Book Review: La Línea

La Linea by Ann JaramilloLa línea
Written by Ann Jaramillo
Published by Roaring Book Press, 2006
ISBN: 9780312373542
Age Level: 10 and up

BOOK SUMMARY:

Miguel’s life is just beginning. Or so he thinks. Fifteen-year-old Miguel leaves his rancho deep in Mexico to migrate to California across la línea, the border, in a debut novel of life-changing, cliff-hanging moments. But Miguel’s carefully laid plans change suddenly when his younger sister Elena stows away and follows him. Together, Miguel and Elena endure hardships and danger on their journey of desperation and desire, loyalty and betrayal. An epilogue, set ten years after the events of the story, shows that you can’t always count on dreams–even the ones that come true.

My thoughts:

La Línea is about the journey of two young teenagers trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to be reunited with their family in California.  It’s an incredibly poignant and moving novel.  The trip North is hard for Miguel and Elena, and it’s not always easy to read about what the two had to endure.  I certainly cried through a number of parts.  It’s difficult to read about how dehumanizing and traumatic the experience is.  While it’s fiction, it’s based on the lived experiences of some of Jaramillo’s own students.  Knowing how close the story is to the accounts of many immigrants makes the reading even more intense.  Jaramillo manages to communicate the danger, violence, and sacrifice while avoiding overdramatizing the emotions, which allows the story to remain accessible both to students who have had similar experiences as well as those who haven’t. Continue reading

¡Mira, Look! Featured Author: Ann Jaramillo

AnnJaramilloHey there readers!! This week I am pleased to bring you some information on Ann Jaramillo, the author of this month’s book club featured book, La Linea (ages 10 and up).

Ann Jaramillo teaches English as a Second Language to Mexican-American seventh and eighth graders in Salinas, California, many of whom are migrants. La Linea is her first novel. Over ninety-five percent of her students are of Mexican descent, and many are first generation, new arrival immigrants themselves. She wrote this story for them, for the kids who come into her classroom, ready to learn, after surviving a daunting journey. “From them I have learned the meaning of optimism, courage, and determination” (pg 128). Continue reading

Our Next Good Read. . .La Línea

Thank you so much to the wonderful group of teachers who joined us for book group last night! Talking with you all is always one of my favorite parts of the month!

We hope to see you all for our next meeting on October 6th at Bookworks from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss October’s featured novel (if we’re not at Bookworks, check next door at Flying Star, we often end up there for coffee and snacks).  La Linea by Ann Jaramillo

We are reading La Línea (Age 10 and Up) by Ann Jaramillo.

Here’s a sneak peek into the book: (from Goodreads)

Miguel’s life is just beginning. Or so he thinks. Fifteen-year-old Miguel leaves his rancho deep in Mexico to migrate to California across la linea, the border, in a debut novel of life-changing, cliff-hanging moments.

But Miguel’s carefully laid plans change suddenly when his younger sister Elena stows away and follows him. Together, Miguel and Elena endure hardships and danger on their journey of desperation and desire, loyalty and betrayal. An epilogue, set ten years after the events of the story, shows that you can’t always count on dreams–even the ones that come true. Continue reading

Book Giveaway!! La Línea

Book-Giveaway-Seal_DraftWe’re giving away a copy of La Línea written by Ann Jaramillo–our featured novel for October’s book group meeting!! Check out the following from reviewers:

“A gripping contemporary survival adventure, this spare first novel is also a heart-wrenching family story of courage, betrayal, and love.”—Booklist, Starred Review.

“Jaramillo’s first novel is convincing and effective.”—The Horn Book Magazine Continue reading