Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco (Giveaway!)

Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco

Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco by debut novelist Judith Robbins Rose will be released September 8, 2015, but I had the opportunity to read an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) for review. It’s not often that I read Middle Grade fiction, but despite the 10 year old target audience, I couldn’t put the book down.

The story is in the voice of Jacinta Juarez, a young Mexican-American girl who reminded me a little of an older Junie B. Jones due to her spirited personality which results in quite a few humorous moments, despite some of the very serious themes this book takes on.

Being bilingual and bicultural has a million advantages, but it has its challenges too – Jacinta must learn to straddle both worlds as she deals with the stress caused by her family’s socio-economic situation and the legal status of her parents, while figuring out if it’s possible to balance obligation to one’s familia with the very American ideal of pursuing one’s own happiness.

When local news reporter, Kathryn Dawson Dahl, (a white woman who Jacinta simply refers to as “Miss”), sponsors Jacinta at the Youth Center, she is introduced to a new world of exciting opportunities and hurtful, confusing experiences. While this could be exactly where this book goes off the rails and becomes problematic as a “white savior” narrative, I think the author succeeded at very honestly portraying how white women often see themselves as “rescuers” in this type of situation and the mess that results.


Title: Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco
Author: Judith Robbins Rose
ISBN: 9780763672355
Ages: 10+ (Middle Grade Fiction)

A quote from School Library Journal review: “…It’s as pleasurable to watch these characters take one another by surprise as it is horribly anxiety-producing to see them hurt, stumble, insult, and misunderstand nearly every situation requiring contextual awareness. [The author] doesn’t sugarcoat the hypocrisies and tough realities of the relationship, and of the very real reasons that they mistrust one another. Nearly everyone in the book makes some pretty serious and unforgivable mistakes, but as flawed humans they are allowed to wear their flaws, to make mature decisions and stupid childish ones. Rather than writing an ‘issue book,’ [the author] presents characters in crisis, whose stories are personal, rather than broadly representative, and the book is better for it. Ultimately, this is a story about code switching, and about the different skill sets and assumptions required for complex cross-cultural and cross-class situations…” – Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn Public Library

Want to win a copy of the book? See below!

—Giveaway Closed!—

Giveaway Details

Prize description: One lucky winner will receive a copy of the book LOOK BOTH WAYS IN THE BARRIO BLANCO by Judith Robbins Rose.

How to enter: Just leave a comment below! (Please read official rules below before entering.)

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be able to provide a U.S. address for prize shipment. Your name and address will only be shared with the person responsible for prize fulfillment for that purpose. Please no P.O. Boxes. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid email address in the email address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 24 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between August 27, 2015 through September 2nd, 2015. Entries received after September 2nd, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST, will not be considered. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.

Buena suerte / Good luck!


  1. Yay! A giveaway. I often read middle grade books..my oldest has dyslexia and we sometimes read together to make sure she’s not missing anything, plus there are some great books out there! (The latest we read was Echo, by Pam Munoz Ryan. Definitely recommend!) This new book would be fun to read together! Thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Me encanta el escenario de esta historia, siento que describe a mis hijas, con tan poco tiempo en estados unidos este pais a principio les asustaba, hoy se desenvuelven y veo como buscan salir adelante en la escuela y ser buenas ciudadanas, aparte a una de mis hijas le encanta(adora) leer, seguro este libro le encantara.

  3. I am so excited about this book. I love literature that shows various aspects of the human experience and allow a peek into other cultural environments. I would read this and my kids would also!

  4. buenas tardes :) this sounds exciting and could help me formulate ideas for teaching my 13/14-year-old students about so many cultural and social concepts – especially in these trying times >:(

  5. I think my son would love this book – and like you, I enjoy plenty of young adult novels myself! Sounds like a great read, thank you for letting us know about it!

  6. I would love to read this and have my kids read it. I have 5 kids all of which half salvadorian/ half american. And deal with the complications of trying to love both cultures. Its quite an adventures at times.

  7. I don’t need to think twice when the “giveaway” is a book! Especially when it’s “Look Both Ways In the Barrio Blanco”

  8. This looks exciting, particularly in light of two Post articles I just finished reading, one about cultural appropriation & the other about the trendification of once-reviled ethnic foods.

  9. I would love to read this book to my class! I am a soon bilingual teacher and this book would make a great addition to my bilingual class bookshelf.

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