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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,272 ratings  ·  298 reviews
A near future dystopian where a young girl and her brother must escape a xenophobic government to find sanctuary.

It's 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens are chipped and everyone is tracked--from buses to grocery stores. It's almost impossible to survive as an undocumented immigrant, but that's exactly what sixteen-year-old Vali is doing. She and her family
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Mara H. it could be

(tried to submit just this, Goodreads said I needed to add more detail)

so after reading this book I was like, there's no way this would eve…more
it could be

(tried to submit just this, Goodreads said I needed to add more detail)

so after reading this book I was like, there's no way this would ever happen in real life

but that's what I would say about trump getting elected, a worldwide pandemic, etc.


Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,272 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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Peyton Reads
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is gut wrenching. It is a terrifying near future dystopian novel set in 2032 where a wall has been put up between the US and Mexico. The US government has a leader set on eliminating all undocumented immigrants. Going so far as throwing people in concentration camps, separating families, and murdering people. Our main character Vali is undocumented as well as her parents, and when her and Ernie, her eight year old brother, are separated from them, they have to journey across the countr ...more
Melanie (mells_view)
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wondered what he was thinking or feeling or wishing he’d said to his family the last time he saw them. The last time he’d probably ever see them.

Sanctuary is a YA dystopian novel set in the not so distant future of 2032. The “Great American Wall” has been built between Mexico and California, citizens are CHIPPED as proof of residency, undocumented immigrants are treated HORRIBLY (I mean, I realize this isn’t far off from the deplorable treatment people receive in 2020, but it’s another level i
TW: Gun violence, physical violence, attempted rape

In the spring of 2018, the Trump administration led a relentless pursuit of detainment, deportations and continued family separations.

The worst part of this book is the fact that many of the events that happen in this book could have been stolen right from U.S. news headlines. No matter how bleak, how violent, how utterly inhumane this story could get, reality always one-upped it.

This is a very powerful, important story about undocumented imm
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
What if the American President was in his third term, there was a giant wall and land mines at the U.S. Mexico border, everyone had chips in their wrist to track their identity, and undocumented immigrants were being viciously hunted down by militant government forces? Oh and California is seceding to offer sanctuary...this is the near future dystopian world woven in YA novel Sanctuary. It's brutal and horrifying.

The main character is Vali, a teen girl from Colombia who is living as an undocume
Angela Staudt
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you PenguinTeen for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Sanctuary was absolutely heart breaking to read. Set in 2032, which isn’t so far in the future we see a United States that I would never want to live in. The President has made a Great American Wall between Mexico and the United States and treats undocumented immigrants horribly. California decides to become their own country and be a safe haven for undocumented immigrants. The President immediately starts putting up another wall
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sanctuary in a dystopia book written in the 2032 but having the same issues that here in the states are having on immigration. I enjoyed the characters and the dynamic of the story. I felt that this could be our future if things don't change with policies on immigration. The book kind of left off that I wonder if there would be another book after this. ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-read, audiobook
I picked this up on a whim as an audiobook from my library (beautifully read by co-author Paola Mendoza), and it was absolutely worth it. The book is exactly as advertised, a near future look at the horror in store for undocumented immigrants in the United States if things continue on their current trajectory.

In Sanctuary, California separates and forms its own country, a safe-haven for any undocumented people living in the remaining states who can make it there. The story follows one small fami
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dystopian, ya, immigrant
Paolo Mendoza & Abby Sher

Imagine an America in the near future where citizens are chipped and tracked, where undocumented immigrants have nowhere to hide, and where California becomes a sanctuary state that is being walled off from the rest of the country. 16 yo Vali, and her mother Liliana are refugees from Columbia and are trying to escape to find sanctuary in California where Vali's aunt resides. Liliana's chip malfunctions and she is taken by the Deportation Forces. Vali is forced t
Tomes And Textiles
Have you ever finished a book and not known how to rate it? That's where I am with this one right now. Full review to come. 3 stars is temporary until I've had time to absorb this story a little more. ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

It's 2032, and Vali lives with her mother and younger brother Ernie in Maine, where her mother works on a farm. Vali's mother and father came to the California with her when she was very young to escape conditions in Colombia. When the US started to crack down on immigration and installed microchips in all citizens, Vali and her mother got counterfeit chips, but her father did not. At one point, he is caught by the Deportation Force and sent back to Colombia, wher
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“His pain hit me harder and deeper than anything I had felt in my life. And yet I kept nodding. We were all doing the best we could. Trying to survive.”

Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher is absolutely soul-crushing, primarily because although it’s a dystopian fiction, I can see the utter reality in this story. There are frightening realities that hit way too close to home and what’s been happening in the world today.

Vali, her 8-year-old brother, Ernie and her mother live in Vermont in the
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
16 year old Vali and her younger brother must make it to sanctuary after losing both parents.
Dystopian but also horrifyingly possible. It did remind me in many parts of American Dirt. The threats that face immigrants and the courage needed to overcome.
Danielle Russell
"Sanctuary does for immigration what The Hate U Give did for police brutality."
- Jaysen Headley, tiktok user

This is one of the most compelling reads of 2020. Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher put together a horrifying dystopian story set in the United States in 2032 where it is nearly impossible to be an illegal immigrant. Inspiration for this allegorical story came from President Trump's 2018 shameful policy of separating families at our southern border.

