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We Are Not from Here
by Jenny Torres Sanchez




Overview -
A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events.

A Pura Belpr 2021 Young Adult Author Honor Book
A BookPage Best Book of 2020

A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of 2020
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2020
A New York Public Library 2020 Top 10 Best Book for Teens

Pulga has his dreams.
Chico has his grief.
Peque a has her pride.

And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they've grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home.

Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life--if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Peque a know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.

In this striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.

Praise for We Are Not From Here

"A fierce and tender story...Relevant, timely, and perceptive." --Margarita Engle, winner of the Pura Belpre Award and Newbery Honor

With poignant, exhausting lyricism and heart wrenching poetic prose, Jenny Torres Sanchez digs deep and shows us the throbbing, aching coraz n--the hopeful, unbreakable spirit of the embattled immigrant. A book for the starving, lost soul. --Guadalupe Garc a McCall, Pura Belpr Award-winning author of Under the Mesquite

An incredibly powerful, soul-searing YA. I]mportant and necessary.... I could not put this book down. --Padma Venkatraman, award-winning author of The Bridge Home

One of the most relevant and needed young adult novels of the year, a must-read. --Jennifer Mathieu, critically acclaimed author of The Liars of Mariposa Island and Moxie

An achingly beautifully story...masterfully told...Jenny Torres Sanchez is a true leader within young adult fiction. --Christina Diaz Gonzalez, award-winning author of The Red Umbrella

We Are Not From Here is absolutely stunning. It's raw and real, gritty and gorgeously told. A story that's painfully relevant today, and told with such precision and beauty, you can feel it. It's breathtaking and left me absolutely breathless. --Lauren Gibaldi, author of This Tiny Perfect World

This] is a book that will mark your heart. Jenny Torres Sanchez challenges us to feel, empathize and understand. A searing, necessary and ultimately beautiful book. --Alexandra Villasante, critically acclaimed author of The Grief Keeper

* A brutally honest, not-to-be-missed narrative...gripping, heart-wrenching, and thrilling. --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

* A candid, realistic story that will leave readers thinking about the characters--and about our own world--long after the last page. --SLJ, STARRED REVIEW

* Gripping, poignant...this soul-shaking narrative recalls] the works of Gabriel Garc a M rquez. --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

* A devastating read that is difficult to put down, this unforgettable book unflinchingly illuminates the experiences of those leaving their homes to seek safety in the United States. --Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

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More About We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

 
 
 

Overview

A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events.

A Pura Belpr 2021 Young Adult Author Honor Book
A BookPage Best Book of 2020

A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of 2020
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2020
A New York Public Library 2020 Top 10 Best Book for Teens

Pulga has his dreams.
Chico has his grief.
Peque a has her pride.

And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they've grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home.

Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life--if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Peque a know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.

In this striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.

Praise for We Are Not From Here

"A fierce and tender story...Relevant, timely, and perceptive." --Margarita Engle, winner of the Pura Belpre Award and Newbery Honor

With poignant, exhausting lyricism and heart wrenching poetic prose, Jenny Torres Sanchez digs deep and shows us the throbbing, aching coraz n--the hopeful, unbreakable spirit of the embattled immigrant. A book for the starving, lost soul. --Guadalupe Garc a McCall, Pura Belpr Award-winning author of Under the Mesquite

An incredibly powerful, soul-searing YA. I]mportant and necessary.... I could not put this book down. --Padma Venkatraman, award-winning author of The Bridge Home

One of the most relevant and needed young adult novels of the year, a must-read. --Jennifer Mathieu, critically acclaimed author of The Liars of Mariposa Island and Moxie

An achingly beautifully story...masterfully told...Jenny Torres Sanchez is a true leader within young adult fiction. --Christina Diaz Gonzalez, award-winning author of The Red Umbrella

We Are Not From Here is absolutely stunning. It's raw and real, gritty and gorgeously told. A story that's painfully relevant today, and told with such precision and beauty, you can feel it. It's breathtaking and left me absolutely breathless. --Lauren Gibaldi, author of This Tiny Perfect World

This] is a book that will mark your heart. Jenny Torres Sanchez challenges us to feel, empathize and understand. A searing, necessary and ultimately beautiful book. --Alexandra Villasante, critically acclaimed author of The Grief Keeper

* A brutally honest, not-to-be-missed narrative...gripping, heart-wrenching, and thrilling. --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

* A candid, realistic story that will leave readers thinking about the characters--and about our own world--long after the last page. --SLJ, STARRED REVIEW

* Gripping, poignant...this soul-shaking narrative recalls] the works of Gabriel Garc a M rquez. --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

* A devastating read that is difficult to put down, this unforgettable book unflinchingly illuminates the experiences of those leaving their homes to seek safety in the United States. --Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781984812261
  • ISBN-10: 1984812262
  • Publisher: Philomel Books
  • Publish Date: May 2020
  • Page Count: 368
  • Reading Level: Ages 13-17
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.06 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

We Are Not From Here

Jenny Torres Sanchez’s fifth young adult novel, We Are Not From Here, is an unforgettable story of three teens forced to leave their homeland in search of safety and the possibility of a better life.

In the town of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, Pequeña is laboring to give birth to an unplanned baby. Her friends, Pulga and Chico, who consider themselves brothers and have lived together at Pulga’s house ever since Chico’s mother’s violent death, go for a walk as they anxiously await the delivery. While stopping in their favorite convenience store for a snack to tide them over, they become unwilling witnesses to a devastating crime that will change the course of their lives.

Torres Sanchez immerses readers in the teens’ lives in Puerto Barrios, where they are surrounded by loving extended families and a warm sense of community, but a sense of hopelessness subdues any expectations they have for the future. When pressure from the local gang leader to join his enterprise becomes unbearable, Pulga, Chico and Pequeña realize they have no choice but to run for their lives, leaving Pequeña’s baby behind. Together, they make their way toward La Bestia, the crowded network of trains full of desperate people migrating north in search of opportunity.

We Are Not From Here astonishes even as it conveys harsh realities. Torres Sanchez’s prose alternately chills and sings as it brings primal human experiences—life and death, despair and hunger, fear and hope—to the page in brilliant relief. The choice to employ first-person narration, commonplace in young adult literature, is particularly effective here and adds immediacy to the threats that seem to lie in wait around every corner. Elements of magical realism elevate the teens’ journey to epic, mythic heights. It all makes for a stunning, visceral and deeply moving read.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Author Jenny Torres Sanchez explains the personal stakes of We Are Not From Here.

 

BAM Customer Reviews