"We're the unknown Americans, the ones no one even wants to know, because they've been told they're supposed to be scared of us and because maybe if they did take the time to get to know us, they might realize that we're not that bad, maybe even that we're a lot like them. And who would they hate then?" --from The Book of Unknown AmericansThis is the third book of three that my local library highlighted this year, and I liked it the best. It's about the Rivera family who comes to the US seeking out a better education for their daughter who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, and their neighbors, the Toro family. We also hear the immigration stories and hopes and dreams of their other neighbors who hail from various South American countries.
I liked this book so much because it shows that we are all humans trying our best to provide for our families. Each person has his/her own story of what they hope for and the losses they carry around with them. In addition, each immigrant has a story of what and who they left behind and why they took the risk of moving to America to start again. I think if we all had a better understanding of this, we might be more kind, gentle, and gracious with each other.
Touching, and also a bit heartbreaking. I loved Henriquez's writing style. It's simple and spot-on. This book could be easily read by middle school aged students on up.