|Love In English|
Author: Andreu, Maria E.
Feeling blocked after moving from Argentina to New Jersey, a sixteen-year-old poet finds herself torn between a cute American boy in her math class and a Greek student who understands the struggles she is facing in an ESL class.
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2020 Gr 9 Up—When 16-year-old Ana moves from Argentina to New Jersey, she works hard to learn English and fit in at her new high school. No matter how much effort she puts into her studies, though, she is still caught in moments of confusion, as teachers and classmates talk rapidly and sprinkle their speech with American idioms. When she meets Harrison, a handsome, blonde-haired boy in her math class, Ana begins to come out of her shell, making more of an effort to communicate. She and her new Spanish-speaking friend, Altagracia, devise a plan, and Ana happily starts worrying about the things typical to high school juniors. As Ana makes progress with English and expresses herself through her poetry, she develops a close friendship with Neo, a Greek Cypriot boy from her ESL class, who enlists her to watch 1980s movies and take trips to New York City. Just when Ana feels she is settling into life in her new country, she is forced to reevaluate her priorities. Andreu creates a realistic portrait of the obstacles facing English language learners in the United States. By cleverly blocking out portions of text, she mimics what language sounds like to the ears of someone who has not yet achieved fluency. Her characters are nuanced and their interactions endearing. Teenagers and adults alike will gain necessary perspective from reading this accessible story about a topic that affects millions. VERDICT An engaging novel about language, culture, and empathy. Highly recommended for all libraries.—Karin Greenberg, Manhasset H.S., NY - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2021 After Ana and her mother come from Argentina to live in New Jersey with her father, she's nervous about starting her junior year, although she knows she will have a special class to learn English. After a disastrous first math class, she can't wait to go to ESL, where she can speak Spanish with the teacher and students. But the students in the class are from all over the world; they can't understand one another, let alone the teacher, who speaks only English. As the class goes on, however, Ana loves to contemplate and absorb the English language. Poems that explore the quirks, idioms, and inconsistencies of English blossom throughout the narrative, adding dimension to Ana's character. As she learns to navigate a new language, she's also navigating a new culture, reconciling her new way of life with her old family ways and working toward a compromise with her strict parents. Andreu bases Ana's story on her own experiences as an immigrant teen, and she depicts Ana with authenticity and grace. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.