We Are All We Have by Marina Budhos. Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 2022. 9780593120200
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5
Genre: Realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? 17-year-old Pakistani Rania is two weeks away from high school graduation when ICE comes and takes her mother away into detention. Rania is left to care for her 8-year-old brother Kamal but she needs a guardian if she is to avoid being taken away herself. Rania has been accepted at Hunter College and is excited to continue building her life when all this happens. She has no guardian which leaves her and Kamal to be taken to a detention center separate from their mother. There she meets Carlos, an undocumented Mexican, in similar circumstances. The three of them escape together, hiding out and working on the Cape while hoping Lidia, Rania and her mother’s attorney, can save them from being deported. Rania’s strength and determination help her while she discovers things from her past her mother has kept from her.
Anything you did not like about the book? No.
To whom would you recommend this book? This story examines the lives of so many immigrants seeking asylum in this country. Though fictionalized, this is the tragedy occurring throughout the United States at the present time. Teens may well know students at their own schools enduring this life of indecision, fear and instability.
Who should buy this book? Public, middle school and high school libraries
Where would you shelve it? YA Fiction
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near the top
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Contributor, Youth Services Book Review
Date of Review: November 10, 2022
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