|Aouther||Matt de la Peña|
From the beginning, it is clear that Danny does not fit. He comes from a beach community in the northern county of San Diego, where he plays baseball and attends Leucadia Prep, an elite private school. When he arrives dressed in surf style clothes and vans, he feels out of place and is shy. In addition, he is sixteen years old, he is thin and struggles to find his identity in the absence of his father.
Danny Lopez arrives in National City, a suburb south of San Diego. The proximity of the area to the border makes it very Hispanic. Danny came to spend the summer with his father's family, while his mother and sister are in San Francisco with his mother's new boyfriend.
To further complicate the feelings of abandonment of Danny there is the feeling that, because of his mixed heritage, which is half Mexican and half white, does not belong anywhere. He desperately wants, or at least thinks about doing it, to join his father's big Mexican family. They accept, love and admire Danny, but see his candor and relative privilege as obstacles that keep him apart from being a real part of the family. The Lopez speak mostly Spanish, which is another impediment to Danny. He feels that spending time with his father's family, he will become more Mexican, something he has said to himself that his father must have wanted. Danny also met a young woman, Liberty, also half Mexican. Freedom does not speak English well. He is in love with her and is proud to know that he is also only half of the Mexican.
Matt de la Peña is the author of five fiction novels for young adults, an illustrated book, two books of the famous Scholastic series Infinity Ring and numerous short pieces of fiction and essays on various newspapers and literary magazines. He received a master's degree in creative writing from San Diego State University and his degree from the Universidad del Pacífico, where he attended a school with a full basketball scholarship. De la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches creative writing.