Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco

Judith Robbins Rose. Candlewick, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7235-5
Rose’s strong debut explores the challenging lives of undocumented Mexican immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens. Jacinta, almost 12, and her two sisters were born in America; the family ekes out a living in Colorado, in constant fear of her parents’ deportation. When a local television anchorwoman comes into her life, Jacinta—whose mother is caring for her own dying mother in Mexico—longs for her to become her mentor in the community center’s Amiga program; she is unprepared for the cultural issues and conflicting emotions that arise when her wish is granted. Rose convincingly depicts Jacinta’s struggles as she explores aspects of upper-middle-class culture—French and gymnastics lessons, theater and ballet performances—while coping with the instability and grimness of barrio life and desperately missing her mother. The well-meaning anchorwoman has her own flaws, which make her a fully dimensional, credible character. A moving portrayal of a girl’s effort to embrace both her Mexican roots and the possibilities of American life, as well as an affecting look at an important contemporary issue. Ages 10–up. Agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Release date: 09/08/2015
Genre: Children's
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5012-2167-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5012-1601-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5113-2673-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5012-1587-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-5012-1615-2
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