118 pages 3 hours read

We Were Here

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2009

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We Were Here

  • Genre: Fiction; young adult realistic contemporary
  • Originally Published: 2009
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 770L; grades 9-12
  • Structure/Length: A series of dated or named journal entries; approx. 368 pages; approx. 11 hours on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Sent to a juvenile home for an offense not clarified until the story’s end, teenager Miguel Casteñada keeps a journal required by his sentencing that relays his experiences in the group home, his escape with two other juvenile residents, and his travels and observances along the way.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Cultural identity and racial identity; juvenile delinquency; language; suicide; suicidal ideation; underage drinking; physical abuse; sexual abuse

Matt de la Peña, Author

  • Bio: Born in San Diego, California; attended University of the Pacific on a basketball scholarship; earned graduate degree in creative writing at San Diego State University; writer of short fiction, essays, and a Newbery Award-winning picture book (Last Stop on Market Street, 2015); creative writing instructor; now lives in Brooklyn, New York
  • Other Works: Ball Don’t Lie (2005); Mexican Whiteboy (2008); The Living (2013)
  • Awards: ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults; ALA-YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; NYC Public Library Stuff for the Teens (2010); Junior Library Guild Selection

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

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By Matt de la Peña