FICTION

The Everything I Have Lost

Cinco Puntos. Sept. 2019. 256p. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781947627178; pap. $11.95. ISBN 9781947627185.
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Gr 8 Up–In this realistic fiction title, Julia records her thoughts, emotions, and experiences in diaries over the course of four years (ages 12–15). Readers experience the teen’s rage, sorrow, insecurity, and questions: Why does her family move so often? How can her father suddenly earn so much money? Why must he make such frequent, lengthy work trips? Who is murdering so many women and girls in Juárez? Why does her mother refuse to answer questions, instead retreating into her world of painting? When Julia’s father vanishes and she is sent with her younger brother Willy to live with their tía in El Paso, the anger long bubbling inside begins to seep out. This new time of transition and loss is scary and painful, but hope comes as she starts to heal and learns to live and thrive in the borders of her world. Julia’s entries are often poetic and at times humorous but always honest and even raw. Themes of borders as fluid places of exchange, division, loss, and growth are presented literally, as in the bridge dividing El Paso, TX, and Juárez, Mexico, and figuratively, like the blurry line between her great-grandmother’s lucid wisdom and childlike memory loss, or Julia’s own youthful innocence and a growing awareness of painful adult realities.
VERDICT This high-interest, authentic coming-of-age novel adds an important perspective to young adult collections

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