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Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America

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Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. With works by Francisco X. Stork, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, David Bowles, Rubén Degollado, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Diana López, Xavier Garza, Trinidad Gonzales, Alex Temblador, Aida Salazar, Lupe Ruiz-Fl Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. With works by Francisco X. Stork, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, David Bowles, Rubén Degollado, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Diana López, Xavier Garza, Trinidad Gonzales, Alex Temblador, Aida Salazar, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Sylvia Sanchez Garza, Dominic Carrillo, Angela Cervantes, Carolyn Dee Flores, René Saldaña Jr., Laura Perez, Justine Narro, Daniel García Ordáz, and Anna Meriano. In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican American. Living Beyond Borders is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today’s young readers.


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Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. With works by Francisco X. Stork, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, David Bowles, Rubén Degollado, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Diana López, Xavier Garza, Trinidad Gonzales, Alex Temblador, Aida Salazar, Lupe Ruiz-Fl Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. With works by Francisco X. Stork, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, David Bowles, Rubén Degollado, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Diana López, Xavier Garza, Trinidad Gonzales, Alex Temblador, Aida Salazar, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Sylvia Sanchez Garza, Dominic Carrillo, Angela Cervantes, Carolyn Dee Flores, René Saldaña Jr., Laura Perez, Justine Narro, Daniel García Ordáz, and Anna Meriano. In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican American. Living Beyond Borders is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today’s young readers.

