We Are Here to Stay
We Are Here to Stay
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Annotation: Presents the lives of nine undocumented young adults, who have fled violence and poverty in their country of birth to start a new life in the U.S.
Catalog Number: #174995
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 182 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-7884-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-7884-5
Dewey: 305.235086
LCCN: 2018960308
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Immigration has been a recent hot topic in American politics. Originally, the goal of this book was to highlight and uplift those who were "living in the shadows." Unfortunately, due to the repeal of DACA and the divisive messages being spread, this book, originally slated for a 2017 release, was held. However, the young adults interviewed insisted that they still wanted their stories told, and their names and portraits, originally included, have now been redacted for their own safety. While almost all the young people featured in this book have ties to DACA, there are a few who are ineligible, which helps create empathy for those in this country without any protection at all. Readers will see how immigration organizations are structured and, prior to the '90s, how open U.S. borders were. In their accounts, these teens discuss how they are processing DACA's uncertainty and how they identify with being American (or not). A time line on immigration policies and laws and helpful chapter notes are appended. A thought-provoking read on immigration in America.
Horn Book
The Trump administration's 2017 repeal of DACA put photojournalist Kuklin and this work-in-progress in an awkward place: would she be exposing her nine interviewees, undocumented all, to possible arrest and deportation? The book was postponed, photographs of the subjects removed, and names replaced by first initials. Kuklin includes an array of circumstances that may broaden readers' understanding, conveying the difficult choices undocumented immigrants face at every step of their journeys. Reading list, timeline, websites. Ind.
Kirkus Reviews
A chronicle of true stories of nine undocumented young adults who came to the U.S. in search of a better tomorrow, leaving behind violence, political unrest, and poverty.Basing her account on lengthy—often quoted—interviews, Kuklin (Beyond Magenta, 2014, etc.) does a brilliant job of transmitting the often upsetting, but always hopeful, stories of nine protagonists from Colombia, Mexico, Ghana, Independent Samoa, and South Korea who are living under the constant threat of deportation to their countries of birth, places many of them know nothing about. Readers cannot help but feel empathy for the individuals as they learn personal details of their lives. The young people are only identified by their initials with blank frames printed in lieu of the originally planned photographs, an editorial decision made after the Trump administration moved to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Kuklin walked two tightropes in writing this book, doing so with competence and skill. Her first tour de force was to succeed in writing about people, not politics, even though the latter plays a consequential, even a central, role in the lives of those she writes about, in the form of immigration policies. Kuklin's mastery is also manifest in her ability to engender empathy and compassion without writing a tear-jerker; the painful experiences, often narrated in a raw and unembellished manner, while inspiring, are more conducive to a productive conversation on the complicated issues of immigration.A must-read. (timeline, endnotes, author's note, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)
Publishers Weekly
In lengthy interviews, nine young adults recount their experiences of immigrating to the United States from Colombia, Ghana, Mexico, Independent Samoa, and South Korea and living as undocumented noncitizens. In an opening note to readers, Kuklin (Beyond Magenta) explains that the book was originally meant to include portraits of the subjects, but the 2017 repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, resulted in the decision to conceal the individuals- identities-movingly (and dishearteningly), empty frames stand in lieu of the portraits. Kuklin presents the exact words of the contributors, which plainly describe their unique family struggles, the challenges of adapting to a new culture, and the reasons behind their coming to the United States-namely poverty, pervasive violence, the desire for better lives, and escaping tyrannical governments or trafficking. Kuklin includes haunting photos from her journey, guided by human rights activist John Fife, to the border between Nogales, Mexico, and Norales, Arizona: -This author needed to see the border in order to write about it,- she explains. This is a poignant, powerful, and timely volume. Ages 14-up. (Jan.)

Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/18)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (8/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-179) and index.
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Lexile: HL630L

The Stonewall Honor–winning author of Beyond Magenta shares the intimate, eye-opening stories of nine undocumented young adults living in America.

“Maybe next time they hear someone railing about how terrible immigrants are, they'll think about me. I’m a real person.”

Meet nine courageous young adults who have lived in the United States with a secret for much of their lives: they are not U.S. citizens. They came from Colombia, Mexico, Ghana, Independent Samoa, and Korea. They came seeking education, fleeing violence, and escaping poverty. All have heartbreaking and hopeful stories about leaving their homelands and starting a new life in America. And all are weary of living in the shadows. We Are Here to Stay is a very different book than it was intended to be when originally slated for a 2017 release, illustrated with Susan Kuklin’s gorgeous full-color portraits. Since the last presidential election and the repeal of DACA, it is no longer safe for these young adults to be identified in photographs or by name. Their photographs have been replaced with empty frames, and their names are represented by first initials. We are honored to publish these enlightening, honest, and brave accounts that encourage open, thoughtful conversation about the complexities of immigration — and the uncertain future of immigrants in America.

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