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My Family Divided: One Girl's Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Before landing a spot on the megahit Netflix show Orange is the New Black; before wowing audiences as Lina on Jane the Virgin; and before her incredible activism and work on immigration reform, Diane Guerrero was a young girl living in Boston. One day, while Guerrero was at school, her undocumented immigrant parents were taken from their home, detained, and deported. Guerr ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by Henry Holt & Company
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I won a copy via Goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own.:)

Confession: Didn't know this was the edition for younger readers when I entered the giveaway.. my bad haha.

The good: Her personal story is compelling, my heart broke for her and her family and what they had to endure. I think she was brave for sharing her personal story, including all the warts and fears. I love how passionate she is in her activism as well and I admire her for keeping on figh
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
It was really heartbreaking to read Diane Guerrero’s story, though you could certainly tell it had been condensed down into this version friendly for a younger audience. It’s a story that shares the real experiences of many folks in our country, and I think the way it’s told makes it a story that we can learn from, empathize with and be inspired by.
Satvika B. 8B
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so heart warming and beautiful. I feel like some people take everything they have for granted, this book really does makes us think about things in our life we usually wouldn't think of. Who is worried about their parents getting deported into a different country everyday, scared to wake up in the morning? This book touched my heart, with tears, happiness and everything in between. It is just amazing how many bumps Diane Guerrero went through to get where she is now. At age 14, al ...more
C. L.
A good, honest, important story — just not one that’s very well-written. It’s a shame that a book meant to be about giving someone a voice has so little... well, voice. Still worth it, though. Recommended, but it’s not going to stand out.
Ms. Yingling
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
ARC provided by publisher at ALA Midwinter

Actress Diane Guerrero's father and mother came to the United States from Colombia in the 1980s in order to make a better life for themselves and for their son. They came on a ninety day tourist to visit a sister and did not leave. While they struggled, they were able to hold down jobs and have places to live. They tried to obtain citizenship, but were thwarted by the bureaucracy, as well as by a fraudulent lawyer who took a lot of money for little resul
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This autobiography of actress and activist Diane Guerrero chronicles her life from childhood to present-day, opening with the deportation of her parents when she was in high school. Although the writing is sometimes choppy, this is an inspiring story with an appealing cover that should resonate with middle schoolers. I hovered between rating it 3 or 4 stars, but the hopeful story and helpful immigration reform resources tipped the scales.
Valentina Gonzalez
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed experiencing this story through the eyes of child whose parents were deported. It helped me understand the feelings and emotions, the fears and hopes of a child facing family separation.
Megan Schmelzer
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Open Book Reviews by Megan Schmelzer

Stories of immigrant families being separated have been flooding the news recently. Heartbreaking testimonies of young children left to fend for themselves as their parents are sent back to the countries they have immigrated from. Opinions aside, the challenges and hardships these separated families are faced with are extreme. Diane Guerrero's story is just one of the thousands.

In My Family Divided, Diane Guerrero tells the story of her
Richard Stange
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Behind every one of the headlines on deportation there is a family. Parents. Innocent children. True stories that are rarely told” (4).

Angie Thomas, author of the book “The Hate U Give,” often expresses how writing is an act of activism. Her point could not be more clear than after one has read “My Family Divided.”

As one who is born into privilege, I felt vulnerable reading this young adult nonfiction memoir. I felt guilty. I felt wrong for not being threatened by government goons just because
Valerie McEnroe
Before Diane was born, her parents and half-brother visited family in New Jersey on a temporary visa. Once they saw how much better life is in America, they made the decision to overstay their visa and live under the radar to avoid deportation. They tried unsuccessfully to apply for permanent residence, losing a lot of money to scam attorneys in the process. Born in America, Diane was the only one in her family with citizen status. Eventually, the law caught up with her family and deported them. ...more
I can think of few books more relevant in the current political climate than this one, the middle grade/YA version of the actor and activist's memoir, In the Country We Love. Heart-wrenchingly honest and straightforward, the book describes Diane Guerrero's personal experiences with immigration, thus, providing a human face to the hot button issue of immigration. Not only was Diane's mother deported twice while she was growing up, but both parents were sent back to Columbia when she was 14. Diane ...more
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: royal
Diane Guerrero's story is heartbreaking, but timely. Born to immigrants from Colombia who were in the U.S. illegally, Diane learned at a young age that hard work and a desire for a better life were not enough. Her childhood was filled with laughter and love, but there was an underlying fear of deportation. Her parents tried to become U.S. citizens, but the lawyer that Diane's father hired turned out to be a con man and took off with all of their savings. When Diane's mother tried to get U.S. cit ...more
Alexa Hamilton
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, tween
I didn't know Diane Guerrero's story of growing up with parents and a brother who were undocumented immigrants from Colombia, while she was born here. She does a great job setting the scene of a happy family life, despite the long hours both her parents worked and the fear of deportation. But the worst part is when deportation happens, and Diane is left by her mother first, and later by both of her parents and her brother, to stay in this country as a teenager with nothing and no one.

