How to deal with your parents' deportation?
Daniel Aleman's debut young adult novel, 'Indivisible,' tells the story of a Mexican-American teen whose world falls apart after his parents are detained by ICE
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If there is one thing Mateo Garcia and his younger sister, Sophie, have been taught to fear for, it’s their parents deportation. Ma and Pa are undocumented immigrants that have been in the United States for so long, they have American-born children. They're hard workers and good neighbors. However, when Mateo returns from school one day to find that his parents have been taken by ICE, he realizes that his family's worst nightmare has become a reality. With his parents' fate and his own future hanging in the balance, Mateo must figure out who he is and what he is capable of, even as he's forced to question what it means to be an American.
In his debut young adult novel, Indivisible (2021), Mexican writer Daniel Aleman tells a remarkable story about immigration in America that at the same time offers a deeply intimate portrait of a teen boy driven by his fierce, protective love for his parents and his sister.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Aleman is a graduate of McGill University who now lives in Toronto, Canada. As he told NBC, he felt the urge to write a novel about a Mexican-American teen from an immigrant family while hearing the anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant rhetoric ramped up during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Kids with detained parents “have to turn to their communities, to family, friends, and basically just try to survive and try to make a normal life as best as they can, even when they've been put in an impossible situation,” Aleman told NBC.
His second novel, Brighter Than the Sun, is coming in Spring 2023 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The novel tells the story of Sol, a 16-year-old that every day wakes up at the break of dawn in her hometown of Tijuana, Mexico, and makes the trip across the border to go to school in the United States. With her life divided by an international border, Sol must come to terms with the loneliness she hides, the pressure she feels to succeed for her family, and the fact that the future she once dreamt of is starting to seem unattainable.