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The Uncertain Journey: Stories of Illegal Aliens in El Norte

The Uncertain Journey: Stories of Illegal Aliens in El Norte

by Margaret Poynter

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-- Whether talking about Salvadorean refugees or boat people from Haiti, these stories speak to the harshness of the situations from which illegal aliens come, the hardships they endure on the northward road, and their perseverance in the attempt to improve their lives. These are all success stories and herein lies a problem; with both similar outcomes and narrative style, the book becomes repetitious and predictable. It doesn't impede readability at all, but renders a sense of inevitability, so that no matter how ominous the situations are, readers come to expect that all will be fine. There are some direct quotes, but on the whole the book reads like fiction. It lacks the visceral sense of Brent Ashabranner's The New Americans (Putnam, 1983) or Janet Bode's New Kids in Town (Scholastic, 1991), which rely more on first-person narrative; this enhances the sense of reality. Nonetheless, Poynter's book has potential as read-aloud and introductory material. Its inherent drama and cliff-hanger plotting will stir up interest and send students on to more comprehensive primary-source works. The black-and-white photos extend the text and add interest despite poor placement and not infrequent poor registration. --Ann Welton, Thomas Academy, Kent, WA

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.91(w) x 8.66(h) x (d)
Age Range:
10 Years

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