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Reader reviews and comments on American Dirt, plus links to write your own review.

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American Dirt

A Novel

by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins X
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
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  • Published:
    Jan 21, 2020, 400 pages


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There are currently 38 reader reviews for American Dirt
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Marianne D. (Crofton, MD)

Do Not Pass This One By!
"American Dirt" grabbed me from the very first sentence. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to rush through the book or savor every word. Author Jeanine Cummins' goal is to encourage us—maybe even force us—to see migrants as human beings, not statistics or problems. Even though I sympathize with immigrants, I cannot personally identify because I am not one. My grandparents were, but I am not. After "American Dream," I will never be able to look at immigrants as statistics. They are, as Ms. Cummins describes all human beings as being, "magical." The author does a masterful job of painting the everyday experiences and the inner thoughts of immigrants, as well as of those who try to help them and those who do not want them to succeed. "American Dirt" is perfect for a book group discussion. Please be sure to read the Author's Note; it will change you forever.
Lynn D. (Kingston, NY)

The story for our time
This is an amazing novel! We all have heard stories, or known people who have made the dangerous journey to cross our southern border. This novel makes us feel for these migrants with such compassion. Cummins humanizes the people who make this terrifying choice in order to save their lives, facing overwhelming danger. This book is compelling, frightening, heartwarming, and unforgettable. The migrants can trust no one and yet they find hope, and the courage to keep living, and to love. Lydia and Luca are beautiful characters.
Susan M. (Chestertown, MD)

After reading American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins you will find yourself wondering just how far would you go to save your loved ones? Would you evacuate them from all they love? Would you jump trains with them? Cross the desert with questionable strangers for them? Bullets flew one day and Lydia's life dramatically changed. Immediately all she knew was one thing, el norte, she must go el norte to the United States or she and her son Luca would die. Easily one of the best books I've read in years.
Michele H. (Ann Arbor, MI)

Such an adventure!
I really loved this book. This book has the key elements of what makes a great book - a plot driven story with characters you care about. Jeanine Cummins did a great job writing a story that created a setting that you could visualize with enough character development that you cared what happened. The subject matter is very relevant, and though heavy, it is done with grace.

"Because though she may understand something of this boy's circumstances, she doesn't know him."

I didn't want the book to end. I felt invested in what happens next to these characters. Another sign of what a fantastic read this was!
Ginny H. (Troutdale, OR)

American Dirt
This is a beautifully written story of the plight of immigrants from dangerous countries who seek sanctuary in America. I have a much deeper understanding of what they have to go through to pass into the USA (stepping onto American dirt) and the unbelievable risks they take in order to do so. I loved the characters in the book and have so much compassion for the real-life people who a president who has denigrated and victimized.
Jamie K. (Berkeley, CA)

A heart-rending story for our time
From the very first bullet-ridden sentence, I was hooked on this fast-paced mother and son journey from Acapulco to the promised land of El Norte. American Dirt is an immigrant story blending unconditional love with the sheer will to survive — told in compelling prose with characters so real, you sometimes want to reach in and shake them. Alternating terror and compassion, the author takes us on an unforgettable ride proving what we knew all along — friendship with the head of the cartel is never a good idea. On the road, everyone has their own story; nothing is as it seems, and even Lydia, as virtuous and brave as she is, has blood on her hands.
Davina M (CA)

Beyond Brilliant
I don't know what the world will look like in 80 years time, and I won't be around to see it, but I reckon that when it comes time for that future generation to look back on the 21st century and define the most important books of the era, "American Dirt" will be on the list. Don Winslow is correct when he says that it is a "Grapes of Wrath" for our time. This book is going to be huge!
Susan L. (Midlothian, VA)

america home of the brave
This book couldn't have been written at a more perfect time. The misunderstanding of people crossing the border into the U.S. is so unfair to the struggling people leaving their homes in fear of their lives. The story is following a mother and child coming north because they have to leave their home to survive. This book is worth the read. Highly recommend.

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