Budhos, Marina. Tell Us We're Home.
Jaya, Maria and Lola all have something in common-- they are all the children of immigrants, and their mothers work for people in their wealthy suburban community cleaning houses and babysitting. They are relieved to find each other, because it is hard for them all to feel they fit in with students who wear designer clothing and don't need to split coffee. Jaya's life is not carefree, because her mother's main employer, Mrs. Harmon, has a stroke. Not only is the house being sold, but Jaya's mother is accused of stealing a very expensive piece of jewelry. Maria's mother is trying her best to live with extended family and contribute financially, having left Mexico after Maria's father died. Maria's family is being threatened with zoning violations by angry neighbors, and her brother is beat up by boys on a local soccer team. Lola's father, a prominent engineer in Slovakia, is so depressed that he does nothing all day and seems unable to muster enough energy to even look for a job. In addition to these obstacles, the girls navigate the waters of school, boyfriends, and family life. This is an excellent description of a life that many of my students don't understand, and is a valuable addition to my multicultural books. The Latino (and Somalian) population in the Columbus area is rapidly growing, and there are not enough books on the experience of immigrant students.