The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America

Daniel Connolly. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-08306-7
A product of over five years of investigative journalism, Connolly’s narrative immerses readers in the world of Isaias Ramos, a high-achieving Memphis teen who’s an undocumented immigrant, as he navigates the college admissions process. Connolly’s in-depth reporting weaves Isaias’s narrative through the lives of his friends and family as they struggle with the emotional and administrative complexities of unauthorized immigration and the laws that obstruct immigrant residents’ access to higher education. In this delicate, comprehensive, and empathetic portrait, Connolly follows Isaias as he straddles the experiences of the American teenager—a garage band, high school romance—and the responsibilities of a young immigrant who’s contributing to the economic wellbeing of his family. Connolly traces the origins of the U.S.’s current stance on immigration, examining policy such as the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 as well as the story of the Ramos family’s journey from a small town in Hidalgo, Mexico, as they cross deserts equipped only with “a backpack with a few items for survival: water, Gatorade, and the sweets known as alegrías.” Connolly unearths the human element behind one of today’s most debated issues, asking expert and everyday readers alike to consider how the immigrant experience is affecting one of the fastest-growing youth populations in the nation. Agent: Michelle Tessler, Tessler Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 10/04/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-250-08307-4
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