THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria E. Andreu

THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY

Age Range: 14 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

M.T. is not what her wealthy, suburbanite friends think of as an immigrant: She has pale skin and blondish hair, and she’s an overachieving student who is in the National Honor Society. But there is much that she is hiding.

M.T. is undocumented, brought to the United States from Argentina by her parents when she was a child. The family lives in constant fear that they will be discovered and deported, sent back to a country M.T. barely remembers. As senior year progresses, and her friends make their plans for life beyond high school, M.T. feels like she has no future. She can’t get a driver’s license or a legal job, and college is an impossible dream. She narrates in the present tense, describing how the weight of her secret and her feelings of desperation permeate her life. The things that bring her joy—academics, friendships, first love—turn to reminders of a life just out of reach. However, M.T., like many undocumented youth, is resilient and determined to rise above her circumstances to make a life in the only country she has ever known as home. Drawing from her personal experience (as she explains in her author’s note), Andreu has crafted an empathetic yet gritty narrative; readers will ache for M.T. as they are let into her secret life.

A timely and powerful portrait of the American dream deferred. (resources) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 11th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-7624-5192-0
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Running Press Teens
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2014




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