30 review for Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America

  1. 4 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    Who made the rules on what being Mexican was or wasn't? I'd always been told to check a box -- to fit in one category or the other. But it wasn't ever that easy. And why did it matter? I wasn't sure I was going to rate this, as I don't tend to award stars to non-fiction (not that I read much of it, to be fair, despite my best intentions!), but as I think most of what is comprised of this anthology is fiction (though I could of course be wrong..), I felt it deserved to be rated. Particularly in th Who made the rules on what being Mexican was or wasn't? I'd always been told to check a box -- to fit in one category or the other. But it wasn't ever that easy. And why did it matter? I wasn't sure I was going to rate this, as I don't tend to award stars to non-fiction (not that I read much of it, to be fair, despite my best intentions!), but as I think most of what is comprised of this anthology is fiction (though I could of course be wrong..), I felt it deserved to be rated. Particularly in the hopes that people see the stars and feel inspired to look a little closer at this and maybe, even, hopefully, pick it up. Mom and Dad used to love taking me to all the Mexican and Chicanx pride events, and I used to like it too until I got older and couldn't wrap my head around how it's possible to dance with such fierce colourful joy while shouldering a legacy of so much pain. Though there are twenty different offerings within this collection this is not a long read and, in the case of some of the specific ones I'll shoutout below, I wish it had been longer. I can't possibly know the impact of what this collection will do for readers who see themselves, or their parents, or their loved ones, in these stories but I have a feeling this'll mean a lot for a lot of people. I understand that for many Americans -- including my own parents -- being seen as American is a struggle that can be tiring and long. As for those standouts? These were mine. COCO CHAMOY Y CHANGO by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo was the first one to make me wish there had been more to it. I wanted to keep reading, I wanted to learn more about these characters, and where they were going. It was such a casual little snapshot in time but it made an impression. Next was MY NAME IS DOLORES by Guadalupe Ruiz-Flores and, to quickly sum up, it broke my heart. The image of that little girl.. well, I won't spoil. But it was one of those little big moments that leaves quiet devastation in its wake. AN ODE TO MY PAPI by Guadalupe García McCall might have been the shortest of the bunch but.. I don't want to call it lovely, because it was also so sad, but it was a bittersweet, heartwarming, heartaching little tribute. Though there's nothing little about the message. Finally, there was LA PRINCESA MILEIDY DOMINGUEZ by Rubén Degollado which snuck up on me. It wasn't that I wasn't invested in the story as it unfolded but it wasn't until the final paragraph or two when I realized how much I had softened as the story went on until I found myself brushing away tears. Partially it was the importance of the celebration described, the moment of transition from child to young adult, but it was more how this group of strangers, this community, came together without hesitation. It was incredibly moving. There was one more quote I really wanted to share so I'll use it to sign off this review but suffice it to say yes, I had some favourites, but most of the quotes I've pulled didn't even come from those stories I've mentioned. There was something different, something important, something moving, in everything offered in this collection. And also something for everyone. I'm so tired of these trying political times, and I'm tired of trying to care about the newest protests and the hashtags and the kids who die or almost die and get fifteen minutes of fame from the adults who have all the money and the clout and the thoughts and prayers but don't actually do anything. ** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** --- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    Here’s a collection of short stories to push you right into your emotions and some of them are going to be discomforting ones. From the first story of this anthology of stories/poems/letters from people who have straddled the Mexican/American borders, I was absorbed. These stories made me angry and hopeful, sad and in awe. While I appreciated them all, here’s a flavour of some of the ones that either hit me in the gut, educated me or transported me to someone else’s experience (sometimes all of t Here’s a collection of short stories to push you right into your emotions and some of them are going to be discomforting ones. From the first story of this anthology of stories/poems/letters from people who have straddled the Mexican/American borders, I was absorbed. These stories made me angry and hopeful, sad and in awe. While I appreciated them all, here’s a flavour of some of the ones that either hit me in the gut, educated me or transported me to someone else’s experience (sometimes all of these things). Ghetto Is Not An Adjective by Dominic Carrillo took a chance encounter and made an impact through poetry, ignorance felt like it was the theme for this story. “There Are Mexicans In Texas?” by Trinidad Gonzales really conveyed the importance of family history to how he’s navigated peoples’ ignorance and racism at various junctures. These familial stories seemed to ground the author’s sense of self. I could have read his experiences and anecdotes for much longer. This quote really hit home and has relevance to other countries too: The struggle to belong is found not only in the politics of the street, but in official institutions that are supposed to be inclusive of all Americans. Ode to My Papi by Guadalupe García McCall squeezed my heart in a mere moment on the paper. So much was conveyed in a short space. There were so many others to mention, but I wanted to give a dynamic snapshot of what’s on offer here. I live overseas but I read and watch these issues, wanting to know more, especially when tensions were heightened under the 45th POTUS’ control. This book afforded me a deeper dive into individual experiences both fictionalised and non-fiction. I recommend this to all and it is definitely suitable from teenage upwards. The editor/author provided me with a early copy through netgalley but this has not influenced by review. Find this review at A Take From Two Cities Blog.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    I have mixed feelings on this one. I love the concept- bringing together a wide range of authors for a mixed-media anthology for teens celebrating Mexican American life and identity. And some of the essays and stories are touching, thought-provoking, and important. An essay about the too-slow changes in the Smithsonian representing Mexican Americans. A touching story about a girl without a home getting a quinceanera through her new school. An essay about the struggle of growing up mixed and feeli I have mixed feelings on this one. I love the concept- bringing together a wide range of authors for a mixed-media anthology for teens celebrating Mexican American life and identity. And some of the essays and stories are touching, thought-provoking, and important. An essay about the too-slow changes in the Smithsonian representing Mexican Americans. A touching story about a girl without a home getting a quinceanera through her new school. An essay about the struggle of growing up mixed and feeling in-between, unable to fluently speak Spanish. These are some examples of contributions that I really loved. As with all anthologies, I liked some pieces better than others, but there was one in particular that flirts with incest that I was kind of uncomfortable with. Not sure why that choice was made, or why it's going in an anthology for teenagers. And maybe I'm missing something, but I also don't see why that element was necessary to the story in the first place. Here's the basic plot: a teen girl and her mom go on vacation with extended family because her mom has been struggling after the girls father left them. Going with them is the girls male cousin and we spend most of the story in her head thinking about how she's attracted to him even though she shouldn't be. Then they almost kiss before being interrupted by their family who scream about incest. There's other family drama too, but things eventually seem better for her mom. It was really uncomfortable to read and even though technically nothing happened, it's unclear to me what the point of flirting with that was. Also content warning, obviously. Aside from that my other issue has to do with the way the collection was formatted. This is a mix of fiction and non-fiction, which is cool but there is no way to know for sure which pieces are fictional. Sometimes you can tell by reading, but other times it's very unclear. Typically with something like this you get a couple sentences at the end about the author and the piece, but in this case it's just all thrown together and while there are author bios at the end of the book, they don't include any reference to the pieces in this anthology. That feels like a major oversight. So mixed feelings. There is definitely some good to be found here, but it also could have been handled better. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    pages.and.quills

