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Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico Hardcover – May 22, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Sofi is a California teen obsessed with clothes, boys, and trying to escape the strict controls of her immigrant parents. Fed up with their rules, she tells them that she is spending the weekend with a friend, cramming for finals. Instead, she sets off for Mexico with two girlfriends. Instead of the anticipated romantic encounter with her big crush, Sofi experiences drunken make-out sessions and American tourists behaving badly. Eager to return home, she is stopped at the border and told that her green card is a fake. Hysterical, Sofi calls home to discover that she and her parents are not legal citizens, and that she is trapped. Unable to speak Spanish, she goes to stay with her father's sister. Far away from iPods, Internet access, and a working phone, Sofi is forced to review her life and realize the sacrifices her parents made to give her better opportunities. The plot is paced well, with Sofi gradually evolving from a spoiled American teen into a bicultural, bilingual young adult. The Spanish language and foreign setting are well integrated into the book. While the Americans are more shallowly developed, the Mexicans whom Sofi encounters are vivid and well-rounded. Although there are occasional clichés, the writing is emotional and engaging. The author's Estrella's Quinceañera (S & S) and Laura Resau's What the Moon Saw (Delacorte, both 2006) also explore a young woman's struggle with a bicultural identity.—Melissa Christy Buron, Epps Island Elementary, Houston, TX
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From Booklist

"What's the harm in a little white lie?" wonders Mexican-born, Orange County resident Sofi Mendoza, who attends a classmate's house party near Tijuana against her parents' wishes. On the 17-year-old's return, she's stopped at the border and learns the impossible: her green card is false. Barred from reentering the U.S., she takes refuge with a Mexican aunt she's never met, and while her parents fight legal battles, she gradually shifts from terror and sneering disapproval of her relatives to openhearted love and gratitude. As in Estrella's Quinceañera (2006), Alegria combines chick-lit elements with a girl's struggle to define her Mexican American identity. Unsparing descriptions of ugly Americans include graphic "Girls Gone Wild" episodes that will leave teens examining their own party culture. Views of Mexican life beyond the tourist beaches are welcome and rare in YA novels, and Sofi's bumpy search for herself will resonate with teens of all backgrounds, particularly those who, like Sofi, celebrate a mixed heritage as "a bridge between cultures, the best of both worlds." Engberg, Gillian

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689878117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689878114
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,981,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Malín Alegria was raised in San Francisco's Mission District. She's a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and received her MA in Education. She is a teacher, organic gardener, seed activist, Aztec dancer, and performer. "Estrella's Quinceñera" was published by Simon & Schuster in 2006. Her second novel "Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico" was released May 2007. Her short stories have appeared in the anthologies "Once Upon a Cuento," and "15 Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and other Quinceañera Stories".

"Estrella's Quinceañera" was selected Bitch Media's 100 YA books for Feminist Readers. Malin was also selected 2009 BEST New Authors to Watch and Read by Latinostories.com and in 2011 Malin was featured on NPR's special series: 2 Languages, Many Voices, Latinos in the US. Currently, Malin and is working on a new series "Border Town" (released by Scholastic Inc. May 2012).

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Being a publishing and education professional, I can't say enough about SOFI MENDOZA'S GUIDE TO GETTING LOST IN MEXICO. Alegria's voice is very real as well as engaging. Her description of Mexico truly brought me back to the moment I first stepped into the country--the sights, smells, attitudes...Also, the problems and hurdles that Sofi must overcome are not exaggerated nor simple. Again, Alegria's voice is real, and Sofi deals with real emotions and real problems. I couldn't be more impressed. Alegria captures the struggle for identity and independence of every emerging adult--with a Latino spin. Can't wait to buy Estrella's Quinceañera!
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Format: Hardcover
This book starts off pretty mindless, with a spoiled girl who wants to go to a party in Mexico because the guy she likes is going. Once she tries to get back in the U.S., however, she finds out that her parents did not enter legally & she can't get back to the life she knew. Inspired by a true story, the book examines border issues and immigration from a highly personal viewpoint. Sofi is forced to become a tougher person in Mexico and you will like her all the better for it. Very realistic--great romance as well as eye-opening in terms of culture. Highly recommend!
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Format: Paperback
I greatly enjoyed reading this book. It was very interesting to observe how Sofi gradually began to change over time and respond to the environment around her in new ways. This book had a good moral at the ending which clearly demonstrated the importance of the saying "things are not always as bad as they seem". All in all, I would definitely recommend Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico to a friend.
Haili Adams
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