by Laura Resau
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Meet 16-year-old Sophie. She is anxious about everything and keeps imagining ways she’ll die, from germs to gangs in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona. When a 6-year-old orphaned Mexican boy comes to her home after crossing the border illegally, she has to finally take some risks to get him back safely. Along the way, with her great-aunt Dika, Dika’s boyfriend, and his son, Sophie manages to come out of her own self-imposed bubble and even fall in love.
One thing I really loved about this story is how I watched Sophie grow. She had her issues, and she had her experiences, and each one led her closer. I watched her cross over the line not just once, but several times. Also, having spent time in Guatemala, and having spent time traveling on my own, I can say that those particular scenes were extremely realistic. This story really makes you understand why people risk everything to bring themselves and their children to the United States, despite all the dangers.
I’m reading this for an assignment for library school studying the Americas book award (for “quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States”) and it’s easy to see why this book won it – in addition to meeting the geographic qualification, it’s an excellent, well-told story. (The book in the previous post, The Dreamer, also won this award.)