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JUST LIKE US

Book Review
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JUST LIKE US
By: Helen Thorpe
Pacific Oaks College
Student: Beatriz Jimenez

JUST LIKE US
Book Review
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This is an amazing book that is based on a true story. This book talks about four
girls that became friends in Middle school, and remain friends, all the way until High
School. The girls lived in Denver Colorado, where the laws become more complicated
each day because of politics. The girls names are Maricela, Yadira, Elissa and Clara. All
four girls have many cultural and traditions in common, in fact all four girls came from
parents that at one point were or are immigrants to the United States.
The book describes Maricela, Yadira, Elissa and Clara life, and the different types of
opportunities they four had. Maricela and Yadira, did not have any papeles (papers),
meaning they are not residents/citizens of the United States, and are illegal.
In the other hand, Elissa and Clara both were legalized. In fact, Elissa was born in
the Texas, and Clara obtained her green card while in middle school. All four girls were
great friends, they never realized that not having the same educational opportunities
would one day break their friendship. It was not fair that having very similar backgrounds
being on the same level (Thorne, 2010, pg. 23) and have the same academic
achievements could not give them the same opportunities to move forward to college and
receive school Pell grants, financial aid and/or student loans. If she would have been
legal, she would have been able to afford community college, but the state of Colorado
classified immigrants who lacked documents as Internationals students, which meant they
did not qualify for in-state tuition ( Throne, 2009 Pg. 13).
Although we live in such a great Country, and we proclaimed that that this Country
is a County of equal opportunity, well it is not. We suffer for all different types of

JUST LIKE US
Book Review
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discrimination. One of them is immigration. In this Country, they dont care if they breakup a family and deport their family members. Why can we all have the same opportunities?
As humans, we need to realize that all immigrants have risk their lives by crossing over to
this Country. Immigrants come to this Country as a way of survive. Many people leave
their families in Mexico. Some immigrants never make it back.
I come from immigrants parents, who put their life at risk for coming over and
make a better living for them and their families. Although I was born in the U.S. just like
Elissa, I had friends and family members that were also brought over to the U.S at an early
age. My best friend in Middle School Judy, was brought over at 6 years old. Her entire
family did not have a legal status. Although my friend Judy picked up English very quickly
and did not have accent. She was always embarrassed to say that she did not have any

papeles (papers) she lied to everyone. She was afraid of being called a Wetback, and/or
being told to go back to Mexico, kids are cruel. I was the only friend that new that Judy was
not legal. To this date, Judy and I remain friends. I went off to Community College, and
Judy could not afford to pay the International Fees, so she quit school and moved out with
her boyfriend. Although, Judy is an amazingly intelligent, she could not afford to continue
to get an education. To this date, Judy remains undocumented with four children and a
U.S. Citizen husband. She has tried to fix her legal status many times in the past but has
been unsuccessful. I think if Judy was given a opportunity, she could do so much for our
society.

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Book Review
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There have been so many people that have been stripped away from becoming
important people in our society for lack of legal status. In my perfect world, I would
evaluate those people that can be great assets to this society and give them an opportunity
to be successful. I understand that just we have good people and bad people, but we
should be able to distinguish the difference. How can we help those people that are
making our Country a better place and contributing to our Country?

Reference: Just Like Us, The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America
Helen Thorpe (2009).