~The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America
By Helen Thorpe
This is an important book for our time. Immigration is a hot topic in America today, morally and politically. This book puts the spotlight on four young Hispanic women as they deal with this issue from the inside.
We meet four lifelong friends: Marisela, Elissa, Clara and Yadira. The girls grew up together, with the dream of an education and life as free Americans, earning the freedom from generations of poverty.
Only two of the girls, Clara and Elissa, have legal immigration status, however. Yadira and Marisela do not have the required, necessary papers to be in America legally. They become adept at working around the system, such as paying for fake social security numbers, enabling them to work.
As the four girl become adults, they are faced with the facts of the consequences of illegal status. Though gifted and college bound, Yadira and Marisela must have the necessary paperwork to further themselves. They cannot even fly without papers. Deportation is a significant and very real concern. They are acutely aware that their legal friends do not have this issue.
Adding to the book is the fact that the author’s husband is the mayor of Denver, while Denver is embroiled in a national immigration battle. The case involves a Mexican immigrant who shoots and kills a police officer.