Author: Bettina Restrepo
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Copy provided by: Author (ARC tour)
Summary (via Goodreads):
Nora is on a desperate journey far away from home. When her father leaves their beloved Mexico in search of work, Nora fights to make sense of her loss while waiting for her father’s return and a better day. When the letters and money from her father stop coming, Nora decides that she and her mother must look for him in Texas. After a harrowing experience crossing the border, the two are all alone in a strange place called Houston. Now, Nora figures out how to survive while still aching for small comforts: friends, a new school, and a quinceañera to mark her fifteenth birthday.
Bettina Restrepo’s powerful and deeply hopeful debut novel captures the challenges of one girl’s unique yet universal immigrant experience.
Why I read this: The author asked me too (which I love when authors do) and it is a debut novel, so I was happy to!
Plot: Nora's father stops sending money back to Mexico for her family, so her mother and her leave their grandmother behind to search for him. Nora learns that America is much different form her small town in Mexico. They luck out and find a couple who let them work for them. Only there is no sign of Nora's father. What has happened to him?
A heart-wrenching plot that made me cry and also a quick read. Definitely a great debut about those who cross the wire.
Characters: I fell in love with Nora. She was strong for a teenage girl and determined to reunite her family once and for all. It's nice to meet such a fantastic character.
Relatability: I think those of us that pay any attention to the new in America can relate to this novel.
Cover Commentary: Love it, especially the colors.
Rating: 5/5 Roses
Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads
Read the first 50 pages of Illegal.
Also, to commenters, Bettina will enter you into a drawing for a free hardbound and signed copy of ILLEGAL. (international entries are OK!) There will be 5 winners total!
Just answer the following question: Would you cross a border illegal to find your family?
Winners will be announced on her Facebook page on April 2nd.
*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.