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Pena, Matt de la.
New York : Delacorte, 2009
ISBN 0385736673

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Imagine you are in a sleeping bag that is closed over your head, locked, and made of Kevlar. Would you be strong enough to break free? That is similar to the strength that a moth needs to emerge from a cocoon. That is nature's way of making sure the moth is strong enough to fly before it is set free. In the book We Were Here by Matt de la Pena the main character, Miguel, must use all his determination to work through memories and emotions that keep him in a cocoon of denial. He and two unlikely companions escape from a juvenile detention home in California. Their goal is to start a new life in Mexico, but our main character's real journey is in his soul. This moving adventure story is like an urban version of John Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men which brings the reader closer to the true meaning of friendship and freedom.

(Booktalk by Kathleen Dunbar, Cleveland High School Library)  (Washington Evergreen YA Book Award)

Booktalk #2

Miguel knows that no one will ever forgive him for the tragedy that changed his family's life forever. So he doesn't fight when he's sentenced to a year in juvenile detention. He doesn't even mind the rule that he has to keep a journal.
But that's all he does. Counselors? Who needs them--! Miguel spends all his time alone and despondent. Until one of the other inmates, Mong, plans an escape—and that changes everything. Miguel and his roommate Rondell decide to join him. Miguel believes if he can escape across the border into Mexico he can start a new life.

Mong is a troubled boy with a bunch of physical and emotional problems. Rondell is mentally challenged, prone to violent outbursts. Even though they are so different, the runaways forge a bond as they hide, steal, fight, and work their way up and down the coastline.
But can Miguel really run away from his past?

(Booktalk by   (Washington Evergreen YA Book Award)

SUBJECTS:     Juvenile delinquents -- Fiction.
                        Runaways -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Guilt -- Fiction.
                        Brothers -- Fiction.
                        Group homes -- Fiction.
                        California -- Fiction.

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