Book Review: Return to Sender

Book Review: Return to SenderReturn to Sender
by Julia Alvarez
Pages: 327
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Readers
Goodreads

After Tyler's father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. Tyler isn’t sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented? And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected her American life. Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences?

In a novel full of hope, but no easy answers, Julia Alvarez weaves a beautiful and timely story that will stay with readers long after they finish it.

My Takeaway 

Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez, captures the enduring struggles and fears many undocumented workers face in the United States. The story begins and takes place on the Paquette’s dairy farm in Vermont. Tyler Paquette’s father suffers a tractor accident and is unable to complete the daily laborious farm duties. The family decides to hire a Mexican migrant family as workers to save the farm from going out of business. Twelve-year-old Tyler is torn between loyalty to his country and helping the migrants from being deported. Return to Sender, is told by the perspectives of Tyler and twelve-year-old Mari, one of the migrant’s daughters. Although Tyler and Mari’s backgrounds are different, their lives are somewhat similar. Both of them struggle with issues and challenges way out of their control. I listened to this story as an audio book, but I think I would have enjoyed it better as a book.
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