    Thank you so much to PenguinTeen for sending my this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved this book. If you do not know, this book is a collection of short stories, poems, comics, etc. about growing up Mexican in America. Obviously, I am not Mexican American in any way, and so I really did not know much about this topic before reading these stories. Every single one of them brought up something so completely unique and important to the table. Each author's stories were writte Thank you so much to PenguinTeen for sending my this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved this book. If you do not know, this book is a collection of short stories, poems, comics, etc. about growing up Mexican in America. Obviously, I am not Mexican American in any way, and so I really did not know much about this topic before reading these stories. Every single one of them brought up something so completely unique and important to the table. Each author's stories were written perfectly, and I found myself collapsing into tears multiple times while reading this book. I learned so many things from reading these stories, and while all of them were absolutely incredible, I thought that I would share some of my personal favorites from the collection: -"Ghetto Is Not an Adjective" by Dominic Carrillo: this story was such a perfect opening to this collection. The poem added into the short story at the end was so powerful and moving and is something everyone should truly read. -"Yoli Calderon and Principal Hayes" by Angela Cervante: this was another truly powerful story. I loved the interesting perspective that this was written in, and this entire story was just written so so well. -"CoCo Chamoy y Chango" y e.E. Chariton-Trujillo: This was just such a cute and fun story. I absolutely loved seeing such a strong female relationship and friendship and just the connection made between these characters. -"My Name is Dolores" by Guadalupe Ruiz-Flores: This was such a sad story with such a deep message that had me on the verge of tears. It truly teaches where the problems in this society come from. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone, especially those who are not very educated or aware of the obstacles day-to-day that Mexican Americans face.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    4.5 Stars Content Warnings at end of review Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for an arc of this book. This anthology is an exploration about what it means to be Mexican American. It contains stories, memoirs, poems, and comics that explore various parts of the authors' identities. I really loved this collection. So many of the stories/pieces were absolutely incredible to read. The writing was diverse because of the many authors, but there wasn't a single piece I didn't like. I look forward to 4.5 Stars Content Warnings at end of review Thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgalley for an arc of this book. This anthology is an exploration about what it means to be Mexican American. It contains stories, memoirs, poems, and comics that explore various parts of the authors' identities. I really loved this collection. So many of the stories/pieces were absolutely incredible to read. The writing was diverse because of the many authors, but there wasn't a single piece I didn't like. I look forward to looking up some of these authors' other works! Content Warnings Graphic: Racism Moderate: Homophobia Minor: Self harm

  6. 4 out of 5

    Librarian143

    I laughed, I cried, I got angry and my heart melted. Such a beautiful and diverse collection of stories all told differently...yet they were my stories, my life, my childhood. For a few precious moments I was able to escape adulthood and relive being a kid growing up Mexican-American. These stories will definitely resonate with anyone who is caught between two different cultures. Living Beyond Borders offers a glimpse into Mexican traditions and superstitions and what it means to grow up Mexican I laughed, I cried, I got angry and my heart melted. Such a beautiful and diverse collection of stories all told differently...yet they were my stories, my life, my childhood. For a few precious moments I was able to escape adulthood and relive being a kid growing up Mexican-American. These stories will definitely resonate with anyone who is caught between two different cultures. Living Beyond Borders offers a glimpse into Mexican traditions and superstitions and what it means to grow up Mexican-American.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mona Alvarado Frazier

    "Growing Up Mexican in America" is part of the title of this book. It's important to specify because this is what the anthology is all about. "Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. With works by Francisco X. Stork, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, David Bowles, Rubén Degollado, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Diana López, Xavier Garza, Trinidad Gonzales, Alex Temblador, Aida Sala "Growing Up Mexican in America" is part of the title of this book. It's important to specify because this is what the anthology is all about. "Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. With works by Francisco X. Stork, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, David Bowles, Rubén Degollado, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Diana López, Xavier Garza, Trinidad Gonzales, Alex Temblador, Aida Salazar, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Sylvia Sanchez Garza, Dominic Carrillo, Angela Cervantes, Carolyn Dee Flores, René Saldaña Jr., Justine Narro, Daniel García Ordáz, and Anna Meriano. These authors share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican American. " Many of the stories are well-written and resonated with this reader. The 'Mexican American' experience is as diverse as the regions, border towns, and generations of the writers who write the stories. The differences can be because you are first-generation or fourth, bi-racial, or multi-ethnic, but many areas connect, such as family, language, foods, A few stories didn't hold my interest as much due to form or writing style but overall, that should not detract those readers who are trying to understand what it means to grow up Mexican in America. Some quotes that describe the themes in several stories: "As Mexican Americans, we have always needed to defend who we are, where we were born, and prove to others that we are, in fact, Americans." "Yet, we are forced to be on the fence, not because we do not want to belong to both worlds, but because society demands that we chose a side. Where do we want to belong?" This book could be utilized as a book for upper middle schoolers to high school students as a basis of discussion about self-identity, culture, perceptions, and bias. I would recommend it to educators, readers who want to expand their knowledge of other cultures, and librarians for their schools. NetGalley provided an e-ARC of this book, and this is an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lonna Pierce

