Illegal – Francisco X. Stork

 Illegal – Francisco X. Stork, Scholastic,     (9781338310559), 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

 Genre: Realistic fiction

 What did you like about the book? The story begins where Disappeared left off. (Sara and her younger brother Emiliano must flee Mexico when they are targeted by human traffickers.) Sara is trapped in a detention camp in Texas with little to do; she is also bullied relentlessly by one of the guards. Emiliano has traveled with his father to Chicago where he needs to get the phone with the incriminating evidence that was given to Sara to those in law enforcement in order to entrap those involved in people trafficking.  But it seems that a lot of people are trying to get this phone leaving Emiliano to decide just who he can trust.  Because the resolution does not occur until the very end of the book, I was preparing myself for a trilogy!  But Stork does manage to disentangle all the pieces bringing the story to a satisfying and realistic conclusion.

Anything you did not like about the book? No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Those who read the first book, Disappeared, will definitely want to know what happens to Emiliano and Sara in the United States!  Because this story mirrors what is happening in the U.S. at the present time it is almost essential reading.

Who should buy this book? Public and high school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  YA Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, particularly if you have read Disappeared but Americans owe it to themselves and all others to know what is really going on.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: 8/16/2020

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