Friday, July 13, 2018

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez was published in 2014. I listened to the audio version that was narrated by several different voice actors, all of whom did an amazing job. Their voices and accents made the story come alive.

This book tells the stories of several people whose families immigrated to America for different reasons. Each family gave up much to get to come here where they hoped to have a better life. Often the lives of the immigrants connect to each other.

The main story is of Maribel. Her parents come to the USA to gain medical care for her after she suffers a traumatic brain injury.

Blurb from Goodreads: After their daughter Maribel suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras leave México and come to America. But upon settling at Redwood Apartments, a two-story cinderblock complex just off a highway in Delaware, they discover that Maribel's recovery--the piece of the American Dream on which they've pinned all their hopes--will not be easy. Every task seems to confront them with language, racial, and cultural obstacles.

At Redwood also lives Mayor Toro, a high school sophomore whose family arrived from Panamá fifteen years ago. Mayor sees in Maribel something others do not: that beyond her lovely face, and beneath the damage she's sustained, is a gentle, funny, and wise spirit. But as the two grow closer, violence casts a shadow over all their futures in America.

Peopled with deeply sympathetic characters, this poignant yet unsentimental tale of young love tells a riveting story of unflinching honesty and humanity that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be an American. 

I enjoyed this story even though parts of it are very sad. I think this book shows that all of us are more alike than different from each other. We all want what is best for our children. We all want to have gainful employment, to not be cheated, and to be treated kindly. This book is well worth reading or listening to.

We've had some very generous donations this week. I'm very thankful as we are hoping to add a second NICU to our project. These donations help make that happen. We can reach even more families and hopefully give them the reading bug. 

Caitie sent these books over:

 Alysen brought over this cute  chunky board book that has colors and pieces that roll.

 Michelle found these cute books - most of them board books.

Intermountain Health Care found out about our project and used it as the basis for their service project. They gathered over 6,000 books for children in our area, and our little project was the recipient of 213 books. I'm so happy that so many children will receive books. The next several pictures were all from Intermountain.

 Check out these cute animal books that double as toys.

 Every McKay Dee packet will have a Love you Forever book for quite a while. This donation will allow me to gather books for a second hospital as all of these books will go to McKay Dee.

Click this Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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