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Jennifer De Leon Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Children's Books

The Hunter's Guide to Tall Tales (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Wise Latinas (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jennifer De Leon is a published American author as well as speaker, editor, and professor of creative writing. She resides just outside of the city of Boston, Massachusetts.

De Leon was born in the area of Boston. Her parents are Guatemalan. She would attend Connecticut College, graduating with her degree in the field of International Relations. While she was at school, she spent some time abroad, spending one of her semesters in Vietnam and another in France. She would then go on to attend University of San Francisco and study under their center for teaching and social justice as part of a Teach for America program, earning her teaching Master of Arts.

De Leon would later attend the University of Massachusetts at Boston, studying creative writing and graduating with a Master of Fine Arts degree. She would also get a variety of residencies and awards from different national organizations. These include VONA, Hedgebrook, Macondo, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the city of Boston, and Associates of the Boston Public Library.

She has also had her work published in a variety of places. Her prose has been featured in literary journals such as Iowa Review, Ploughshares, and the Michigan Quarterly Review. One of her short stories, “Home Movie” came out in The Briar Cliff Review and then was the One City, One Story selection in 2015 for part of the Boston Book Festival. As a result, thirty thousand copies were shared throughout the city.

Her essays and stories have also appeared in publications such as Best Women’s Travel Writing and Guernica. She has won the Walter Dean Meyers Grant and was the Writer In Residence from 2015 to 2016 at Boston Public Library. She was also the Artist in Residence for the city of Boston from 2016 to 2017. She spent about a decade working as a teacher for the public schools in Boston. Now she works at Framingham State University as a creative writing and English assistant professor. She also is a board member and instructor of GrubStreet.

De Leon also was the editor of the book Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education. The book was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2014. The book would win the 2015 International Latino Book Award.

The book focuses on the topic of college in the context of Latina women. Traditionally, these women belong to a culture that sees them leaving the home once they are married. One essay tackles this in particular. Sandra Cisneros wrote the essay “Only Daughter” where she relates how she went to college for four years and then spent two years in graduate school, all without being engaged or married. As a result, her father is disappointed and tells her that she wasted the education.

This collection of essays addresses a wide variety of experiences that Latina women face while going through higher education. Some find that they are underrepresented at their campus. For others, they find that this is the first time that they are being exposed outside of the home to wider American culture. Sometimes the values held by their families and the American culture even clash at times.

Kirkus Reviews praised the book for having ‘high-quality material’ and a book that is difficult to put down, enjoying the resonance of the ’emotional truths’ that the writers within have expressed. Writers featured in the book include Julia Alvarez, Norma Cantú, and Sandra Cisneros, as well as others. The book demonstrates that while there are similarities in the college experiences that Latinas face, there is no singular experience that defines them all. Each is unique.

Wise Latinas includes a diverse selection of thoughtful essays that engage the readers. It also gives Latina writers the foundation by which to communicate what they went through while attending college and higher education. This is a place where Latina women’s voices are heard, those who have taken on change and have even found their roots and themselves through the process.

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From is the first fictional book to come out from Jennifer De Leon. The book is being published by Simon & Schuster as well as Atheneum and Caitlyn Dlouhy Books and came out in 2020.

This story focuses on Liliana Cruz, an American Latina of the first generation. She attends a school where most of the students are white and she does what she can to try and fit in.

Things are about to change when some secrets about her family come out. On top of that, the racism going on at her school increases to a ridiculous amount. When that happens, she’s got to choose what it is that she really believes in and try to stand up for.

Liliana is just fifteen years old and has a lot going on. Jade, someone that she calls her best friend, has been missing in action ever since she got a new boyfriend. It’s all that she spends time on and Liliana is falling through the cracks. Her high school, located in the inner city, is not only lacking organization but funding as well.

Her father has also left home again, something that she can’t control. Now she has to live at home with her mother, who’s becoming increasingly irrational, and her rambunctious little brothers. Her family’s out of control, but before her father left, it turns out that he signed his daughter up for something called METCO. It turns out that it’s a program about school desegregation and she got in.

She’s still having difficulty fitting in at school, though. She is half El Salvadorian and half Guatemalan. At her old school, there were lots of students of color. Here in Westburg, she is clearly a minority. She wonders whether the best way to get through it is to become more white. So she goes by the name of Lili and is making social changes.

Then she finds out that her father is undocumented and is going to Guatemala on deportation. Unsettled, she must choose between making others comfortable or embracing her identity and culture. What will happen? Read this book from Jennifer De Leon to find out!

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