Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, Jennifer De Leon

Do you know why we shouldn’t tie school funding to local property taxes? Because it gives some schools an unfair advantage, leaving other schools with less. Less teacher pay, fewer resources, less everything. So is METCO, the program to bring kids from the inner city into a better school system, the answer? Some kids in the program will tell you no, it isn’t worth it. It makes them outcasts in a predominantly white school changing their entire high school experience.

Lilianna sees the vast differences in the schools from the moment she steps in. Systemic racism is alive and prevalent more than ever. Things are made harder for her by her home situation. But her insight proves extremely helpful when we look at this situation as a whole. While this one got off to a slow start for me, it readily picked up a third of the way in. Liliana is a force to be reckoned with. Overall, an insightful read.

Read and like this review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From is available on Amazon for $10.99.

About the book:
Liliana Cruz is a hitting a wall—or rather, walls.

There’s the wall her mom has put up ever since Liliana’s dad left—again.

There’s the wall that delineates Liliana’s diverse inner-city Boston neighborhood from Westburg, the wealthy—and white—suburban high school she’s just been accepted into.

And there’s the wall Liliana creates within herself, because to survive at Westburg, she can’t just lighten up, she has to whiten up.

So what if she changes her name? So what if she changes the way she talks? So what if she’s seeing her neighborhood in a different way? But then light is shed on some hard truths: It isn’t that her father doesn’t want to come home—he can’t…and her whole family is in jeopardy. And when racial tensions at school reach a fever pitch, the walls that divide feel insurmountable.

But a wall isn’t always a barrier. It can be a foundation for something better. And Liliana must choose: Use this foundation as a platform to speak her truth, or risk crumbling under its weight.

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