Saturday, August 21, 2010

Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs

crossing In the summer of 2010, the state of Arizona passed a law that requires police to check the identification papers of anybody they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. In Crossing the Wire, we read about such an illegal immigrant. Victor is a fifteen-year-old boy who tries hard to make a living for his family on a mountain farm in Central Mexico. His father has died, and Victor takes care of his mother and younger siblings. Everything had been working out well until the time came when he couldn’t sell his corn. In a desperate attempt to save his family from starvation, Victor heads north to cross into the United States, in Arizona, to find a job and send money back home. On his journey north, Victor faces many challenges, including traveling through freezing cold and scorching hot landscapes. The people who offer Victor a helping hand are not always trustworthy. How will Victor find a way to cross the border safely and not be caught or attacked, or worse, be sent back to Mexico? Will Hobbs has written an action-packed adventure story of one brave young man’s struggle to “cross the wire” into the land of freedom and opportunity. Review by Trudy Walsh

Star in the Forest by Laura Resau

star Zitlally is eleven years old and lives with her family in a trailer park. After her father gets deported to Mexico because he does not have the proper papers, life changes drastically for Zitlally. To get away from all the family worries, Zitlally escapes into the forest surrounding the trailer park. Near an old-abandoned car she finds a dog in need. Zitlally befriends the dog, which she names Star, and starts to feed him and take care of him. Deep down, Zitlally believes that Star is a magic dog sent to her to be taken care of. She believes that Star’s life, somehow, is tied to her father’s life. If she can nurse Star back to health, she is sure her father will return. Star in the Forest is a beautifully-written story about a young Mexican girl growing up in Colorado, whose family is caught up in the newly-enforced immigration laws. Review by Trudy Walsh

Emma Dilemma, the Nanny, and the Secret Ferret by Patricia Hermes

emma Emma and her family are ready to head north to Maine for their summer vacation. The cars are loaded, but before the family can leave, everybody has to line up for the traditional “before vacation photo.” There will be an “after vacation photo” taken also at the end of the summer, when everyone will look tanned, relaxed, and happy. As the family cars are ready to drive off, Emma has one more emergency stop to make in the house. She quickly stuffs something into her backpack and is finally ready to leave for Maine. Without telling her parents, Emma has secretly stuffed her pet ferret into her backpack. This is a wonderful summer vacation story with many humorous incidents, as Emma tries to hide her pet ferret as long as possible. Review by Trudy Walsh