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The Thing You're Good At
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The Thing You're Good At
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Jake's friend Maria is the daughter of illegal immigrants who have been living and working in the country for a long time. But the new government has implemented a crackdown. Maria's parents are...
Jake's friend Maria is the daughter of illegal immigrants who have been living and working in the country for a long time. But the new government has implemented a crackdown. Maria's parents are...
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Description-

  • Jake's friend Maria is the daughter of illegal immigrants who have been living and working in the country for a long time. But the new government has implemented a crackdown. Maria's parents are detained and quickly sent out of the country. Maria, who was born here, decides to hide out in Jake's basement rather than risk becoming a ward of the state. But when she returns to her old apartment to retrieve her hidden birth certificate, Maria is abducted by young men on the lookout for teenage girls who have lost their parents to deportation. Jake is determined to rescue Maria before she's turned over to the authorities. Or worse.

About the Author-

  • Lesley Choyce, who has been teaching English and creative writing for over thirty years, is the author of more than ninety books of literary fiction, short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction and young adult novels. He has won the Dartmouth Book Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Ann Connor Brimer Award. He has also been short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Medal, the White Pine Award, the Hackmatack Award, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award and, most recently, the Governor General's Award. For more information, visit www.lesleychoyce.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2018
    When Jake's friend Maria, the daughter of undocumented immigrants, goes missing, Jake must find her and keep her safe.Jake and his family are dirt poor. His mother abandoned the family, his father hates his restaurant job, his older brother is in prison, and his younger brother is withdrawn. Jake's closest friend, a classmate named Maria, doesn't share much about her life. Maria finally confesses that her parents are in the country illegally. There have been a lot of government crackdowns on undocumented immigration, and Maria is fearful. When she goes missing, Jake and a friend seek the help of their history teacher, who is able to confirm that Maria's parents were detained by immigration--but not Maria herself. Maria's parents' country of origin is never mentioned, and the book assumes a white default. The strength of this narrative is that Jake doesn't solve Maria's problems on his own but relies on his community to help. However, the pervasive use of the phrase "illegal immigrant" throughout is troubling. This story is timely but wraps up too neatly to be believable considering the complexities of undocumented immigration. In Mayan Murder, by Martha Brack Martin (D-Day, 2012), Tom goes on vacation to Cancun with his girlfriend and her FBI agent father and gets involved in solving a drug cartel's kidnapping of a child. In Hide and Shriek, by Alison Hughes (Kasey & Ivy, 2018, etc.), 14-year-old Emily and her friends spy on their shady neighbors, who are involved in an illegal transaction, and are chased down by the criminals.A fast-paced series that is a good start for reluctant teen readers. (Thriller. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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