Matt de la Pena is one of the strong new voices in YA literature. His debut novel, BALL DON'T LIE, proved that he could write fiction that rang true with readers, especially reluctant male readers. Now he gives us WE WERE HERE the story of 3 boys who run away from a group home toward what they believe to be their freedom in Mexico. Mong, Rondell (wth two L's, please) and our narrator, Guillermo who Rondell simply calls Mexico.
The three escape and begin their journey down California's coast. Along the way, Rondell and Mong share much of their story. Only Mexico remains silent about how he came to be a part of the group home. Along the way, the three young men learn to trust one another and to know that the journey is not an escape. Instead, it is a move toward something that none of the three has known yet.
Raw, honest, and immediate are the words that come to mind for this novel sure to appeal to readers who already know de la Pena's work. It will also win him legions more readers.
I am packed for ALA. The suitcase is in the car along with another bag that contains the books for the Printz meeting. I suspect I will be a little over the weight limit, but since I am elite status, I should make it to Boston with all intact. Hope to see some of you there Monday at the announcements. I will be blogging live as usual.