Wednesday, August 9, 2023

An American Immigrant

Melanie Carvajal is a struggling journalist at the Miami Herald. At just twenty five years old Melanie has always yearned to be a writer. She studied journalism in college and is ready for her career to flourish. When a big story breaks in Colombia she volunteers to take the assignment. Although her mother is from Colombia, she herself has never been there and in all honesty spent her childhood wishing away her latin heritage. Growing up in Maryland in a tiny apartment, Melanie always wished she had better clothes, more money and parents that spoke English. She didn’t care for the smell of foreign food that filled her lunchbox and aunts who spoke too loudly. Since her Grandmother Alba’s birthday is approaching she decides to meet her mother for a celebration before heading to Bogota for work. Overly concerned about her safety, food and even water - Melanie is hesitant to allow herself to enjoy the visit. As she slowly loosens up and begins cooking with Alba, dancing with cousins she had never met and reading her mother’s old journals, Melanie has a change of heart. For the very first time she can see her familia in a new light; their generosity and kindness so unlike the violence in Colombia that she has been drilled into her brain via tv and newspapers. Devouring her mother’s journals she learns of the struggles and sacrifices she made so her children could have a better life and it is only then that Melanie finally finds her story. American immigrant novel filled with culture, community and the gift of family. Writing pretty simple and straight forward, would be perfect for a YA reader. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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