    Outstanding! Review to follow in School Library Connection.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Austin

    I was giving the opportunity to read this early release by Penguin Teen Publishing and NetGalley for an a honest review. This was a very important read. Each one of the short story and poem told a difference story that was so incredibly important for the Mexican culture and make you think about. Each writer poured their heart out in their stories. If you have the opportunity please read it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caylie Ratzlaff

    Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this eARC! 4/5 stars. I was really impressed with this anthology, especially since I hadn't heard of any of the authors. I liked how it focused entirely on the Mexican-American diaspora and experiences. While some of them were not as great as others, there are some that I am planning on incorporating into my curriculum this upcoming year from this anthology. I also think many other people will get more of an impact from this than I, since I am a white ed Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this eARC! 4/5 stars. I was really impressed with this anthology, especially since I hadn't heard of any of the authors. I liked how it focused entirely on the Mexican-American diaspora and experiences. While some of them were not as great as others, there are some that I am planning on incorporating into my curriculum this upcoming year from this anthology. I also think many other people will get more of an impact from this than I, since I am a white educator and this is an anthology meant as a window for me rather than a mirror. I also cried during a few of the pieces...especially the quince one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Smart. Poignant. Timely. This collection will make you laugh out loud and, in the very next, bring you to tears. If not, you have no soul. ¡Enhorabuena! ¡Una excelente lectura! Advanced reader copy via the editor and Net Galley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David

    An amazing, vital anthology!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Skylar Rodriguez

    “Yet we are forced to be on the fence, not because we do not want to belong to both worlds, but because society demands that we choose a side. Where do we want to belong?” I really enjoyed reading the authors note at the beginning, because even though I am Mexican-American, I haven’t embraced the Mexican culture, and because I do live in America, I take pride in the fact that I was born and raised here. My dad speaks Spanish along with his side of the family, but he never spoke at home to me and “Yet we are forced to be on the fence, not because we do not want to belong to both worlds, but because society demands that we choose a side. Where do we want to belong?” I really enjoyed reading the authors note at the beginning, because even though I am Mexican-American, I haven’t embraced the Mexican culture, and because I do live in America, I take pride in the fact that I was born and raised here. My dad speaks Spanish along with his side of the family, but he never spoke at home to me and my siblings, so of course we grew up only speaking English. After reading this anthology, it makes me really want to explore and learn more about my Mexican heritage and try to embrace it as much as I can, and not be embarrassed about who I am. The short stories, essays, poetry, and comics were so beautiful done and written, and I have never read an anthology before and also don’t gravitate towards nonfiction, so it was really nice to explore different types of books. Anyone who picks up this book is bound to find a story or essay that they enjoy. *Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group for this ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  14. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Zimmerman

    LIVING BEYOND BORDERS is a beautiful collection of short stories, poems, and works that describe a broad range of experiences of what it’s like to grow up Mexican or Mexican-American in a country that views that experience as a monolith. Each story is unique, just like the voice that tells it, and highlights a wide array of lives and lifestyles and the way in which culture, racism, and class play a role in day-to-day lives. I tended to love the short stories in this compilation most of all, espe LIVING BEYOND BORDERS is a beautiful collection of short stories, poems, and works that describe a broad range of experiences of what it’s like to grow up Mexican or Mexican-American in a country that views that experience as a monolith. Each story is unique, just like the voice that tells it, and highlights a wide array of lives and lifestyles and the way in which culture, racism, and class play a role in day-to-day lives. I tended to love the short stories in this compilation most of all, especially one toward the end called “La Princess Mileidy Dominguez” by Rubén Degollado. It’s the perfect balance of heartfelt and heartache, with such a beautiful softness. I really enjoyed this collection and can’t wait to dive in to each of these authors’ individual works.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ♡Ellie

