Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham

Illegal immigration and border control has recently been a hot topic in the U.S. The influx of undocumented and unaccompanied minors has increased. What are these children risking and enduring to come to the U.S.? Markham has given us a human element to add to the discussion.

Markham has recreated the story of teen El Salvadoran twins who came into the U.S. illegally. We find out about the civil war in that country, gang violence, the pressure to join a gang, and the kidnappings for ransom. We find out the threats against the twins and their desperation to go north to find a safe future. We learn about the cost of the coyotes, parents going into debt to provide a future for their children. We follow the teens north in their dangerous journey and their struggle to find their way in a new country.

This book has provided much insight into why children are coming north, searching for a better life. Their life back home is horrible. Some cannot even take a bus ride without fear of being robbed. Others are merely looking for a place to live where they do not have to fear being killed.

I recommend this book to readers who would like to understand the circumstances behind some of the illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. and the struggles they face when they arrive here. This is not a heartwarming success story. It is a story of survival.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Lauren Markham is a writer based in Berkeley, California, focusing on issues related to youth, migration, and the environment. For over a decade, she has worked in the fields of refugee resettlement and immigrant education.

Crown Publishing, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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