The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera is an admirable novel that wonderfully captures the challenge of being yourself while being in an intimidating social circle. Throughout the novel, we follow the main character, Margo, whose family makes sacrifices to ensure she can attend a school that offers her the most lavish education one can receive. There’s only one problem: Margot doesn’t come from where her peers come from; her demographic background makes it hard for her to fully be herself. The pressure to “fit in” with the kids around her leads her to make bad choices. While trying to have similar lifestyles as her peers, Margot ends up using her dad’s credit card to pay for $500 worth of clothes. As a punishment, her father requires Margot to work at the family grocery store to compensate for the money she spent. This book touches on so many good and important aspects of self-discovery and growing pride in heritage and culture. As Margot spends more time working at the family grocery store, she starts to see and connect with her community. As Margot continues to get to know her community, she’s able to feel more confident with herself and even starts to notice how toxic her friends' behaviors are. Her newfound confidence challenges her to face some hard truths that she normally ignores.
This novel is a mesmerizing work of acceptance of growth. Riviera does a great job at creating Margot’s character development and showcasing the huge contrast that exists for people of different social classes and demographic backgrounds. I really enjoyed the life stories that some of the side characters had; there was so much diversity within this novel, and I love how Margot’s “education” was more based on self-reflection and growth.
Review by: Khrizlina R.
Khrizlina is a virtual volunteer at Sylmar Branch Library. She is an 11th grader at Lancaster High School.
—Dana Eklund, Sylmar Branch Library