Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco is a realistic adventure about Jacinta, a girl who is making her way in America. Miss, a reporter on TV, becomes Jacinta’s amiga, her friend, and helps her do just that. This book describes the hardships of being Mexican-American in an unfamiliar place. Jacinta lives in Maplewood, New Mexico, and the book provides a glimpse of how hard it is to cross the border in and out of Mexico. Jacinta is smart and has many interests. She learns French, gymnastics, and attends ballet performances. Living in America helps Jacinta make her dreams come true, but she also experiences deportation, violence, and other hardships that may be foreign to most readers. For example, Jacinta's Uncle Victor (who gets drunk and cruel a lot), gets drunk, takes a truck, and runs over Jacinta's best friend's father, and then laughs about it. Jacinta experiences another hard time when her father is deported, but she stays strong enough to help her mother.
Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco gives readers an inside view of Jacinta’s life. The book definitely shows the hardships, but one of the best parts of the book is seeing Jacinta make her dreams come true. This encourages readers to be curious and explore new opportunities. I enjoyed reading about the friendship that developed between Jacinta and Miss. This book will certainly give readers a different perspective and a glimpse of what another person’s world is really like.