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Living beyond borders : growing up Mexican in America
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"An anthology of short stories, essays, poetry, and comics about the Mexican American experience"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

*"This superb anthology of short stories, comics, and poems is fresh, funny, and full of authentic YA voices revealing what it means to be Mexican American . . . Not to be missed."--SLC, starred review
*"Superlative . . . A memorable collection." --Booklist, starred review

*"Voices reach out from the pages of this anthology . . . It will make a lasting impression on all readers." --SLJ, starred review

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, Guadalupe Ruiz-Flores, Sylvia Sánchez Garza, Dominic Carrillo, Angela Cervantes, Carolyn Dee Flores, René Saldaña Jr., 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 Americans. 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.
A powerful exploration of what it means to be Mexican American. - (Penguin Putnam)

Author Biography

Margarita Longoria is a lifelong bookworm, book blogger, and an award-winning high school librarian in South Texas. She is the founder of Border Book Bash: Celebrating Teens and Tweens of the Rio Grande Valley and served on state reading committees for the Texas Library Association. She grew up on the Texas/Mexico border known as the Rio Grande Valley. She lives with her family in Texas. You can visit Margie online at and follow her on Instagram at @MargiesMustReads. - (Penguin Putnam)

First Chapter or Excerpt
I Want to Go Home
Justine Narro

I want to go home.

I can still see it, still feel it
The cuts and bruises on my knees,
the dirt under my fingernails,
and the sweat in my hair
from countless days and nights

of picking naranjas from my backyard tree
BBQs where I would go outside
to pick the chile piquín for the pico de gallo
and my tíos sat outside drinking Tecate and Modelo
while my dad cooked the fajita

of chasing light bugs
lightning bugs
o luciérnagas, como dice mi abuelo

I want to go home.

A place you have never stepped foot on
but call it your land
A place you know nothing about
but say you have more right to

A piece of paper
And it is yours?
Because it is now “technically” legal

The gringos trick us
Promise us better
All for what?

To kill mi abuelo’s abuelo
For a price
Because it is fair
Because it is now yours?

I want to go home.

The barrio where I was raised
A stucco home
with three bedrooms and one bath
Chickens and cabritos in the back
Our own natural lawn mowers

At five years old
when I helped place the now cracked tiles
in our new house

Where I swept the dirt off the concrete porch
not two inches above the ground
and played in the six-inch puddle of water on the edge of the house,
where the land indented from years of our makeshift driveway

I want to go home.

You say it is yours
because it is America’s land
because it is on dirt
that is exactly the same on the other side of the river
with a different name

The cactus plants that housed the tortoises
The aloe vera that I would cut for sunburns
The leaves from the Mexican olive trees that I would collect
None of which you know how to use

I want to go home.

The place where I met every friend
My first day of school
and the boy next to me gave me a toothy grin
and ten years later asked me to prom

You say I don’t belong
because it is your choice to make
where every memory is
where all my love is
where my life waits

I want to go home.

Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* This superlative collection of fiction, essays, poetry, and graphic vignettes is as varied as its contributors. The experiences portrayed in this anthology are deeply personal with sharp, heartfelt ruminations on the experience of living on the "cusp of two cultures," as Longoria notes in the introduction. The pieces foray into the past and reflect on timeless themes like dignity, as in Guadalupe Ruiz-Flores' "My Name Is Dolores" and Francisco X. Stork's "Filiberto's Final Visit," and present a vivid picture of contemporary experiences, exemplified by David Bowles' magnificent "The Body by the River" and Rubén Degollado's soaring "La Princesa Milady Dominguez." The Texas–Rio Grande region is the primary setting, representing the "best of both worlds," enlivened by Spanglish colloquialisms (chamba, carnal) and cultural superstitions. Justine Narro succinctly captures the push and pull of identity, "a place you have never stepped foot on / but call it your land" (in her poem "I Want to Go Home"), that will resonate with readers across cultures who are contemplating their own identities. Aida Salazar, Xavier Garza, Anna Meriano, and Angela Cervantes also contribute standout pieces to this memorable collection and worthy companion to other anthologized works such as Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance (2019) and Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America (2020). Grades 7-11. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

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