Synopses & Reviews
A promise that we would be together on my fifteenth birthday . . .
Instead, Nora is on a desperate journey far away from home. When her father leaves their beloved Mexico in search of work, Nora stays behind. She fights to make sense of her loss while living in poverty—waiting for her father's return and a better day. When the letters and money stop coming, Nora decides that she and her mother must look for him in Texas. After a frightening experience crossing the border, the two are all alone in a strange place. Now, Nora must find the strength to survive while aching for small comforts: friends, a new school, and her precious quinceañera.
Bettina Restrepo's gripping, deeply hopeful debut novel captures the challenges of one girl's unique yet universal immigrant experience.
"Fourteen-year-old Nora clings to the hope that her father will return from America, where he's raising money for their family, in time for her quinceaÃ±era. But when he stops corresponding with them, Nora and her mother decide to go to Texas to find him. Restrepo starkly highlights the family's dire circumstances their farm is ailing, and they have no means to survive that spur their decision to leave Nora's grandmother behind and take the dangerous journey across the border, crouched in back of a mango truck. Though Nora is hopeful 'Why would so many people come this way if it weren't worth the risk?' their trials don't end once they arrive in the United States. In her first novel, picture book author Restrepo (Moose and Magpie) conveys Nora and her mother's day-to-day struggles in Texas as they commission fake papers, search for employment (and for Nora's father), and fight to maintain dignity while keeping their illegal status hidden. Though a subplot involving the missing niece of Nora's employers (most likely the victim of violence) feels extraneous, it serves to further demonstrate the dehumanization, dangers, and sobering limitations that illegal immigrants face today. Ages 12 up. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Bettina Restrepo received a BS from the University of Texas at Austin and is the author of a picture book, Moose and Magpie. She worked as an internal auditor in the Hispanic supermarket Fiesta Mart, which is portrayed in this book. There she examined firsthand the challenges in the nuances of life for illegal immigrants. Bettina lives with her family in Frisco, Texas, and is the daughter of Colombian and German immigrants.