Swimming to America by Alice Mead

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The quandary of the illegal immigrant

Linda Berati, an eighth grader in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, knows that her parents are Albanian and her little sister American. But what is she? And how did she get to New York? Her parents evade her questions, fueling Linda's uneasiness about her identity. Only Ramón, a Cuban immigrant her age, seems to understand. Together, they escape to the hideout she and Ramón built. Then a strange, foreign man appears at the hideout, and right away Linda feels connected to him. She soon discovers that Ramón's wayward brother knows the man, and learns that immigrants - even illegal ones - come to the United States for many reasons. She determines to confront her mother and find out the truth about herself at last.

The author, known for her empathic portrayals of children, shows what it's like to live the American dream in dread of losing it.

About Alice Mead

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ALICE MEAD is the author of the popular Junebug books. Shelives in Maryland. MARYANN COCCA-LEFFLER has writtenand/or illustrated many books for children. She lives inAmherst, New Hampshire.
Published March 15, 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 160 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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A class project is the catalyst for 13-year-old Linda Berati to learn about her illegal immigrant family’s soul-crushing past in Albania, their difficult and dangerous journey to America, and how her mother got the long facial scar she has always refused to discuss.

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