Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Return to Sender - by Julia Alvarez

I really learned a lot about illegal immigration from this book, and Tyler and Mari are still in my head.  The book wasn't preachy at all, just a glimpse into how illegal immigration affected these characters.

Tyler is about to turn 12 when disaster strikes his family farm in Vermont.  His grandfather dies, his older brother is leaving for college, and his dad is hurt badly in a tractor accident.  With no one to work the farm, Tyler's family hires three Mexican men for help.  The only problem is that these men are illegal immigrants.  Mr. Cruz, one of the men, also has three daughters, one of whom, Mari, is in Tyler's class at school.

At first Tyler is very unsure of all these changes.  He knows that his parents should have hired these men, but he sees how much they help him and his family.  They are angels that help save the farm.  Tyler learns about them and from them and develops a very strong friendship with Mari.  

Each chapter is told from each Tyler and Mari's point of view.  It was nice to see how each of them interpreted different events. 

I liked how this book just showed a story of two families trying to make it in America.  No matter what the government says or what the news or t.v. people say, this issue affects good people and children and is important.  Some immigrants help us here and others do not.  We must hear their stories and understand as much as we can. 

Grade: B

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