We Were Here by Matt de la Pena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
de la Pena has a clear picture of the part Hispanic character who is on the outskirts of his community or his family - desperately trying to find some worth within himself and possessing a talent (sports related) and a chracter trait that makes him heroic.
We Were Here follows that formula with Miguel, a half Mexican, half white kid in a group home for juvenile delinquents. Through his journals, the reader starts to piece together the puzzle of his life as he tries to forgive himself for his crimes.
I intuitively knew what Miguel did early on in the book, even if Miguel doesn't openly say it until the end, so I found myself looking for chinks in the de la Pena armor. He does a good job of keeping it hidden, but since I was doing that while reading, Miguel didn't stay with me as much as Danny (Mexican White Boy) or Sticky (Ball Don't Lie)stayed with me. Mong - now that was a character that intrigued me!
Don't get me wrong. This is a great read, with a sympathetic character who grows and changes in the course of the book. In the end, he really is a great role model for young men and women.