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StorySnoops Children's Book Reviews | Tell Us We're Home | Marina Budhos
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Tell Us We're Home
by Marina Budhos
PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
NO. PAGES: 304
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction
YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
ISBN: 1416903526
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop

The Story
Tell Us We're Home—Book Review

Lola, Jaya, and Maria are just like any other eighth grade girls in wealthy Meadowbrook -- they think about boys, like to dress up, and like to meet at Starbuck's and gossip about other kids. The only difference is that they are all daughters of the maids and nannies that work for the parents of their schoolmates. They are practically invisible to the community around them. The chasm between the "haves" and "have nots" only grows when Jaya's mother is accused of theft from her long-time employer, and Jaya's world falls apart. Tensions in their small town are beginning to build between the immigrants and the locals, and the girls must summon all of the strength they have to remain friends and find their place in a town that hardly notices their existence.
The Scoop
Tell Us We're Home—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Tell Us We're Home is an insightful and age-appropriate glimpse into the immigrant experience in the suburbs. Each of the three girls comes from a different background -- one is a daughter of an engineer from Slovakia, one is the daughter of a widow of Indian descent from Trinidad, and the other is part of a large family from Mexico. In spite of the very different circumstances that brought them to the U.S., the girls have found strong common bonds. This book is a lovely and heartbreaking illustration of the idealism of young people, both American and immigrant, but also the reality that believing in those ideals is quite different than actually living them. One girl is attracted to an American boy who is the president of the school chapter of the ACLU, whose motto is, "There is room for everyone," but who also can't quite bring himself to stand up for what he says he believes in when push comes to shove. There is some violence, in the form of a large fight that erupts between Mexican soccer players and the high school lacrosse team, and one girl is slapped by her angry and frustrated older cousin.
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