    What a beautiful anthology of works that truly encompass and reflects the lives of many Mexican Americans, including my very own. I felt seen and heard, and I feel this collection of stories can touch so many of us in different ways. With topics important to society. It’s emotional, heartwarming, frustrating.. you’ll find yourself feeling everything at once. Even if the reader is not Mexican American, this book brings clarity, and understanding of obstacles we face. I feel proud to be Mexican Ame What a beautiful anthology of works that truly encompass and reflects the lives of many Mexican Americans, including my very own. I felt seen and heard, and I feel this collection of stories can touch so many of us in different ways. With topics important to society. It’s emotional, heartwarming, frustrating.. you’ll find yourself feeling everything at once. Even if the reader is not Mexican American, this book brings clarity, and understanding of obstacles we face. I feel proud to be Mexican American, and this title made feel so proud of all I’ve gone through and overcome.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    As soon as I saw that this project was in the works, I couldn’t wait to read it. It definitely did not disappoint! This anthology features an incredible group of writers and their works are deeply meaningful and insightful. These stories, detailing the Mexican-American experience, need to be told. As a mother of mixed race Mexican-American children, I hope that these stories will reach the masses, so that the next generation finds acceptance, and the freedom to exist within two cultures.

  17. 4 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    “As Mexican Americans, we have always needed to defend who we are, where we were born, and prove to others that we are, in fact, Americans." 🦋 Twenty short stories, poems and essays by many different authors make up this beautiful YA collection Living Beyond Borders that explores what it’s like living as a Mexican American having to straddle two different cultures. 🦋 I’ve been waiting for this release for so long and am so proud of fellow TX librarian Margie Longoria for editing this amazing, soul “As Mexican Americans, we have always needed to defend who we are, where we were born, and prove to others that we are, in fact, Americans." 🦋 Twenty short stories, poems and essays by many different authors make up this beautiful YA collection Living Beyond Borders that explores what it’s like living as a Mexican American having to straddle two different cultures. 🦋 I’ve been waiting for this release for so long and am so proud of fellow TX librarian Margie Longoria for editing this amazing, soul-wrenching piece of literature that our students need in their lives now more than ever. I was pulling books for #hispanicheritagemonth and working on my diversity audit and am saddened by the percentage of Latinx books I have in my library compared to how many Latinx students I have in my school. Books like this make students feel seen and it’s my mission to spend this next month celebrating Hispanic heritage by reading more Latinx books and authors, as well as continuing to purchase them for my students. I loved this story collection so much and wish and hope for so many more books like it in the future. Add it to your classroom, your library, and your home. CW: racism

  18. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Zeman

    I loved that this was put together by a fellow Texas Librarian. This is a love story about heritage and where you come from. An beautifully written and enjoyable collection of short stories, free verse poems and even comics thrown into the mix. This is a must have for school libraries, a collection representing #ownvoices.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lone Star Literary Life

    Reviewed by Si Dunn for Lone Star Literary Life. Reviewed by Si Dunn for Lone Star Literary Life.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tiffani

    This is a well written book. The stories and poems made me want more. A must read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy // The Bookish Unicorn

    Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin/ Philomath Books for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! This was a very solid collection of short stories about the Mexican American experience. With a lot of anthologies it can be hit or miss but I really enjoyed all of them, except for one. The mix of story, poetry, and graphic novel was a really great decision and allowed for such a wide range of story telling. All of the topics covered were really great and you can tell the authors really put Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin/ Philomath Books for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! This was a very solid collection of short stories about the Mexican American experience. With a lot of anthologies it can be hit or miss but I really enjoyed all of them, except for one. The mix of story, poetry, and graphic novel was a really great decision and allowed for such a wide range of story telling. All of the topics covered were really great and you can tell the authors really put their heart into them.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Twenty authors and an illustrator or two share poems, short stories, personal commentary--all filled with heart--about growing up Mexican American in this country. While many compilations of this sort contain a handful of strong contributions with several weak ones, that isn't the case here. In fact, I'd willingly state that only two of them disappointed me while the rest of them hit me right where it matters--in my heart--and left me thinking about the characters and their situations. There are Twenty authors and an illustrator or two share poems, short stories, personal commentary--all filled with heart--about growing up Mexican American in this country. While many compilations of this sort contain a handful of strong contributions with several weak ones, that isn't the case here. In fact, I'd willingly state that only two of them disappointed me while the rest of them hit me right where it matters--in my heart--and left me thinking about the characters and their situations. There are stories of struggle and stories of hope as well as scenes that seemed to have been ripped from real life. And while it might seem that it would take awhile to get through the offerings, that isn't the case. The writing sweeps readers up and makes them nod their head in recognition or in empathy. The collection has been edited by a South Texan librarian, and her knowledge of meaningful writing and movers and shakers in the literacy community shows here through the richness of the collection. Each reader will have his/her/their favorites in this book, and there are some stories that featured characters whose back story I longed to know more about, which is usually a good sign when I am reading. My favorites include "Filiberto's Final Visit" by Francisco X. Stork featuring an unknown guardian and protector; "Coco Chamoy y Chango" by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo with its hints of love's possibilities; "My Name Is Dolores" by Guadalupe Ruiz-Flores with an ending that most readers won't see coming; "The Body by the Canal" by David Bowles,revealing how fears may keep us from living life to the fullest; and "Ode to My Papi" by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. While the poem McCall has crafted is only two pages long, it will remind many readers of the debts they owe to their own fathers. It is poignant, drawn from the heart, and full of the awareness of economic sacrifice, concluding, "In giving what little he could, / my papi gave me the universe" (p. 115). High school librarians and classroom teachers as well as parents and caregivers will want to give serious consideration to adding this book to their collection. Not only will many teens see themselves and their own experiences mirrored here, but those cultural outsiders who read the book will learn more about their classmates and the lives they lead as well as opening their hearts. The quote from Cesar Chavez at the start of the book hints of its contents: "Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore"(unpaged).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America is an anthology of twenty entries collected and edited by Margarita Longoria. It is a collection of twenty original contributions by Mexican American authors, poets, and artists about growing up in the United States. For the most part, this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics was written rather well. Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America features a diverse array Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America is an anthology of twenty entries collected and edited by Margarita Longoria. It is a collection of twenty original contributions by Mexican American authors, poets, and artists about growing up in the United States. For the most part, this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics was written rather well. Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America features a diverse array of short stories, personal essays, poems, and comics from nineteen creators of Mexican-American descent. Though each offering has merit individually, the anthology’s kaleidoscopic range of identities and viewpoints shines especially bright. Longoria's careful curate imbues a fuller understanding of Mexican American experiences. Like most anthologies there are weaker contributions and Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America is not an exception. However, it is just a few couple of entries that didn't resonate as well as the others, but done rather well nevertheless. It features works by Francisco X. Stork, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, David Bowles, Rubén Degollado, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Diana López, Xavier Garza, Trinidad Gonzales, Alex Temblador, Aida Salazar, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Sylvia Sanchez Garza, Dominic Carrillo, Angela Cervantes, Carolyn Dee Flores, René Saldaña Jr., Laura Perez, Justine Narro, Daniel García Ordáz, and Anna Meriano. All in all, Living Beyond Borders: Stories About Growing Up Mexican in America is a wonderful and eclectic collection of mixed-media entries that celebrates the voices of Mexican-Americans.

