Return to Sender

Return to Sender

3.71 (2,865 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

An award-winning, moving, and timely story about the families of undocumented workers by renowned author Julia Alvarez.

After Tyler's father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. Tyler isn't sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented? And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected to her American life. Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences? In a novel full of hope, but with no easy answers, Julia Alvarez weaves a beautiful and timely story that will stay with readers long after they finish it. Winner of the Pura Belpré Award
Winner of the Américas Award
An NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies "A must-read." --Kirkus Reviews

"Communicates in compassionate and expressive prose the more difficult points of perhaps the most pressing social issue of our day." --San Antonio Express-News "This timely novel, torn right from the newspaper headlines, conveys a positive message of cooperation and understanding." --School Library Journal "The plot is purposive, with messages about the historical connections between migrant workers today and the Indians' displacement, the Underground Railroad, and earlier immigrants seeking refuge. . . . The questions raised about the meaning of patriotism will spark debate." --Booklist "A tender, well-constructed book." --Publishers Weekly
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Product details

  • 9-12
  • Paperback | 325 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 21mm | 231g
  • New York, NY, India
  • English
  • 0375851232
  • 9780375851230
  • 186,750

About Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez is the award-winning author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and In the Time of the Butterflies. Her highly acclaimed books for young readers include The Secret Footprints, A Gift of Gracias, the Tía Lola series, Finding Miracles, and Return to Sender. Alvarez has won numerous awards for her work, including the Pura Belpré and Américas awards for her children's books, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. In 2013, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama. She is currently a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College and, together with her husband, Bill Eichner, established Alta Gracia, a sustainable coffee farm/literacy center in the Dominican Republic. Visit her on the Web at juliaalvarez.com.
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Rating details

2,865 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 26% (743)
4 36% (1,018)
3 27% (763)
2 8% (236)
1 4% (105)

Our customer reviews

Julia Alvarez's new book, RETURN TO SENDER, explores the issue of illegal immigration. Two twelve-year-olds share their connected stories involving this politically sensitive subject. Tyler's family runs a dairy farm. Up until the sudden death of his grandfather and then his father's farming accident, things had been going well. Now that his older brother is leaving for college, there isn't enough help around to do all that needs doing on the farm. Tyler returns from a visit to his aunt and uncle's to learn that some new folks have moved into the trailer next door. The new people include a Mexican man, his two brothers, and his three daughters. There seems to be some secret about their presence on the farm that Tyler doesn't understand. They have started helping with the milking and other chores and seem to be a big help for his father; however, his mother seems hesitant to reveal too much information about the family. From comments around town and the little bit Tyler overhears from his parents' discussions, he finally realizes that they might actually be breaking the law. The new workers are in the U.S. illegally. According to the information Tyler has gathered, not only could these new workers be arrested, but his parents could also be found guilty because they've hired the undocumented workers. Even though they seem to be saving the farm, they could bring more trouble than they are worth. When school begins in September, Tyler learns that Mari, the oldest daughter, will be in his class. They begin talking and Tyler discovers that Mari is shy but friendly. As their friendship grows, he finds himself not thinking about her questionable status in his country; that is, until she becomes the victim of several cruel bullies in his class. In his attempt to defend Mari, he and his family also become a target. Tyler experiences some difficult times as he struggles to understand loyalty to friends, family, and country. Mari's voice is heard through letters and diary entries as she recounts her view of living in the United States. Love for her own country and her appreciation for what the U.S. has to offer are both clear as she reacts to the situations around her. RETURN TO SENDER presents a sympathetic view of the plight of illegal immigrants. It portrays their desire for a better life as well as the help they provide for struggling small farm owners. Though the issue is much more complicated, perhaps this book's message could give today's politicians something to think about.show more
by TeensReadToo
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