From Publishers Weekly
Young Latinas grow up dealing with two, often conflicting, sets of expectations about how they should look, how they should act and how they should dream, points out Molinary, a poet, teacher and first-generation Latina born to Puerto-Rican parents, in this study. Drawing on the responses of more than 500 women who answered an extensive survey, Molinary lays out the most pressing tensions and obstacles for Latinas around issues like body image, religion and sexuality. In chapters titled Turning Gringa and How Latina Are You? she weaves together her own stories with the anecdotes of her survey respondents. The extensive quoting of other Latinas imbues the book with an honesty that will likely be appreciated by young readers. However, Molinary often overuses these voices, which drown the narrative structure. At its best, the book is a pastiche of honest and emotional insights that come together to reveal a shared experience. At its worst, it comes off like a sloppily prepared sociological report, with little storytelling finesse. Though more suited to skimming than reading straight through, the book is likely to be a source of comfort for many young Latinas. (June)
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Growing up in two cultures, children are usually the ones "who bring America home" while their parents "just want the guest to go away." Molinary was the only Puerto Rican girl in her South Carolina high school, and her lively, honest narrative captures the immigrant conflicts of trying to fit in at home and feeling a stranger outside. She combines her personal experience with commentary drawn from more than 80 Latinas she interviewed and more than 5,000 who answered her Web-based questionnaire. They talk frankly about prejudice, family tensions, body image, skin color, sexuality, faith, social norms, and much more. Throughout, the young women are candid about ignorance from all sides, and they are fiercely critical both of the stereotype that Latinas are all "Mexican and illegal" and of the exotic, sexy roles Latinas play on television. Rooted in clear details, the strong, upbeat message celebrates the traditional and the contemporary sides of today's Latinas. A final section includes the survey, interview questions, and an up-to-date bibliography and a resource guide. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved