"A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe." — Madeleine L'Engle

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tell Us We're Home by Marina Budhos

Title: Tell Us We're Home
Author: Marina Budhos
Published: May 2010
Pages: 297
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Jaya, Maria, and Lola are just like the other eighth-grade girls in the wealthy suburb of Meadowbrook, New Jersey. They want to go to the spring dance, they love spending time with their best friends after school, sharing frapp├ęs and complaining about the other kids. But there’s one big difference: all three are daughters of maids and nannies. And they go to school with the very same kids whose families their mothers work for.

That difference grows even bigger—and more painful—when Jaya’s mother is accused of theft and Jaya’s small, fragile world collapses. When tensions about immigrants start to erupt, fracturing this perfect, serene suburb, all three girls are tested, as outsiders—and as friends. Each of them must learn to find a place for themselves in a town that barely notices they exist.

Tell Us We're Home is a moving and thought-provoking story about the other side of the American dream. Marina Budhos gives us a heartbreaking and eye-opening story of friendship, belonging, and finding the way home.
 
Review: The lives of Jaya, Maria, and Lola are united by their mothers. They clean other peoples houses and babysit. They all feel left out of the town that they live in by their lack of money, that keeps them from being like the rest of them. Things get worse when suddenly their world gets even worse by the things that happen around them.

Jaya has come from Trinidad with her mother. She works cleaning the house of an old woman and is accused of stealing. Things are worse when her mother keeps losing her jobs. Jaya wants to help her but knows that she can't, since she has no power over others and none would ever take her seriously.

Maria came from Mexico and had to attend special classes so that she could learn English and later they wanted to change her accent. She lives with her mom in the basement of the house of her uncle, where their neighbors don't want them there. Maria wants to live a better life and gets involved with others who seem like they want to help but who may have other interests.

Lola is the rebellious one. She believes in things very deeply and isn't afraid to say what's in her mind. She loves learning about the revolutions and passionately believes that these are the people that others should look up to. She gets in trouble easily because of this but comes to terms that she has to change the way she reacts to things.

I enjoyed this book because it showed the hard lives that some people live day by day. They all wanted to fit in a world that they weren't used while their mothers were trying to give them a better future. It's an enjoyable book that I think may open some eyes to things around us.

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