As a straight-A student with a budding romance and loyal best friend, M.T.'s life seems as apple-pie American as her blondish hair and pale skin. But M.T. hides two facts to the contrary: her full name of Monserrat Thalia and her status as an undocumented immigrant.
With senior year of high school kicking into full swing, M.T. sees her hopes for a "normal" future unraveling. And it will take discovering a sense of trust in herself and others for M.T. to stake a claim in the life that she wants.
Author Maria E. Andreu draws from her personal experience to tell a story that is timely, relevant, and universally poignant.
In her first novel, Andreu examines immigration from a distinctive angle through the story of Monserrat Thalia, aka M.T., whose family illegally immigrated to New Jersey from Argentina when she was a baby. Now it's her senior year, and the bright future she's imagined for herself is threatened by her abusive, embittered father, who's determined to return to their homeland. Lacking the support of her mother, M.T. grows angry and depressed, keenly aware of the wide gap between her resources and opportunities (she often comes home to find the electricity shut off) and those of her wealthy peers, including her best friend Chelsea and first love Nate. The threat of deportation, a confused sense of ethnic identity, and painfully low self-esteem ead M.T. to thoughts of suicide. The author addresses the logistical, economic, and psychological hurdles faced by many immigrants, including attaining a driver's license, having to turn to under-the-table work, and fighting stereotypes. M.T's immediate, jaundiced, and worldly perspective is eye-opening and wrenching, particularly when it comes to how she weighs her own worth as a human being. Ages 13 up.