Restrepo, Bettina. Illegal. 2011. HarperCollins, $16.99. (978-0-06-195342-2). Grades 6-8. (mpn)
In this poignant realistic fiction novel, Nora , her mother and grandmother are found struggling to make ends meet after her father leaves Mexico to earn money. She tries to make sense of his absence, the resulting loss, and poverty until he returns. HOwever, when he does not return as promised on her fifteenth birthday, Nora decides to travel with her mother to find him. Through her strong will and determination, Nora must rely on her own power to endure new challenges. Though there are varying viewpoints about immigration (legal and illegal), this novel presents illegal immigration with raw emotion and heartbreak. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the novel with a glossary of their meanings included in the back matter.