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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students




*We Were Here* by Matt de la Pena- young adult book review
 
Also by Matt de la Pena:

The Living

Ball Don't Lie
 
We Were Here
by Matt de la Pena
Grades 9+ 368 pages Delacorte September 2010 Hardcover    

Sixteen-year-old Miguel Castanada begins his story in a group home, where he has been assigned by the court system after a tragic accident took the lives of his mother and his brother. Miguel, a Mexican American teen, is unable to forgive himself for his part in the accident and cannot believe that anyone else will ever forgive him either. As a part of his punishment, the judge has ordered him to keep a journal, and it is through this journal that the reader follows Miguel on his path to forgiveness.

While in the group home, Miguel becomes acquainted with Mong, a tough kid who carries a big secret, and Rondell, who is simple in mind but big at heart. Together, the three run away from the home and travel together down Highway 1 along the California coast. The author gives the reader many details about the scenic geographic area as he relates the boysí journey in this story of stereotypes, desperation, loyalty and friendship, but mostly about forgiveness.

The author has created characters who are solid and clearly defined, with problems and emotions just like all teens. The setting builds on the adventure of the story, which is based on a real-life event. Many of the details are based on the authorís volunteer activities in a group home. De la Pena does well in presenting a book for the reluctant reader with action and adventure to hold their interest and emotion that will touch their heart.
 
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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