Tyler lives on a dairy farm in Vermont. When his dad is injured in a tractor accident the family can no longer keep up with the work. Tyler’s dad decides to hire migrant workers to save the farm from foreclosure. (A migrant worker is a worker that travels from place to place getting work on farms harvesting crops that are in season. In the US, migrant workers are often from Mexico.)
The Cruz family moves to the farm and the men begin working on the farm. The kids go to Tyler’s school. One girl, Mari, is in Tyler’s class. The two kids find that they have a lot in common, mostly, worrying about their families.
When Tyler discovers that the Cruz’s are undocumented workers, he’s confused. Would his dad do something illegal? What is so illegal about the Cruz’s working to help out his family? When the authorities raid the farm and take the Cruz men to jail, Tyler is as confused as ever. He and his family have spent a year building a friendship with Mari and her family and the rules don’t make any sense. The Cruz’s definitey don’t belong in jail, but where do they belong? Should they stay, or do they have to go? If they go, what will happen to the farm?
This is a really personal look at the life of migrant families and the choices and dangers they face. I really liked Meeting Mari and her family. She helped me understand what would motivate a family to risk living in the US illegally. Author: Julia Alvarez; Award: Pura Belpre Author Award 2010
- Listen to Julia Alvarez Read from Return to Sender