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Efren Divided
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Efren Divided
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"We need books to break open our hearts, so that we might feel more deeply, so that we might be more human in these unkind times. This is a book doing work of the spirit in a time of darkness."...
"We need books to break open our hearts, so that we might feel more deeply, so that we might be more human in these unkind times. This is a book doing work of the spirit in a time of darkness."...
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Description-

  • "We need books to break open our hearts, so that we might feel more deeply, so that we might be more human in these unkind times. This is a book doing work of the spirit in a time of darkness." —Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

    Efrén Nava's Amá is his Superwoman—or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings Max and Mía feel safe and loved.

    But Efrén worries about his parents; although he's American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn't return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México.

    Now more than ever, Efrén must channel his inner Soperboy to help take care of and try to reunite his family.

    A glossary of Spanish words is included in the back of the book.

About the Author-

  • Ernesto Cisneros was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, where he still teaches. Efrén Divided is his first book. He holds an English degree from the University of California, Irvine; a teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach; as well as a master of fine arts in creative writing from National University. As an author, he believes in providing today's youth with an honest depiction of characters with whom they can identify. The real world is filled with amazing people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. His work strives to ref lect that. You can visit him online at www.ernestocisneros.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from December 1, 2019
    A young boy must become an adult overnight when his mother is deported. Twelve-year-old Efrén Nava's world is turned upside down the day he comes back from school and his mother is nowhere to be found. His neighbor Doña Chana tells him that an ICE raid was conducted at the supermarket and that Amá was picked up and deported to Mexico. When his father takes on a second job to make ends meet, Efrén becomes the primary caregiver for Mía and Max, his younger twin siblings. Unsure of how much information about his mother's fate to give them, Efrén tries his best to make Amá's miracles his own as he struggles to keep his siblings safe, feed them, and take them to school while still dealing with his own schooling. Taking care of Max, whose oxygen supply was cut off during childbirth and has learning disabilities, and figuring out which friends and adults to trust with his secret add layers of responsibility Efrén feels unprepared to deal with. Debut author Cisneros paints a vivid and palpable #ownvoices picture of the lost childhoods as children and parents are separated due to immigration issues. But even as Efrén's world seems to be crashing around him, Cisneros celebrates the kindness of the Mexican American community and its richness of food, culture, and resilient spirit. Honest and tender: a must-read. (Fiction. 8-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 27, 2020
    As affecting as it is timely, Cisneros’s debut depicts how draconian U.S. immigration policies rip through one Southern California family. At the novel’s start, the Nava family lives a hardworking, loving existence—American-born Efrén, the seventh-grade narrator, is mostly concerned with the upcoming school election. But when his undocumented mother is deported after an ICE raid one afternoon, Efrén must care for his five-year-old siblings, one of whom has a learning disability, while his father works extra hours for funds to bring his mother back from Mexico. Cisneros tells this urgent story with focus and heart-wrenching realism, especially concerning the ripple effects of family separation, not just at the border but also among those in the U.S. Cisneros layers in stories of other deportees, underlining the importance of taking part in change as he portrays a community rallying around its most vulnerable members. (Efrén’s burnt-out history teacher shares cautionary tales of past exclusionary practices via Martin Niemöller’s “First they came for the socialists” poem.) If Efrén seems to shoulder burdens beyond his years with alarming maturity, he mirrors many children in this country who are forced to grow up fast. Ages 8–12. Agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    February 28, 2020

    Gr 5-7-A timely story of one boy's fight to reunite his family, save a friendship, and stand up for justice. Efr�n's favorite spot to read is the bathtub-when he wants to hide from his twin siblings, that's where he retreats, though the smell of Am�'s delicious sopes always has a way of drawing him out. To Efr�n, Am� is a Soperwoman! Living undocumented in the United States, Am� and Ap� both work hard to provide a better life for their children. Although their apartment is small and money is tight, Efr�n knows he has a lot to be thankful for. But one day everything changes. When he arrives home from school, Am� is gone. She has been deported. Stepping in to care for his siblings while Ap� works overtime, Efr�n tries to channel Am�'s superpowers. But when teachers and friends notice something is wrong, will Efr�n find the courage to share the truth? Efr�n's story is not uncommon. In the last few years, the news has become saturated with headlines about deportations and separated families. Cisneros provides a heart-wrenching and evocative glimpse of what one family's life might look like on both sides of the border. Using down-to-earth characters and authentic scenarios, he tells a story of resilience, strength, and love. VERDICT In a time full of divisiveness and unknowns, this resonant title will inspire young readers to make a difference, no matter the hardships they face.-Rebecca Redinger, Lincoln Park Branch, Chicago Public Library

