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Where I Belong
Cover of Where I Belong
Where I Belong
A Pura Belpré Honor Book An immigrant teen fights for her family, her future, and the place she calls home. In the spring of 2018, Guatemalan American high school senior Milagros "Millie" Vargas knows...
A Pura Belpré Honor Book An immigrant teen fights for her family, her future, and the place she calls home. In the spring of 2018, Guatemalan American high school senior Milagros "Millie" Vargas knows...
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  • A Pura Belpré Honor Book

    An immigrant teen fights for her family, her future, and the place she calls home.

    In the spring of 2018, Guatemalan American high school senior Milagros "Millie" Vargas knows her life is about to change. She has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, ever since her parents sought asylum there when she was a baby. Now a citizen, Millie devotes herself to school and caring for her younger siblings while her mom works as a housekeeper for the wealthy Wheeler family. With college on the horizon, Millie is torn between attending her dream school and staying close to home, where she knows she's needed. She is disturbed by what's happening to asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, but she doesn't see herself as an activist or a change-maker. She's just trying to take care of her own family.

    Then Mr. Wheeler, a U.S. Senate candidate, mentions Millie's achievements in a campaign speech about "deserving" immigrants. It doesn't take long for people to identify Millie's family and place them at the center of a statewide immigration debate. Faced with journalists, trolls, anonymous threats, and the Wheelers' good intentions—especially those of Mr. Wheeler's son, Charlie—Millie must confront the complexity of her past, the uncertainty of her future, and her place in the country that she believed was home.

 

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About the Author-

  • Marcia Argueta Mickelson was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States as an infant. She attended high school in New Jersey and then graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in American Studies. She is the author of five novels including Star Shining Brightly, The Huaca, and Where I Belong, and she is a winner of the Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Honor. She lives in Texas with her husband and three sons.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    "Millie Vargas, who would rather observe the behavior of sea turtles in their natural habitat, takes care of three younger siblings after school (and whenever she is needed), while her mother works for a high-powered Corpus Christi family, the Wheelers. When Mr. Charles Wheeler, a Senate hopeful, reveals some personal details of his 'model immigrant' housekeeper's family at a protest against the separation of children from their families at the border, Millie's family is trolled online and become the target of a hate crime. Millie navigates her anger at the Wheeler family, who are privileged enough to openly protest injustice without fear, while slowly developing a crush and falling in love with the oldest son, Charlie, and preparing to tell her mother that she has received a full scholarship at a top college and will be leaving home. Mickelson, who, like Millie, immigrated from Guatemala as an infant, has crafted an analytical and emotionally charged first-person narrative, and explores with a deft and wise hand the complexities of a budding relationship with a person of a different class and the conflict between upward mobility and family loyalty. The perspicacious eyes and heart of Millie, who respects her hardworking mother and mourns her father, who died too young, bring the reader in touch with an honorable family who defy stereotypes, transcend low expectations, and who know they belong here. VERDICT A fabulous debut, not to be missed. There is truth on every page—about love, restraint, and integrity."—starred, School Library Journal

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    Lerner Publishing Group
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