Ashley's Reviews > Return to Sender

Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
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's review
Oct 23, 2011

liked it

1.Return to Sender: Contemporary Realism

2.American Tyler and Mexican Mari become connected after her family is illegally employed to work on Tyler’s family’s farm. They come from different backgrounds, but forge a bond that is very strong despite the hardships each family endures.

3. Critique

a.Lawfulness and cultural diversity are the areas I would like to comment on.

b.I feel like I could write two critiques on this book because I loved certain aspects but did not appreciate others. Negatively, I do not appreciate the glorification of illegal immigration. I love that this country is a place where people can better themselves, but doing so illegally is not fair, that is why it is illegal. I feel that while this book does a great job of helping to spread the positive ideas of cultural diversity, the underlying factor is that Mari’s family is breaking the law. Teaching this to children is questionable to me. If that was stripped away, I would love the book because I enjoyed the back and forth style. It reminds me exactly of how young children interact and would write. Like I said, this is a great example of overcoming cultural walls, and that is the positive point this book offers.

c.The entire book obviously centers on the fact that this family is living here illegally, and the struggles that occur because of that. I appreciated the Grandpa’s insight, however, in his attempts to soften the severity of the situation as well as the cultural differences.

4.This is not a book I would use in the classroom due to the fact that is highlights someone getting away with an illegal action; however, I may use excerpts for the cultural acceptance issue. The letters are a great way to incorporate literacy with cultural diversity.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sara Check Ashley- I agree that this book is very mature and more appropriate for an older audience but I'm not sure if it glorifies illegal immigration. I do believe that it allows for the other side of the immigration story to be told, which a lot of us are unaware of. It would allow students to explore other points of views, even if they are illegal. Really enjoyed your review.

Angelina I really appreciate this review because it was totally opposite of what I wrote. I understand how this can be seen as glorifying illegal immigration; however, I do not think that was the intention of the writer. I felt that the book brought a humane perspective to the issue. Yes, they came over illegally, but they did so with pure intentions. I think that this book will help students not to have so much prejudice, especially towards classmates of immigrants who may have came here illegally.

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