk to give me no deep-tissue massage." She gives Danny an exaggerated wink.

"Ain't need no words for us to soak in a nice Jacuzzi bath together," Flaca says. She reaches out, puts her hand on one of Danny's Vans. "We can just sit there, Papi. Backs against them jet thingies. Take turns sippin' a little white Zin and shit. How's that sound, beautiful?"

Danny gives her a polite smile, but inside he's shrinking. He's trying to suck back into his shell, like a poked and prodded snail.

Behind his back he grips his left wrist, digs his fingernails into the skin until a sharp pain floods his mind, makes him feel real.

Angela and Bee comb Danny over with their almond-shaped eyes, devour his out-of-place surfer style like a pack of rabid dogs. Danny cringes at how different he must seem to his cousin's friends. They're all dark chocolate-colored, hair sprayed up, dressed in pro jerseys and Dickies, Timberlands. Gold and silver chains. Calligraphy-style tats. Danny's skin is too clean, too light, his clothes too soft.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Beverly B, June 24, 2014 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Mexican WhiteBoy is a touching and realistic story about the struggles of being a cultural misfit. Danny doesn't fit in to his mother's white community, or the exclusive private school he attends, because he looks "too Mexican." He does't fit in with his father's very close extended Mexican American family because he is unfamiliar with the Hispanic culture of their neighborhood, and he doesn't speak Spanish. He socially withdraws and self-harms to deal with the stress of not having anyone who understands how he feels. Matt de la Pena creates likable characters who are earnest in their attempts to be supportive of Danny, but inept in their efforts to reach out. Luckily, Danny recognizes that his Mexican family and new Mexican friends are trying. His first ever best friend, Uno, sees Danny's pain and shows him how to rise above it. Uno's recovering addict father helps Danny understand the struggles of his absentee father and helps him realize he can create his own destiny. For Danny that destiny is baseball. Danny is a pitching phenomenon with no confidence in his talents. Uno is determined to make Danny's dream come true whether Danny is ready or not. Everyone should have a friend as great as Uno.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385733106
Author:
De La Pena, Matt
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
Author:
a, Matt
Author:
de La Pena, Matt
Author:
A
Author:
ntilde
Author:
Matt de la Pena
Author:
&
Author:
Matt de la Pe?a
Author:
de la Pe
Author:
Matt De La Pe
Subject:
Baseball
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Sports & Recreation - Baseball
Subject:
Social Issues - General
Subject:
People & Places - United States - Hispanic/Latino
Subject:
Identity
Subject:
Racially mixed people
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-General
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Subject:
baseball;fiction;sports;family;realistic fiction;fathers;identity;friendship;young adult;fathers and sons;cousins;coming of age;racial identity;biracial;ya;mexico;self-acceptance;racially mixed people;hispanic;multicultural;california;latino;summer;san di
Subject:
baseball;fiction;sports;family;realistic fiction;fathers;identity;friendship;young adult;fathers and sons;cousins;coming of age;racial identity;biracial;ya;mexico;self-acceptance;racially mixed people;hispanic;multicultural;california;latino;summer;san di
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.40x5.86x.95 in. .82 lbs.
Age Level:
14-17

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Related Subjects


Children's » General
Children's » Situations » General
Children's » Sports and Outdoors » Sports Fiction » Baseball and Softball
Children's » Sports and Outdoors » Sports Fiction » General
Young Adult » General

Mexican Whiteboy Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Delacorte Press - English 9780385733106 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Danny throws a mean 95 mph fastball, but the boy's not even on a team. Danny's private school doesn't expect much from him because he's half-Mexican. While spending the summer with his dad's Mexican family, Danny may have to face the demons he refuses to see before he can find himself.
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