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Growing Up Rita


Two chapters from the novel


I picked up this book not knowing what to expect. The last book I read that was "middle grade" had to have been the last Harry Potter book. The cover looks like a child's drawing and gives the book a sense of levity. This book is anything but light and I am having a hard time pinning it down. It might appeal to younger readers, but I would actually recommend it to older readers also. Rita gives a look into the lives of illegal immigrants and their legal children. Parts of the book are told from a couple different points of view, but I found Alicia's point of view, Rita's mother, particularly heartbreaking. She is a woman who wanted a better life for her and her child, and lives in constant fear of her dreams being taken away. This short book is packed with emotion, desperation, and a mother's hope for her daughter's future. There is a dryness to Rita's character, but it comes with a certain sense of right and wrong mixed with the understanding logic only a child feels comfortable voicing. This isn't the most technically correct book ever written and some of the characters "dangle loose" at times i.e. Edmund, but the emotion in this book more than makes up for it.

"I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review."

Brandi's Book Musings (2012)