In this gripping novel, we follow sixteen year
Staci Vought
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
3.75 stars. This was a fast read that gave an exaggerated view of what it is like to be illegally in the United States. The president seems to have Trump’s mentality, but to such an extreme that people have microchips implanted in their skin to track them, drones taking down illegal aliens, land minds blowing people up if they try to cross into the US, etc. For me, the extreme nature was a turn-off. The story was gripping, but too political for Battle of the Books. It could be popular for book t ...more
Lauren (los_libationlibrary)
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I will never be the same after reading this book. It affected me so much that I compare it to Night by Elie Wiesel. Aka the saddest book I’ve ever read. This book changed me and I hope everyone reads it. This book is set in the future, but I honestly feel it’s not that far off from our reality. I hope this book inspires others to love and foster empathy for everyone they come across. Highly recommend to all!
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story is set in 2032, when the tension about immigration in the U.S has reached dystopian levels. The wall between the U.S and Mexico is built, people are given chips to verify their identity, and states offering sanctuary to immigrants are treated as enemies of the nation.
However, the most disturbing thing about this book is that it truly isn't all that far-fetched or different than what is already going on. We are already building a wall. Our government is already threatening to cut off
Rachel 007
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow I could not put this book down. What a testament to all the immigrant families kids and people. I am in awe. Wow.
Sarahi Flores
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hold still my heart because this took a toll on me I really loved this book because it captures all the problems we are basically facing at the moment. This is a works of fiction but some things has already happened. This is a scary realization how American can be going towards this path.A dystopian novel that basically makes you fear for your safety and the safety of you loved ones. A piece of paper that determines your status to this so call Land of the Free.Paola and Abby did a great job capt ...more
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
four and a half stars- must read!
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
A huge thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Teen for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A video of an unnamed 15-year old girl attempting to cross The Great American Wall from Mexico, and subsequently getting blown up by a landmine, goes viral. 16-year old Vali, in her Vermont home, watches the video over and over and wonders what this would mean for her family.

The year is 2032, America’s president is on his third term, a fifty-foot wall has been erecte
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
So much raw emotion in this book. I liked the pacing mixed with the trauma, the story just seemed nonstop and grabs you to keep reading. Even though it took me FOREVER to finish, if I wasn't so lazy I would've finished this in a heartbeat. The part that touched me the most was the constant cloud of paranoia, of deportation hanging over them and fleeing to a sanctuary. I'll never know what it's like, but I appreciate this story shedding light on those fleeing and seeking to just be. ...more
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I hope everybody reads this book and the ones who are still so sheltered and privileged understand what is actually happening and to what extent it might, in the future.
Zibby Owens
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It's 2032. All citizens are chipped, and everyone is tracked. Sixteen-year-old Vali is living as an undocumented immigrant. She and her family have carved out a stable, happy life in small-town Vermont, but when Vali's mother's counterfeit chip malfunctions and the Deportation Forces raid their town, her family is forced to flee. Now on the run, Vali and her family are desperately trying to make it to California, a sanctuary walled off from the rest of the country.

In this book, Vali is a normal
Kari Yergin
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, young-adult
A terrible, heartbreaking near future of immigrants in America. I want it to be dystopian but it feels ridiculously possible. Strong characters fighting against injustice.
If you only read 1 book this year, make it this one.
Kera (featherboundbooks)
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the incredible authors Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher, as well as Penguin Teen, Putnam Books, and NetGalley for my advanced copy if this book in exchange for my honest review.

This was one of the most incredible books I have read all year. It was raw and heartbreaking and so so relevant. Told from the not so unrealistic alternate future (year 2032), the United States is a terrifying place to live if you are not born there. The president is fighting for his ideas of the war against u
A.R. Hellbender
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! If you read one book all year, read this one.
This is a survivalistic story of a teen and her little brother who have nowhere to go as the government attempts to track down undocumented immigrants. It's a very quick read that doesn't sugar-coat anything.
The story takes place in a very near-future society that is very close to what is going on in the US right now. A wall is already being built, we already have a president who is attempting to get elected again and again, and more and more ha
Alyssa - alyssareadstoomuch
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to @penguinteen @netgalley for an e-arc of Sanctuary! I was completely captivated by this book. It was gut wrenching and tore my heart out. As I read each page my heart was racing and I had to remind myself to breath. This book left me shook to say the least. But regardless, Sanctuary was amazing and needs to be on your radar. Out Sept 1st, you need this near dystopian in your life!

It’s 2032 and a wall was built surrounding America’s borders. The president is xenophobic and blames eve
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, arcs, read-2020
This was certainly riveting and fast-paced - the book is full of events and tragedies, one atop the other - and not quite as unlikely a dystopia as it once might have seemed. I did feel that the somewhat ambiguous ending more in line with the rest of the book than a miraculously positive one would have been. However I didn't find Vali to be particularly uniquely characterized, and the hints of romance (and the most strongly distinguishable secondary character) seemed to come in a bit too late fo ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First of all, thank you to Wednesday books and NetGalley for an eARC of this!

Set in 2032 in a near dystopian future, America has implanted IDs, built the Mexico-US wall, and California is now a separate country. Our MC, Vali, must do everything possible to protect her brother and get them to California.

I would content warning the crap out of this book, but it's most of the book! There is sexual assault, death, bombings, drowning, child death, racism, and the very real near future of a racist pre
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ARTBA 2021: Sanctuary 4 16 May 24, 2021 01:37PM  

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