Miguel Lost and Found in the Palaceby Barbara Beasley Murphy, George Ancona
This heartfelt novel for ages 9-12 describes the life of Miguel Rivera, who illegally enters the United States with his parents when he is five.
School Library JournalGr 3-6 In this sketchy but heartfelt novel, Miguel Rivera illegally enters the U.S. with his parents when he is five and undergoes a variety of social and political traumas by the time he reaches middle school. The family takes in an orphan girl, and then grows to include twin sisters for Miguel as well. When his father disappears after leaving Texas to set up a new family home for them in New Mexico, mother and son become partners in keeping the rest of the family together and hopeful. When they move to New Mexico, Miguel encounters a gang of bullies, but makes new friends who help him discover the dignity of his ancestry as well as new inner strength. Meanwhile, a secondary set of characters includes a U.S. Border Patrol officer and his nasty son, Miguel's peer. Although a lot happens in very few pages and both character and plot detail are sacrificed to brevity, the many issues raised are interesting. Some, including the guarded social interactions of illegal residents and the slave labor into which adults are still forced today, are unusual to find in fiction for this age group. Useful for social studies, though not for literature classes. -Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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