Parents' Guide to

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Thought-provoking tale of smart Latina breaking down walls.

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Excellent read!

This is a fantastic book for young adults and adults. The conflicts are handled delicately and realistically. I will definitely be sharing this with my teens. (The reader for the audiobook is very engaging!)

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
age 13+

Important and nuanced

I thought this book was exceptional. It is nuanced and really captures the experience of race in our culture from the perspective of a Latina student being bussed to a suburban school. It contains truthful storytelling that calls out the issues of race in America. (I am white but was raised abroad as a military brat during my teen years and compared to the community and countries in which I lived, I was APPALLED by the issues surrounding race when I returned to the US for college. Yes, America has issues with race.). But it has a positive bend and incorporates a lot of complexities surrounding the issues presented as well: white allies, white kids who get it wrong but then try to make meaningful change, as well as issues within BIPOC groups. Really fair handed, truthful, and positively focused. Strongly recommend.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Author Jennifer De Leon's debut novel is an engaging and thought-provoking story that will get readers thinking about lots of important personal, political, and cultural issues. Readers of color will find a lot of positive representation, and all teens will find plenty to relate to in Liliana and her experiences. Don't Ask Me Where I'm From inspires empathy and encourages getting to know people as individuals instead of types or skin colors by emphasizing that no single group's experience or background is the same for everyone in that group.

The story contains few surprises and sometimes the plot slows a bit or seems a bit repetitive. But teens will relate to Liliana and her friends, and hopefully be inspired not just to pursue their dreams but to put in the hard work it takes to learn something new and make a difference. And of course to appreciate and empathize with others' life experiences.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate