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Author Tells Stories To Students

Posted: January 25, 2013 at 5:28 a.m.

Matt de la Pena, right, talks Thursday with Har-Ber High School juniors after speaking at Southwest Junior High School in Springdale. De la Pena is an award-winning author of books for young adults including “Mexican WhiteBoy,” which the Har-Ber students are studying in their junior literature class. VISITING WRITER

A professor handed Matt de la Pena a book during his sophomore year at University of the Pacific and suggested he read it.

In The News

Novel Controversy

Matt de la Pena’s 2008 novel, “Mexican WhiteBoy,” was removed from classrooms in the Tucson, Ariz., School District last year after the state passed a law making it illegal to teach courses in public schools that focus on a single ethnic group. A student at Tucson High School raised $1,000 to bring de la Pena to speak at the school after the district discontinued its Mexican-American studies program. The novel focuses on a teen boy striving to pitch for his high school baseball team.

De la Pena said Thursday as a writer, he used to think it’d be cool to have one of his books be banned. “But being banned from Mexican-American readers, that hurts,” he said.

Source: The University of Arkansas, Staff Report

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