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Children's LiteratureHayley Flynn is not sure what to expect when she is sent to live with her grandmother in Mexico. Recently separated, her father has moved far away and her mother is undergoing treatment for depression. After the initial shock wears off, Hayley enjoys her new surroundings. Hayley and her new friend Lili are cast as movie extras, and they try to unravel a mystery posed by a computer left behind by the former occupant of the house. However, through Lili's family, Hayley learns about true poverty and the lengths that men like Lili's father will go to in order to provide for their families. When Lili's father and other migrant workers are stranded in the United States, Hayley wonders what she, a lone girl far from her home, can do to help. While mixing Mexican culture, divorce trauma, a mystery, depression, and migrant worker rights is a tall order, Lowery manages it easily. A true gem for anyone who has ever felt out of place and needed to make a new home for themselves. 2006, Peachtree, Ages 8 to 12.
—Amie Rose Rotruck