Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt

This year I had the privilege of taking students to visit the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, where undocumented immigrants are detained in prison-like conditions. It is staggering to think of the almost 2,000 people held in the detention center which is run by a for-profit company, and it was disheartening to be denied a visit with a detainee for no good reason. Just after this experience I read this young adult novel about Georgia teenagers facing immigration issues. Alma came to the U.S. as a child and has lived most of her life in North Georgia. She is bright and hard-working and hoping to attend college on a scholarship. She meets Evan, the privileged son of a senator, and they fall in love. However, Evan has no idea how complicated life is for Alma and her family, and when her father and brother are taken by immigration officials, he learns that there are no easy solutions for Alma's family. This is an important book that gives a real human face to immigration issues. There is a real lack of YA fiction about the immigrant experience and this book deserves a wide readership. It is most definitely a YA romance, though, and will be enjoyed by teen and adult romance fans. Recommended for 9th grade-adults.

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