Illegal - Bettina Restrepo

Nora's father left for work in America because he couldn't make enough for his family in Mexico. But he made a promise, he would be back for her fifteenth birthday.

But, her fifteenth birthday is nearing and the letters and money have stopped coming from her father. Nora knows she just has to find him. Nora convinces her mother they need to go to America to find her father so they can all be together again. And so they begin their long, tough journey crossing the border illegally into America in hopes of finding her father.

Immigrants and illegal immigrants are such a heated subject. I've heard all the arguments why they shouldn't be here. From they are taking our jobs, they are taking money from the government because they are on welfare, etc. And criticism of people from Mexico and others from non-English speaking countries not learning English. Well, let me just say, it's not easy to learn another language.

And I don't feel I can criticize people for coming to America illegally. Just knowing the history of America is reason enough for me not to criticize.

Except for Natives - We're all immigrants.

And while I have always had compassion for immigrants and illegal immigrants, I feel even more compassion after reading this book. I know it is fiction, but what if it really is someone's experience? What if I just read is happening to someone right now?

I'm Cherokee, Welsh, and German. This book made me think about what my ancestors had to possibly go through to get here, how frightening it must have been. A strange place with different cultures and people.

This is the first book I have ever read that had to do with illegal immigration and I thought it was great. Nora is such a strong and amazing character. She's not without flaws and her emotions, what she feels, is so real.

So much heartache in this story. I found myself tearing up different times while reading. But, the story was not without hope. There was struggling, there was lots of pain and anger. Beneath it all, there was still hope.

I just want to thank the author for writing this. I think this book and any book that lets you see through the eyes of a legal or illegal immigrant is important to read. This was a great book.