I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER


Julia is not the perfect Mexican daughter. That was her sister Olga’s role. Olga didn’t go away to college—she stayed home to take care of their parents, clean the house, and work a part-time job. Julia has big dreams, and she wants no part of her older sister’s path. But after an accident kills Olga, Julia is left behind to cope with the aftermath.

This poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA is about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.

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Julia is not the perfect Mexican daughter. That was her sister Olga’s role. Olga didn’t go away to college—she stayed home to take care of their parents, clean the house, and work a part-time job. Julia has big dreams, and she wants no part of her older sister’s path. But after an accident kills Olga, Julia is left behind to cope with the aftermath.

This poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA is about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.

less …
  • Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • Hardcover
  • October 2017
  • 352 Pages
  • 9781524700485

Buy the Book

$17.99

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About Erika Sánchez

Erika SánchezErika L. Sánchez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. A poet, novelist, and essayist, she was recently named a 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow.

Author Website

Praise

A National Book Award Finalist and an instant New York Times Bestseller

“Alive and crackling — a gritty tale wrapped in a page-turner.”New York Times Book Review

Discussion Questions

1. The concept of a “perfect Mexican daughter” is discussed throughout the book—what characteristics embody that idea? How does this “perfection” weigh on Julia?

2. Although Olga has passed away prior to the beginning of the book, how does Julia’s relationship with her sister change and evolve throughout?

3. The novel goes in to depth about Julia’s experience with therapy—how does this impact her grieving process? If so, what layers does this add to her character?

4. While she is in Mexico, she gets to interact with her culture and heritage in a different way. Do her relationships with Mamá Jacinta and Belén mirror relationships that she has in Chicago? Overall, how does her time there affect her character?

5. The novel ends with Julia entering a new chapter of her life, how has she changed since the beginning? Is she bringing any part of her old self along?