Swimming to America
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
2005, 160 pages
Explores how a youngster from Albania who is living in the New York City area illegally views her life and future prospects. Linda Berati cannot find out from her parents about her background and grows alienated from them; as an eighth-grader she finds school boring and bonds with another foreign-born student, Ramón, who is Cuban. Together they build a hideout from which they can see the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Ramón's brother, Miguel, is involved in drug selling. When Linda is working with Ramón's family at a movie theater, other drug dealers come looking for Miguel and shoot him. Linda runs home to call the police even though she is sure that this action will place her and Ramón's families both at risk for deportation. When her parents find out about the danger Linda encountered, they tell her the truth that they are all illegal but nevertheless decide they will not live in fear. Likewise Ramón's family sends Miguel who was only grazed by the bullet to live with other relatives and quit the job at the theater; they say that over and over they make new beginnings and they will do that again. Meanwhile Linda's parents will have Linda change to a more challenging school and agree that no matter where they end up, she must get the best education possible. (IP)
This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.