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from February 1, 2020
    Grades 3-6 *Starred Review* Efr�n Nava has a tight-knit family?Max and Mia, his younger twin siblings; his hard-working father, Ap�; and his mom, Queen of the Best Sopes, Am� (otherwise known as "Soperwoman" in Efr�n's mind), who is the glue that keeps the family together. Efr�n is happy with the way his life is going?he's working hard at school, spending time with his best friend David, and visiting his school library. But one day, Efr�n's world comes crashing down when his beloved Am� gets deported. Now he must do his part in supporting his family, which means helping take care of his siblings, managing money, and being strong for his father, all while keeping up at school and helping David become class president. How long, he wonders, can the family go on without Am�? With matter-of-fact storytelling from Efr�n's point of view, Cisneros' debut offers a vivid glimpse into the difficult, tenuous lives of immigrant families, succinctly communicates the heartbreaking impact of deportations, and demonstrates the resiliency of those affected, all grounded in the perspective of a relatable protagonist. This timely middle-grade novel will not only open dialogue with children on the issue of immigration but also encourage conversations on the subjects of kindness, empathy, and activism. A moving novel perfectly pitched to its audience.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Debut author Cisneros paints a vivid and palpable #ownvoices picture of the lost childhoods as children and parents are separated due to immigration issues. But even as Efrén's world seems to be crashing around him, Cisneros celebrates the kindness of the Mexican American community and its richness of food, culture, and resilient spirit.Honest and tender: a must-read."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "As affecting as it is timely, Cisneros's debut depicts how draconian U.S. immigration policies rip through one Southern California family... Cisneros tells this urgent story with focus and heart-wrenching realism, especially concerning the ripple effects of family separation, not just at the border but also among those in the U.S."
  • Booklist (starred review) "This timely middle-grade novel will not only open dialogue with children on the issue of immigration but also encourage conversations on the subjects of kindness, empathy, and activism. A moving novel perfectly pitched to its audience."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) "In the last few years, the news has become saturated with headlines about deportations and separated families. Cisneros provides a heart-wrenching and evocative glimpse of what one family's life might look like on both sides of the border. Using down-to-earth characters and authentic scenarios, he tells a story of resilience, strength, and love. In a time full of divisiveness and unknowns, this resonant title will inspire young readers to make a difference, no matter the hardships they face."
  • Sarah Scheerger, author of Operation Frog Effect "Authentically told, and interwoven with hope, strength, and beauty, Efrén Divided is true to life and all too timely. A must-read for anyone with a heart. This book is a gift to the world."
  • Aida Salazar, critically acclaimed author of The Moon Within & Land of the Cranes "This book broke my heart as much as it lifted it!"
  • Angela Cervantes, award-winning author of Gaby, Lost and Found and Lety Out Loud "A beautifully told and important book that offers readers a heart-wrenching and authentic glimpse into today's immigration policies. Cisneros handles the timely subject matter with heart, depth and authenticity, leaving readers like me hopeful and determined to make this world a better place for all children."
  • Adrianna Cuevas "In Efrén Divided, Cisneros tells the story of children grown up too quickly and families unfairly separated. Efrén's heartbreaking situation fills the reader with justified rage and empowering hope. This book is a call to not take the world as it is, but to fight for the world as it should be."
  • Aimée Medina Ca, author of River of Love "A moving portrayal of the shame, fear, and uncertainty of a family ripped apart by deportation. Efrén Divided eloquently defines how color doesn't matter."
  • NoNieqa Ramos, Author of The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary and The Truth Is "A golden door into crucial conversations we need to have in our classrooms about equity and human rights."
  •  e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Author, Filmmaker, NCO Co-Founder "Efrén Divided can be counted among those books that will inspire young people to action, activism and change in their communities."
  • Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street  "We need books to break open our hearts, so that we might feel more deeply, so that we might be more human in these unkind times. I felt the author was asking each of his readers to be more human, that we were being called to be our own heroes, just as the protagonist is being asked this. This is a book doing work of the spirit in a time of darkness."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Cisneros ably conveys for a young audience what life can look like for the working poor, and how fear, embarrassment, mistrust, and desperation become variables in the calculus of seeking help."

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