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Author: Diaz, Alexandra
Jaime, twelve, and Angela, fifteen, discover what it means to be living as undocumented immigrants in the United States, while news from home gets increasingly worse.
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/18)
School Library Journal (07/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2018 A week after fleeing a dangerous gang in Guatemala and arriving in the U.S. to live with his brother, Tomás, Jaime and his cousin Ángela are starting a new school with a completely new language. While Ángela has no trouble fitting in, Jaime finds his only friends are a quiet boy named Sean, who sits with him on the bus, and Don Vicente, the old cowboy who tends to the ranch. As Jaime struggles to deal with prejudiced classmates and news of his abuela in danger back in Guatemala, he leans heavily on Vicente. But when the rancher is detained, Jaime relies on the help of Sean, who teaches him sign language, and works on expressing the thoughts he can’t quite say out loud though his art. Fans of Diaz’s The Only Road (2016) will appreciate seeing some familiar characters as well a new set of kind and complex characters. Diaz paints an insightful, realistic picture of a place that’s filled with opportunity but simultaneously rife with discrimination, which is especially important reading for today’s children. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2018 Gr 6–9—This sequel to The Only Road sees the internal border crossings of Jaime and his cousin Ángela as they start new schools and begin to recover from their arduous journey to the U.S. An isolated ranch where Jaime's older brother works is the setting for the teens' emotional roller coaster of guilt, loneliness, loss, and fear. Tensions peak when Jaime learns that the gang they fled retaliated by attacking their beloved Abuela, who eventually dies, and when the grandfatherly ranch manager, Don Vincente, is detained after 60 years in the U.S. Jaime succumbs to the pressure and punches a school bully, which does little to lessen his grief, the constant dread of being deported, and the embarrassment of being the new English-language learner bound by strict no-Spanish rules. As Jaime continues to draw in order to document and remember his past, he discovers this work is also helpful in building new friendships and providing evidence for Don Vincente's deportation hearing. Jaime's first-person perspective gives fairly didactic explanations for those unaware of the various struggles immigrants endure and will resonant with those living that experience. An author's note regarding references to Navajo people and beliefs would be a welcome addition to future publications of this text. VERDICT Fans of The Only Road will appreciate following Jaime and Ángela on the next phase of their lives, while teachers and librarians may find the text useful to counter unsubstantiated myths about Central Americans fleeing to the U.S.—Ruth Quiroa, National Louis University, Lisle, IL - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.