The Book of Unknown Americans

By Cristina Henríquez

Named a New York occasions and Washington Post striking booklet, an NPR nice learn, The day-by-day Beast's Novel of the yr, and a Mother Jones,, School Library Journal, and BookPage most sensible ebook of the Year

When fifteen-year-old Maribel Rivera sustains a poor harm, the Riveras go away at the back of a snug lifestyles in Mexico and threat every thing to come back to the U.S. in order that Maribel could have the care she wishes. after they arrive, it’s now not lengthy earlier than Maribel draws the eye of Mayor Toro, the son of 1 in their new pals, who sees a kindred spirit during this appealing, broken outsider. Their love tale units in movement occasions that might have profound repercussions for everybody concerned. the following Henríquez seamlessly interweaves the tale of those star-crossed fanatics, and of the Rivera and Toro households, with the testimonials of guys and girls who've come to the U.S. from in every single place Latin the USA. The ebook of Unknown Americans is a beautiful novel of hopes and goals, guilt and love—a e-book that gives a resonant new definition of what it capability to be American.

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I’m Alma Rivera,” I shouted back in Spanish. “I can pay attention you fantastic. How do we assist you? ” I took a deep breath. “I’m the following a few boy. ” Officer Mora nodded. I waited for him to ask me in the back of the glass so lets speak in inner most, yet he easily stood, expecting me to proceed. there has been not anyone else within the foyer, so I went on. “I got here domestic sooner or later and a boy was once with my daughter. ” “How outdated is your daughter? ” “Fifteen. ” “And the boy? ” “He’s her age, i feel. ” “So a teenage boy was once along with your teenage daughter? ” Officer Mora stated. “He had her opposed to the wall of our development. ” “Did he attack her? ” Officer Mora requested. “He had her opposed to the wall,” I acknowledged back. “Did you spot him punch her or kick or bodily damage her whatsoever? ” “No. however the simply cause he didn’t was once simply because I obtained there. ” “Did he say whatever that made you think? ” “No, yet he got here for my daughter,” I acknowledged back, frustration burning my throat. “Maybe she’s neighbors with him. ” “No. ” “In our event mom and dad don’t regularly recognize what their teenaged youngsters are as much as. ” “You don’t understand …,” i began. I had the urge to inform him approximately her mind damage, yet I didn’t wish his pity. I simply sought after his aid. Officer Mora planted his palms at the counter in the back of the window. “What I’m listening to is that you just got here domestic and located your daughter with a boy her age. That’s all you recognize. Is she a stunning woman? ” “He checked out us after we went to the fuel station,” I stated. “Who? The boy? ” “He used to be observing my daughter. ” “Staring at her? Señora Rivera, that’s now not felony. ” “He had her blouse up,” I acknowledged. disgrace had saved me from revealing it quicker. I didn’t wish a person, no longer even the police, to check Maribel that approach. Officer Mora’s expression replaced. “When? ” “When i discovered them the opposite day. ” “You observed him pull her blouse up? ” “No, but—” “So she may need performed that herself? ” “She’s in contrast to that! ” Officer Mora rubbed the again of his neck, rolled his head round as soon as, and took a deep breath. “Señora,” he acknowledged during the glass, “this is a police station. We don’t care for teenage relationships right here. except he assaulted her in a roundabout way, or until he made a few form of verbal probability, there’s not anything we will do. ” I stared at him in disbelief. “I notion you'll aid her. ” Officer Mora sighed, as though it have been an exceptional exertion to need to care for me any more. He acknowledged, “We can’t defend her from a boy who, truthfully, most likely simply has a weigh down on her. That’s your activity. ” In English, he stated whatever to the lady officer, who shook her head prior to flipping one other web page of her journal. i used to be a idiot, i spotted, to think that they might care approximately any of this. I tightened my lips and straightened my handbag strap on my shoulder with the entire righteousness that i'll muster. Neither Officer Mora nor the girl looked as if it would observe. “Gracias,” I acknowledged ironically. “De nada,” Officer Mora stated in earnest, as though he believed he had performed his task. I must have long gone domestic. yet anger roiled in my stomach, and after I boarded the bus again to the residence that day i used to be seized via one other inspiration.

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