Estrella loves poetry and the natural world, but her days of lying in the fields and writing come to a halt when she is repatriated to Mexico.
Estrella’s family owns Rancho las Moras—a rarity in Texas, where they are increasingly surrounded by Anglo incomers, and a safe haven, not just from the Great Depression, but from the Rangers, who are rounding up mexicanos and repatriating them to Mexico, without regard to the fact that many are actually U.S. citizens. Walking in the footsteps of her activist parents, Estrella helps to organize a protest against the treatment of the tejanos in her town of Monteseco, with devastating results. Her family quickly becomes a target for the Rangers, and Estrella finds herself in Mexico, separated from her family. Here, she begins a journey for her survival as she attempts to reunite with her family and make it home to her country of birth, the United States of America. Beautifully and poetically written, the book includes Spanish words and Mexican-American cultural elements to make it a vividly authentic mirror for some readers and a universally appealing and engaging window for others. Enhanced by excerpts from Estrella’s journal, teens will get lost in the pages of this story and truly feel for the injustice the community faced during this often forgotten chapter of American history.
An incredibly relevant story, now more than ever. (author’s note, further reading, glossary) (Historical fiction. 12-16)