This isn't
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Diane's family. Her parents came to American from Colombia, seeking better opportunities and work options. They worked hard in order to support their children, and kept a low profile in their community, since neither parent was a legal immigrant. When Diane was an early teen, her parents were deported back to Colombia. Diane is a US citizen. Immigration officials never followed up on Diane or her brother, and both teens were left to fend for themselves, staying with friends ...more
Jeni Enjaian
I applaud Guerrero's raw honesty in opening herself up to the scrutiny that comes from sharing her personal story. As I read through how she persisted despite the deportation of her parents, through the turmoil and uncertainty, many faces of my current students came to mind. Many of them experience the same thing right now. While the tone of the book shifted from memoir to campaigning towards the end, that shift made sense. I agree with everything she stated one hundred percent.

I highly recommen
The author really shows you how difficult the life of an undocumented immigrants really is. The author is US citizen given that she was born in the US, but her parents and brother are undocumented immigrants from Columbia. When the author was 14 her parents were deported and she was left to fend for herself, she was lucky to be able to live with family friends. You really have to give her credit for all that she has accomplished on her own: going to college and becoming a successful actress and ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. I'm so proud of Diane for sharing her amazing story, which is never something easy to do. I'm appalled and disgusted with how the government handled her parents deportation and the fact that the U.S. government did nothing to ensure that she was okay and taken care of. However, despite the challenges Diane has faced, she has turned her story into a positive one and is using it to help others. This book and Diane are incredible! I learned so much about a topic I knew very l ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very timely memoir about the OITNB actress's youth as an American child of undocumented immigrants, leading up to and following her parents' deportation when she was 14 years old. Guerrero wasn't put into a detention center for children -- in fact, she wasn't followed up after at all. The writing is aimed at middle school, but the discussion of her young adulthood seems more for an older teen audience. As an adult, I think I'd enjoy the original memoir she wrote that this was adapted from (but y ...more
High Plains Library District
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cassandra, teen
This is a great book, just published this year, that would give so many young children hope and inspiration regardless of their particular background. Diane Guerrero is a role model for young girls who have struggled living without parents, gone through periods of depression, but found her calling and persevered. I recommend this book to middle school and high school readers and encourage teachers to use it to teach about immigration and deportation, it's a current event that is discussed often ...more
Lonna Pierce
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have been reading stories of immigrants (Refugee by Alan Gretz,) and this is a non-fictional memoir by a TV star (Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin, etc.,) who relates her experience of coming home to an empty house the day both parents were deported. She was 14. While one may appreciate her struggles to survive, the writing is not particularly well-crafted, and often sophomoric in its point of view. It is, however valuable to listen to an eyewitness account of the consequences of a tra ...more
Cassandra Bland
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This is a great book just published this year that would give so many young children hope and inspiration regardless of their particular background. Diane Guerrero is a role model for young girls who have struggled with living without parents, gone through periods of depression, but found her calling and persevered. I recommend this book to middle school and high school readers and encourage teachers to use it to teach about immigration and deportation, it's a current event that is discussed oft ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Diane’s story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Just know before you read—this version of her story is the young adult version and the writing style is definitely geared towards young readers. However, the story is one that people of all ages can appreciate and learn from. She does have another book that is written for adults. I have not read it, but I plan to! I do also appreciate that Diane ends her book with a call to action—her story presents a large issue in our country, but she includes ...more
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I remember when the adult version of this book came out. Recently, I saw this middle grade version at a bookstore and figured I'd read it for my students. I can't wait to put it on my shelf at school. Guerrero's language is perfect for young teens, and while her story will resonate most with kids who've been traumatized in the immigration wars, it's appropriate for all teens.

Joy Lane
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nf, introspection
For those wondering about immigration and the difficulty that all it entails, this is the book for you. I think it is great for middle school and up. I wonder how different the "Adult" version is, but I'm glad this was written for a younger audience. Note that if it read by a young and sensitive person, her issue with "cutting" should be discussed with a caring adult.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was one of the most engaging memoirs I've ever read. Diane's story is heart-wrenching.

Her writing style definitely sounds like a teenage girl, but hey, that's the audience. It mostly didn't bother me. Our mom-kid book club is reading it and I'm sure the kids will learn a lot (so will the moms!). They might even been spurred into action.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed her tale of being a typical American teen struggling in the world of immigration and uncertainty, I felt that some of the text would be better suited to an older audience. Language: profanity, and some more mature references could go over some of the readers' heads, but not all of them.
Kristen Luppino
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
An important story. One that doesn't get told often. What it's like to have undocumented family and dealing with deportation and the aftermath. I probably should have read the adult version, as this was cliche ya at times, but I'm glad there are both versions out there so people know they are not alone.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Amazing and necessary story, but with quite a few triggers for vulnerable youth (making me think that the target age should be higher than it is).

Triggers: abandonment, depression, attempted suicide and self-harm.
Brittany Bays
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! I flew through it. Heartbreaking but necessary.
Kasey Harper
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I thought the story was good, but the last chapter was unnecessary. Without going into a political discussion, the last chapter was very out of place with the rest of the book.
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Diane Guerrero is an actress on the hit shows Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin. She volunteers with the nonprofit Immigrant Legal Resource Center, as well as with Mi Familia Vota, an organization that promotes civic involvement. She has been named an Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization by the White House. She lives in New York City.