Margot is living two lives - at home, she's the family's little Princesa, daughter to the owner of not one, but two grocery stores in the Bronx, where most of the store employees look up to her father and see her as a privileged princess. At her private school, she struggles to fit in, befriending girls who make comments about her brown skin and view her as the clown of the group. She's hoping to spend the entire summer with her school friends in the Hamptons, living at their family mansions and attending parties with the social elite. But a poor decision lands her in trouble at home, sentenced to a summer of working at her father's store. At first, she can only think of ways to convince her parents to let her join her friends, but soon, she begins to notice that there have been a lot of changes - in her family, at the store, in the neighborhood in the Bronx - that she has missed while she was working so hard to be popular. Margot's summer is going to be major, but not for any of the reasons that she had planned.
Why It's Worth Reading:
We can all relate to Margot in some way, right? She feels pulled between two different parts of her life. She's trying to play a role at school that doesn't jive with who she has always been at home. I think everyone goes through phases of trying to figure out who they really are and where they truly belong, sometimes to the point of creating an identity that isn't really honest. I know I went through more than one such phase in my younger years. I don't consider them my finest moments, but I would not be who am I today without those experiences. While I sometimes found Margot's identity struggles frustrating, I understood exactly how they came about and I was so thrilled when she had moments of recognition about who she really wanted to be. I loved seeing how Margot's Puerto Rican culture influences her family and life as the story progresses as well. Ultimately, Margot's bigger struggle is a major concept - she should assimilate into the culture of her peers, separate herself strictly into the Latino community, or find some kind of middle ground? This is a time-honored struggle, pervasive from classic literature to pop culture and everywhere in between. I appreciate Lilliam Rivera bringing the conversation to the YA world in a realistic, sincere way.
Title: The Education of Margot Sanchez
Author: Lilliam Rivera
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 21,2017
Source: Advanced Reader's Copy (Full disclosure: I received a free e-galley in exchange for my honest opinion.)
Do We Own a Copy?: Definitely!