Speaking from the perspective of a teenager from the paleolithic era, and as a mother, educator, and person with experience in life, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter realistically portrays an adolescent who is  intellectually maturing and emotionally quaking. Teens – and adults who remember – can relate to the love-hate relationship Julia has with school, her parents, her peers, and her community.

Empathy is learned by walking in someone else’s shoes but also from reading or hearing others’ experiences. Sanchez deftly reveals the limited options available to those who are undocumented, have minimal financial resources, and struggle with racial and class discrimination.  Even though I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter addresses many social and diversity issues, Sanchez keeps the focus on the Julia’s personal struggle.  Yes, her struggle includes ethnic, gender, and class concerns, but the story is both singular and universal.

Because it addresses topics of self-harm and mental illness, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter  is recommended for readers 14-17 years old.

Sanchez’s wit and insight as well as the conflict that results from cultural expectations make I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter an interesting and timely story.

Happy Reading, Susan C.

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