Review of We Are All We Have

We Are All We Have We Are All We Have
by Marina Budhos
High School     Lamb/Random    256 pp.         g
10/22     978-0-593-12020-0     $17.99
Library ed.  978-0-593-12021-7    $20.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-12022-4    $10.99

When an overnight ICE raid in 2019 Brooklyn leads to her mother’s arrest, seventeen-year-old Rania and her eight-year-old brother, Kamal, are left behind. Soon after, they are moved to a shelter, where they meet affable teen Carlos. The trio escapes and takes to the road through New England, initially in search of Rania and Kamal’s estranged uncle. Rania and Carlos slowly forge a strong bond, as Carlos shares the story of his perilous journey from Mexico to escape gang threat and Rania relives fragmented memories of fleeing Pakistan after her political journalist father was murdered. At a temporary sanctuary synagogue, they are forced to make difficult choices in their search for a safe haven. The tightly wound plot creates an underlying tension as the young characters’ situations constantly unravel. The story reflects the lives of many undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers forced to flee their homes in search of safety, zeroing in on the threat of retribution for dissenting politics. Budhos aptly conveys how the draconian U.S. immigration policies instituted in 2018 cruelly separated children from their families, and incorporates references to iconic art and poetry to reflect on the loss of home, on love, and on family.

From the September/October 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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