MLA Platinum Award Press Release

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 2020, 400 pages

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There are currently 45 reader reviews for American Dirt
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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.
Darlene G. (Allegany, NY)

Rich, heartbreaking and rewarding
A page-turner! Cummins has created a story full of tension and love, full of the natural human desires for safety, food, shelter, and community as well as the ways power, greed, fear, violence and judgments of the "other" can pervert humane behavior. She accomplishes this through robust characters and heartbreaking challenges. Never pedantic nor does she suggest "the" answers, this is a story of what it might be like to confront the best and worst of humanity on the ground. If you have ever wondered what it might be like to be a migrant worker or an immigrant at the Mexican-U.S. border in today's world- it's a must read. Lastly, Cummins does not talk about this, but it made me wonder- how things could collapse anywhere when money and guns buy silence. I highly recommend this book.
Susan S. (Lafayette, CA)

I am in awe
I would say that a rating of 5 stars is an understatement. I think it would be impossible to praise this book too highly. I can't remember the last time I loved a book this much or learned this much. It's enlightening; it's inspiring; it's moving; it's thoroughly engrossing. And if anything could have the power to change the debate about immigration in this country, it would be this book. It should be required reading for every U.S. citizen.
Cheryl S. (Redmond, WA)

The book I Wish Everyone Would Read
Thank you to BookBrowse for an ARC of Jeanine Cummins outstanding new novel, American Dirt. I have been trying to remember another book that so instantly captured me from the first page, and I can't. This will be without a doubt the best book I've read all year, and it has been a year of excellent novels for me. I will leave it to readers much more skilled than I am to give a synopsis of this beautifully written novel. I could not stop reading, I felt so emotionally involved with the characters. My heart ached for them, I felt their terror and unbearable grief. I urge everyone to read this stunning and realistic book.

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