Boston Public Library: Jennifer De Leon

Boston Public Library: Jennifer De Leon

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 12:00PM ET
Event Location: 

Join the Boston Public Library and The Associates of the Boston Public Library for an online author talk with Jennifer De Leon about her upcoming book Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, written when Jenn was the 2015-2016 Associates of the BPL Writer-in-Residence. Christopher Jacobs, Teen Technology Coordinator at the BPL, will moderate this program. We ask that people who are interested in attending please visit this link to register.

In the book, first-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.

Liliana Cruz is a hitting a wall—or rather, walls. 

There’s the wall her mom has put up ever since Liliana’s dad left—again.

There’s the wall that delineates Liliana’s diverse inner-city Boston neighborhood from Westburg, the wealthy suburban high school she’s just been accepted into.

And there’s the wall Liliana creates within herself, because to survive at Westburg, she can’t just lighten up, she has to whiten up.

So what if she changes her name? So what if she changes the way she talks? So what if she’s seeing her neighborhood in a different way? But then light is shed on some hard truths: It isn’t that her father doesn’t want to come home—he can’t…and her whole family is in jeopardy. And when racial tensions at school reach a fever pitch, the walls that divide feel insurmountable. 

But a wall isn’t always a barrier. It can be a foundation for something better. And Liliana must choose: Use this foundation as a platform to speak her truth, or risk crumbling under its weight.