Genre: Multicultural Fiction
# of Pages: 275
RAC Book: Yes
2011 Iowa Teen Award Winner
Sophie lives with her mother and stepfather and is known to be cautious. Her family is surprised one night by a phone call from a local hospital. The hospital had a small boy whose parents were killed crossing the border into the U.S. The boy had Sophie’s stepdad’s business card in his pocket. Although, they have no idea why the boy had the business card they felt it was up to them to take the boy home and care for him until they could find his extended family. Pablo is slow to interact with the family, but eventually tells them his name. They are able to contact his grandmother and tell her they will bring Pablo to visit over summer break. Sophie knows that if Pablo chooses to stay in Mexico they will let him, but she does not want to lose her new found brother. Sophie, her Aunt, her aunt’s boyfriend, and his son all accompany Pablo into Mexico to find his family, but along the way Sophie finds much more than that.
This story is a wealth of knowledge about life in Mexico and Central America. The characters are all true to their beliefs and find ways to help Sophie find her way in the world. Sophie is a complex character who must face several hard truths in the story, but never fails to rise to the challenge. Pablo reminds the reader of the innocent children who live in Mexico and South America and struggle due to the pressures of modern day economies and technology. The book celebrates the life and customs of those who refuse to adapt to 21st century ways. The story raises questions about how homogenized we have become as a global society yet at the same time how we ignore how people struggle in developing countries. A very good read.