Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mexican High

I expected "Mexican High" by Liza Monroy to be about an American girls experiences in a Mexican High School. Like the author, Mila, the character, lived in Mexico City when her mother was sent there on assignment due to her U.S. Foreign Service officer job. Rather than attending a Mexican High School, Mila attended a private International school. There were Mexicans that attended the school ~ the children of the rich and politically connected ~ but most of the students were like Mila ~ parents from various countries who transferred from place to place for the job.

Obviously Monroy's story included some of the High School stuff, but the story seemed more about drugs, getting high in Mexico, Mila's relationship with her mother and quest to find her father. Not a bad story, but I was expecting more of a "To Sir With Love" or "Welcome Back Kotter" or "Room 222" or perhaps even, um, what was that John Travolta movie my nephews kid watched over and over again?

There are mentions of the poverty in Mexico, and beggars, but little about homeless people. A scene of a child trying to sell tourists "Chicklets" or a stick of gum is something I recall from visits to Tijuana. The only quote that used the word, homeless is:

"The fresas didn't understand the clothes or the music, and would wonder aloud in class why los Norteamericanos dressed like the homeless."

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