Strange Parents

Overview

This compelling novel about immigration for intermediate readers details the difficulties encountered by children separated from their parents

"Marisol holds the picture against her chest. She looks out the window of the bus that is taking her away from everything and everyone she knows. Through tears veiling her eyes, she stares at her grandmother and her Tía Filomena, who are still crying and waving at her from the street."

She is on the long journey from Mexico to Fort ...

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Strange Parents

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Overview

This compelling novel about immigration for intermediate readers details the difficulties encountered by children separated from their parents

"Marisol holds the picture against her chest. She looks out the window of the bus that is taking her away from everything and everyone she knows. Through tears veiling her eyes, she stares at her grandmother and her Tía Filomena, who are still crying and waving at her from the street."

She is on the long journey from Mexico to Fort Worth, Texas, to be reunited with the parents she has not seen in years. She has spent ten of her almost thirteen years living with her grandmother, and Marisol would just as soon continue living with her family in Mexico.

Instead, Marisol finds herself living with strangers: a mother and father she barely remembers and certainly doesn't know, and a younger brother who resents her intrusion in their lives. Adjusting to a new life isn't easy. Aside from the difficulties in learning English, making new friends and dealing with her brother's jealousy, Marisol must come to terms with feelings of rejection and self-worth. How could her parents have left her in Mexico while making a new life for themselves in the United States? And why was her brother Eddy allowed to stay with them?

This intriguing novel for young adults explores an all-too-common contemporary issue-children separated from their parents, who are searching for better lives and more opportunities.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - KaaVonia Hinton-Johnson
When Marisol was three years old, her parents left her in Mexico with her grandmother and immigrated to the United States, where they hoped to create a better life. Now at nearly thirteen, Marisol takes a long bus ride so she can be reunited with her parents in Fort Worth, Texas, and meet her little brother, Eddy. Marisol does not have high hopes about the reunion, as she is skeptical of parents whom she believes abandoned her, yet nurtured her brother. Once there, her parents try hard to make her feel welcomed, but Eddy does not. The two siblings bicker back and forth until Eddy takes matters in his own hands. Subsequently, Marisol is not prepared for the guilt and apprehension she feels when Eddy disappears. Predictably, his response to her help indicates that the sibling rivalry will subside. Once readers get beyond the present-tense narration, they will appreciate the author's efforts. The story line is compelling, and most of Marisol's experiences are convincing—like her cynical view of her mother's intentions for bringing her to Texas and her reaction to her brother's threats—but there are other parts that seem questionable—such as her trust in Belinda, a complete stranger, rather than in her birth parents, and her instant friendship with Greg, who seems to have been haphazardly thrown into a significant scene at the end of the novel. Still, the book could be used to help students put a face on the complications of moving to a new country, learning a new language, and daring to trust new people. Reviewer: KaaVonia Hinton-Johnson
Children's Literature - Myrna Dee Marler
When Marisol's family emigrated from Mexico to the United States, they left Marisol behind until they could establish themselves in their new country and provide a home. It took ten years, and now Marisol is thirteen and has been sent for, meaning she has to leave her beloved grandmother, her best friends, and all else that is familiar, to rejoin her barely remembered family in Texas. Her mother and father in the meantime had another child, a boy who is now ten years old and not thrilled that Marisol is joining them, imperiling his status as an only child. This reaction results in some mean-spirited action on his part. Meanwhile, Marisol is miserable, resentful at having to leave the familiar, and convinced she is not loved because she was the one left behind. Her brother plots to make her unhappy. Marisol schemes to run away, and Marisol's parents struggle to find a way to make their family whole. This first-rate read offers a real problem. With the help of others, this fractured family begins to become whole again. Reviewer: Myrna Dee Marler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558855908
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 85
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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