Books Reviews

Brownsville Bred

Brownsville Bred by Elaine Del Valle

In the face of her father’s addiction, an altruistic young Latina struggles to reclaim her self worth amidst her deteriorating Brooklyn projects.
Brownsville Bred (adapted from her autobiographical stage play) is a young adult novel told in a series of vignettes—some funny, some heartbreaking, that together tell Elaine Del Valle’s journey growing up in the toughest project in Brownsville, the toughest neighborhood in New York. But her story refuses to be ghetto-ized. It bursts with the details of life and touches everyone. Prepare to be handheld through a journey that will make you feel more than inspired…It will make you feel CAPABLE!

This is a raw, frank, hard-hitting story of a Latinx girl from a predominantly black neighborhood in Brooklyn. Del Valle’s recollections of growing up are vibrant because of her culture and the backdrop of that neighborhood.
Her one-woman play Brownsville Bred was quite popular, and she was lauded for her tremendous creativity. The book, adapted from the play, is equally good.
Del Valle’s writing is fluid and unapologetic. It shows the confusion of her young mind as well as her steely determination to succeed and have a meaningful life.
Overall, an inspiring, funny, endearing, and impactful book.

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