The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera


   The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera, Simon & Schuster, 2017. 9781481472111

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? Margot is so bummed to be back in the Bronx for summer vacation. Friends from her exclusive prep school are in the Hamptons, but she has to work at her family’s supermarket. Margot has tried so hard to fit in at school and to leave behind the Bronx and Sanchez and Sons Supermarkets, so she doesn’t really tell her friends that her summer job is punishment for stealing her father’s credit card. And then there’s Nick, her dream boy, whom her friends say is interested in her, and he’s also in the Hamptons. When she meets Moises, a neighborhood activist, who is cute, but so Bronx, she refuses to admit her attraction. I love watching Margot live her delusions of being better than folks in her old neighborhood, and trying to ignore her Latinx culture. She is so immature in so many ways and the reader can’t help but cringe. The novel is written in a simple style, channeling Margot’s reductionist viewpoint. It encompasses many issues: coming of age, assimilation, drug abuse, urbanization and infidelity.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Written in first person present, the novel is a bit frustrating in presenting everything in Margot’s world from her narrow viewpoint. It is not until the very end that she changes.

To whom would you recommend this book?  For readers who like boarding school outsider stories, such as the recent Note Worthy by Riley Redgate, or Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Teen

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: June 4, 2017

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