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BookBrowse Reviews Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

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Children of the Land

by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo X
Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
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  • Published:
    Jan 2020, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Lewis
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A young poet and professor describes his life growing up as an undocumented child of migrant workers. A significant literary achievement sure to inspire generations to come.

In this exquisitely crafted memoir, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo describes coming of age as a young man and a poet. His childhood is complicated by being born in Zacatecas, Mexico but moving to California's Central Valley with his parents and siblings at age five in 1993. Castillo shows that an undocumented life in the United States is a life threaded with fear of deportation—often punctuated by partial-truth, silences, loss and a shimmering dream that's just out of reach:

There were things I could not hide, things that would come out of me and expose me in my most vulnerable moments. It was my skin, my dark hair, my cheekbones, that I swore would give me away. I was afraid of the way I walked.

The author's parents, called Ama and Apa in the book, work hard and provide relative stability for the family until his father is deported when Marcelo is fifteen. His mother remains in ...

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