Monday, September 24, 2012

Author Spotlight: Matt De La Peña

Today Ms. Desiree from Columbia Pike is back to talk about one of her favorite authors, Matt De La Pena:

Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15) and Banned Books Week (9/30-10/6) overlap so it is fitting to talk about Matt de la Peña.  Matt’s book Mexican Whiteboy was banned from the curriculum in Tucson, Az so of course, I HAD to read it to find out why.  I still don’t know why because it doesn’t do what the education authorities of Tucson schools say it does.  Anyway, since then I’ve become a great fan. The controversy of Mexican Whiteboy and Matt were featured recently in the New York Times.

 Matt’s books are gritty, down-to-earth, street-smart stories about guys (and some girls) facing tough realities. Matt’s characters can touch everyone who’s ever felt different, left out, not quite belonging to the “crowd” and going through personal challenges or family crises yet has inner and outer talents on the baseball field, the basketball court or the page of a diary.

If you love bi-cultural, introspective characters facing challenges and inner city dialogue, you’ll love Matt’s books.

From the publisher’s description of Ball Don’t Lie…  

Sticky is a beat-around-the-head foster kid with nowhere to call home but the street, and an outer shell so tough that no one will take him in. He started out life so far behind the pack that the finish line seems nearly unreachable. He’s a white boy living and playing in a world where he doesn’t seem to belong.

But Sticky can ball. And basketball might just be his ticket out . . . if he can only realize that he doesn’t have to be the person everyone else expects him to be.

His latest teen novel is I Will Save You (see a little more about this title here)

Matt writes for kids too. He’s contributed to Guys Read and other anthologies and I'm anxiously awaiting his next YA book.

More on Matt here:
Matt’s webpage:
 Matt’s facebook page:
Matt tells us how to pronounce his name:
Matt’s blog:

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