  24. 4 out of 5

    books_to_review

    “𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚘𝚒𝚗𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚊𝚢 𝚋𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚜, 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜 𝚒𝚝 𝚘𝚗.” ~ 𝙹𝚞𝚕𝚒𝚊 𝙰𝚕𝚟𝚊𝚛𝚎𝚣 🥁 A wonderful collection of short stories by various authors, this book just brought so many emotions out. As some may or may not know, I am Mexican American so I related so much with all these stories. They were so beautifully written and I just loved them all. The experience of living as a Mexican American was such a relatable theme in these stories, essays, poems. I felt so attached to all the stories and would hands d “𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚘𝚒𝚗𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚊𝚢 𝚋𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚜, 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜 𝚒𝚝 𝚘𝚗.” ~ 𝙹𝚞𝚕𝚒𝚊 𝙰𝚕𝚟𝚊𝚛𝚎𝚣 🥁 A wonderful collection of short stories by various authors, this book just brought so many emotions out. As some may or may not know, I am Mexican American so I related so much with all these stories. They were so beautifully written and I just loved them all. The experience of living as a Mexican American was such a relatable theme in these stories, essays, poems. I felt so attached to all the stories and would hands down read them all if they were novels. 🇲🇽 These stories talk so much about diversity and race. I’ve only read a novel from Francisco and I absolutely loved it. I was so impressed by all these stories and the authors. I definitely want to check out some novels from these authors. I take pride that I was born here with parents who immigrated long ago from Mexico. Growing up Mexican American has been such a great part of my life and I’ll forever be thankful. 🪅 This was such a short and quick read. Normally anthologies can be a bit dull, however, these stories all felt so different and unique. I related so much with pretty much every one of them and would definitely recommend them. Some of my favorites were COCO CHAMOY Y CHANGO, AN ODE TO MY PAPI, and MY NAME IS DOLORES… all were great in there own way. I would highly recommend this anthology!! ✨ Thank you Penguin Teen for sending me a copy of this book!! #partner ✨

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie Z

    Hopeful, devastating, joyous, raw…. this is a collection of short stories that cut right to the heart of what it is like to be Mexican in today’s United States. They will make you feel every emotion imaginable, from anger to amazement, and it certainly will not let you sit in comfort for the whole time (and you shouldn’t be comfortable with reading some of the aspects of these stories… CW for racism, homophobia, self-harm). A quick read but that quickness does not negate the power that this book Hopeful, devastating, joyous, raw…. this is a collection of short stories that cut right to the heart of what it is like to be Mexican in today’s United States. They will make you feel every emotion imaginable, from anger to amazement, and it certainly will not let you sit in comfort for the whole time (and you shouldn’t be comfortable with reading some of the aspects of these stories… CW for racism, homophobia, self-harm). A quick read but that quickness does not negate the power that this book and it’s stories hold. 5/5.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Libriar

    This collection of fiction, essays, poems, and graphic stories about growing up Mexican in America would be great for classroom use in 7th-10th grades. I really liked the essays and I loved the fiction story "La Princesa Mileidy Dominguez" - it was filled was such joy and hope and was the realization of a high school that every struggling teen deserves. I didn't enjoy every piece in the book but everyone should find something to connect with. This collection of fiction, essays, poems, and graphic stories about growing up Mexican in America would be great for classroom use in 7th-10th grades. I really liked the essays and I loved the fiction story "La Princesa Mileidy Dominguez" - it was filled was such joy and hope and was the realization of a high school that every struggling teen deserves. I didn't enjoy every piece in the book but everyone should find something to connect with.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    So good to have this collection of stories and essays by Mexican-American authors, whose characters and voices are informed with lived experience and authentic heartfelt emotion. If I were still in the classroom, I would definitely use stories and essays from this book to make sure students of similar backgrounds could find themselves represented on the page and envision themselves telling their own stories!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hebru Young

    So, I read this and it was good, it was very good. As far as anthologies go, it is one of the best I’ve read. From the vivid ‘Ghetto is not an adjective’ (Dominic Carrillo) to the ever so Sarcastic ‘Yoli Calderon and Principal Hayes’ (Angela Cervantes), and the cleverly crafted ‘Filberto’s final visit’ (Francisco X. Stork). A big congratulations to Margarita Longoria and all the other contributors of this book, you hit this one out the park!!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)

    I think this was a phenomenal set of short stories. Again, I think some of these collections are trying to include too many authors. I'm not sure how marketable these short story collections are to teens. This collection features a lot of different voices on a topic that isn't covered a lot in YA lit, and I think it's great for that. The mix of genres also really helps the flow of the book overall. I think this was a phenomenal set of short stories. Again, I think some of these collections are trying to include too many authors. I'm not sure how marketable these short story collections are to teens. This collection features a lot of different voices on a topic that isn't covered a lot in YA lit, and I think it's great for that. The mix of genres also really helps the flow of the book overall.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Johanna Burton

    This book does a great job of capturing so many different aspects of the Mexican-American experience. I wish that some of the stories had been longer, but overall I really enjoyed this collection! Happy Reading :)

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