Strange Parents


Details a very real contemporary issue: the difficulties encountered by children separated from their parents.

by Julia Mercedes Castilla

ISBN: 978-1-55885-590-8
Publication Date: October 31, 2009
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 96
Imprint: Piñata Books
11 and up

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“Marisol holds the picture against her chest. She looks out the window of the bus that is taking her away from everything and everyone she knows. Through tears veiling her eyes, she stares at her grandmother and her Tía Filomena, who are still crying and waving at her from the street.”

She is on the long journey from Mexico to Fort Worth, Texas, to be reunited with the parents she has not seen in years. She has spent ten of her almost thirteen years living with her grandmother, and Marisol would just as soon continue living with her family in Mexico.

Instead, Marisol finds herself living with strangers: a mother and father she barely remembers and certainly doesn’t know, and a younger brother who resents her intrusion in their lives.  Adjusting to a new life isn’t easy. Aside from the difficulties in learning English, making new friends and dealing with her brother’s jealousy, Marisol must come to terms with feelings of rejection and self-worth. How could her parents have left her in Mexico while making a new life for themselves in the United States? And why was her brother Eddy allowed to stay with them?

This intriguing novel for young adults explores an all-too-common contemporary issue—children separated from their parents, who are searching for better lives and more opportunities.