Return to Sender

Return to Sender

by Julia Alvarez
3.8 42

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Return to Sender 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Julia Alvarez's new book, RETURN TO SENDER, explores the issue of illegal immigration. Two twelve-year-olds share their connected stories involving this politically sensitive subject.

Tyler's family runs a dairy farm. Up until the sudden death of his grandfather and then his father's farming accident, things had been going well. Now that his older brother is leaving for college, there isn't enough help around to do all that needs doing on the farm.

Tyler returns from a visit to his aunt and uncle's to learn that some new folks have moved into the trailer next door. The new people include a Mexican man, his two brothers, and his three daughters. There seems to be some secret about their presence on the farm that Tyler doesn't understand. They have started helping with the milking and other chores and seem to be a big help for his father; however, his mother seems hesitant to reveal too much information about the family.

From comments around town and the little bit Tyler overhears from his parents' discussions, he finally realizes that they might actually be breaking the law. The new workers are in the U.S. illegally. According to the information Tyler has gathered, not only could these new workers be arrested, but his parents could also be found guilty because they've hired the undocumented workers. Even though they seem to be saving the farm, they could bring more trouble than they are worth.

When school begins in September, Tyler learns that Mari, the oldest daughter, will be in his class. They begin talking and Tyler discovers that Mari is shy but friendly. As their friendship grows, he finds himself not thinking about her questionable status in his country; that is, until she becomes the victim of several cruel bullies in his class. In his attempt to defend Mari, he and his family also become a target. Tyler experiences some difficult times as he struggles to understand loyalty to friends, family, and country.

Mari's voice is heard through letters and diary entries as she recounts her view of living in the United States. Love for her own country and her appreciation for what the U.S. has to offer are both clear as she reacts to the situations around her.

RETURN TO SENDER presents a sympathetic view of the plight of illegal immigrants. It portrays their desire for a better life as well as the help they provide for struggling small farm owners. Though the issue is much more complicated, perhaps this book's message could give today's politicians something to think about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Soooo good!!!! Once i started reading it i just couldnt stop reading!! This book teaches you that just because someones looks different on the outside, doesnt mean that they are different on the inside. You can be friends with anyone!
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
*Gives insight into Operation Return to Sender instituted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (a.k.a. ICE or La migra to some) in 2006. *Emotional. *Heart-wrenching. *A real eye-opener. *Offers an education about what may happen to workers without legal papers. *Learn the meaning of "La Golondrina," esperanza, and what a "coyote" is, and not the animal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RETURN TO SENDER presents a symphathetic view of the plight of illegal immigrants.It portrays their desire for a better life as well as the help they provide for struggling small farm owners.Though the issue is much more complicated,perhaps this book`s message could give todays politicians something to think about.
Mary Provost More than 1 year ago
Good reading..a little complicated with it being mostly in "dear diary" form...felt badly for the situation, which apparently is based on factual information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss your hand three times podt this in three books and look under your pillow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this for school and was not a ver big fan at the beginning. It got a little better towards the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NaomiCamacho More than 1 year ago
I think this book dealt with a lot of issues we see going on today. Reading through the eyes of children as narrators helped to simplify the problem. If we all looked at this issue with pure hearts like these narrators, it wouldn’t be so complicated. As she talks of all the problems she has, from her mother’s absence to her homesickness and loneliness, I felt for her. Nobody should have to deal with these issues, let alone a young girl. Seeing the friendliness of Tyler and all of his family toward Mari’s family showed me that everyone out there can show compassion toward the unfortunate. After all, we’re all people on this earth. We’re all trying to make a living. We all have a voice.
alexusM More than 1 year ago
My favorite read this book hits along the lines of illegal immigration and is a bit confusing as you try to connect the characters, but overall is a great read. Once you start reading it's extremely hard to stop. I would suggest this book for middle school students.
ACRain More than 1 year ago
Many children’s books due take on a fairytale quality where they keep children nestled in a cocoon of safety well hidden away from the troubles and problems of the world. Return to Sender is a book that will open up the eyes of young readers to some of the issues and problems of illegal immigration. The book uses a mix of two cultures to tell the story of friendship and hard circumstances that befall two families from very different worlds. This chapter book also gives and insight to some of the Hispanic culture through the uses of their holidays. While a good way to introduce children to diversity of culture parents might be cautioned of how the controversial issue of illegal immigration is presented in this book. Though the books first few chapters starts out slow and there are sections that don’t seem to fit in the book it turns out to be a bit worth the wait in the end.
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AnniDominguez More than 1 year ago
Return to Sender has got to be one of my favorite books. It shows the courage of a young mexican girl and what she would do to help her family in a tragic time of need. It is definitely a book that I would recommend for any Junior High Student. Julia Alvarez did a wonderful job in explaining the world of an immigrant from Mexico and the traditions of a mexican family. It shows the perfect example of diversity and how two completely different families can come together in a time of need and love each other despite their differences. This book is amazing and heart warming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BrittanyNeff More than 1 year ago
Return to Sender was a great read! Whether you have a political or an emotional connection with the topic of illegal immigration you will thoroughly enjoy this book. Alvarez captures her characters emotional struggles effortlessly. This book will have you both laughing and crying. Julia Alvarez found a great balance between the hot topic of illegal immigration in America and the hardships to do whatever it takes for your family. I found it easy to get drawn into Return the Sender and eager to find out what will happen next.
noahsmom7 More than 1 year ago
Alvarez really does a great job at describing the very real issue about illegal immigration through a fictional story about a family of 3 daughters, a mother, father and some uncles who come to America in hopes of a better future. they are taken in by a wonderful American family in the process of learning about each other, they all become a family. They are helping each other out in different ways and they grow together in many ways, the story takes some twists and turns that are unexpected, so the book never gets boring. I could not put it down and some of the descriptions of the challenges this family goes through in being illegal in America are descriptive and a little graphic, so I would not share this book with an elementary class, I think it is better suited for an early juvenile teen. It is a great and interesting way to introduce the real issue of illegal immigration here in America. Very good read and even a little bit of a tear jerker.
pinkystar06 More than 1 year ago
Such a sweet story I loved the friendship that forms between Mari and Tyler. In today's world with so many issues it was nice to see that these two could still be friends despite of everything.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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