Saturday, April 30, 2011
Review of Illegal by Bettina Restrepo
For awhile, things are okay, but when months go by without any word from her father, Nora's family is out of money and out of hope. She and her mother decide to illegally journey into Texas (made even more dangerous because they are two women traveling alone). After a frightening border crossing experience, Nora and her mother find themselves in Houston with little English, little money, and no idea where to start looking for her father.
This story chronicles Nora's desperate desire to survive, her perseverance, and her friendly nature. Although it deals with heartbreaking issues, the rich and well-developed characters bring light and a constant sense of hope into the story.
I give this book 4 stars, and I would recommend it primarily for middle/high school readers. It is an excellent piece of anti-oppression literature, very eye-opening but also purely enjoyable. The ending made me cry, but I was left with a sense of encouragement and an appreciation for Nora's indomitable spirit.