This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
her family in various parts of the United States. She and her siblings Rudy, Luis, Diamantina, Delia, and Delmira and her parents whom she calls Ama and Apa are living in poverty and desperate to find work. A friend of her father’s they call El Indio tells them there is work in the migrant farms up north, so the family sets off for Minnesota. Through years of going to and from these fields, Elva learns from early childhood that life is never easy and that her own voice is her best company in times of loneliness. Being the youngest of her five siblings, she is used to coming last and being alone. Her parents, desperate for money, leave their home in Texas and go up to Minnesota to work in the beet fields. Even as a three year-old, Elva knows she is an outcast. The rest of her family works together. She brings water to them when they’re thirsty, wandering along the edge of the fields because she is too young to work. Her first true experience of loneliness, though, occurs when she and her youngest sister Diamantina are sent to a Catholic school while her parents work. She realizes that she is completely cut off from her parents and from everyone else. Being separated from her sister for even a short while brings her to hysterics. While her sister is sympathetic and understands her position, her father expects the family to stay strong at all times. Though he appears cold and uncaring at times, however, it is clear that he cares very much for his children; rather than stay in the north and work the fields all year, he insists on returning to Texas every September so that his children may graduate from high school. Over the years, Elva and her family travel to and from Texas and the north. One day, Elva meets someone who changes her life, a young woman named Marielena. Marielena brings several migrant children to her house one evening to tell them stories. Elva never grew up reading books, so hearing someone unravel complicated and beautiful tales about princesses and fantasy creatures opens a new world to her. Later in life, Elva is still able to recall the tenderness with which Marielena treated the children and the magic of her stories. Marielena was the first person to
something her . Over the years. very different. Elva becomes increasingly more intelligent and makes it to the top of her classes. During the summers. Meanwhile. She rarely receives attention from anyone in her family and has been called useless by her father for making silly mistakes. When she befriends a young white girl named Kit. When she returns to Minnesota after first grade. She gets a job in a store and is allowed to keep the money. Along with the discovery of her academic abilities. and their nights of shivering in the octagonal pig pen where her family used to stay are over. She experiences a real crush. Elva knows she will never be like some other children. But now. Elva’s mother begrudgingly buys her a pink coat when she realizes how much her daughter longs to be like other children. but even still. like seeing Broadway shows and window shopping. leaving the family with no place to stay. Elva’s father resolves to let the women stay in Texas while the family goes up to work during the summer. she discovers boys when she has a mild crush on a boy in her class. Elva recalls feeling exhilarated like she never has before and longs to have that feeling again when he is gone. Her sisters are discovering boys as well. when she meets an older boy named Manuel at the fair. She longs to feel cherished the way she did around Marielena but knows it won’t happen again. they are finally ready to have their own house. Kit has her own pony and lives in a house filled with soft carpet. then journeying through New York with Delmira and experiencing all of the frivolous things she never got to as a child. and toys. though. Elva goes to visit all of her siblings. She even has her own bed. the family continues their travels until finally. and Delmira marries a dentist named Kal and moves to New York with him. she realizes how different their cultures are. and she holds onto her memory forever. going to Wisconsin for her brothers.make Elva feel truly loved and understood. furniture. They get on several rides together and enjoy each other’s company for the short time. Elva experiences something worse than the segregation she has encountered at school. Delia marries a young boy named Chale. She realizes just how poor her family truly is. staying with Delia and her babies in San Antonio. Elva realizes that she and the white families are very. her uncle has married. Luckily.
something feels empty. She has gone from being a poor migrant child to a successful business woman. earning straight A’s. She does just as well each year. Elva finally meets her father’s old friends and relatives and gets to see what life is really like in Mexico. but she does. They make amends for the problems they had earlier on. repressing the urge to think about who she truly is. Finally. She only goes on two dates during high school and doesn’t have an active social life. but the environment brings her a sense of liberation she’s never experienced before. Her parents don’t seem to care if her grades are high. she continues to succeed. She travels to Texas and takes a long drive with him. she knows that math is one subject where her race doesn’t matter and where she will be allowed to excel. she also meets a young boy who instantly becomes attracted to her. she wonders about her identity as a Mexican-American. Back at school. During that summer. but Delmira points out that she is much too tall for him. Years later. telling him that she appreciates and loves him.father never allowed her older brothers to do. Most of her time is dedicated to math and science – though she loves books and writing more than anything. He says that he loves her as well. something he has never told her previously. she works for a corporation and devotes all of her time to making money. She learns the story of the migrant workers and how they came to work there. and Elva takes him on a final trip to Mexico before he dies. To shield herself from the pains of loneliness in her childhood. finding out that there are hardly any left. Elva graduates from high school as valedictorian. yet again making her feel cut off and alone. and embarks alone. she realizes that she and her father have some things to patch up. During the summer. she . Realizing that she can no longer deny her childhood. on a journey into adulthood. Still. The poverty is much worse than anything she’s seen. When she begins to write the stories of her childhood and share them. When she leaves. something unusual that she hasn’t seen. He invites her to go to the beach with him. she takes her son to the farms in Minnesota to show him what she’s been through. her father takes Elva and her mother on a trip to Mexico. She delivers a speech that brings her father to tears. once again.
. The bravery with which she handled all of life’s challenges shows that even in the most painful situations. Even though Elva’s situation is different from what most people who read her book have experienced. Elva’s long-term loneliness leaves scars in her soul that follow her into her adult life. are relatable in some way and make the reader feel connected to her. the fear of inadequacy. Her story shows that no matter where they come from or what they’ve been through. as Elva did when she was a child. a darker side to growing up – the realization that happiness is often out of reach. And all children want nothing more than to be loved and wanted. it shows that all children grow up the same way. her feelings are the same as those of any person. we can all find situations in our lives where we’ve felt exactly like Elva and where we. all people are the same. and some things will never be easy. All children encounter times where they feel cut off from everyone else or misunderstood. all of her childhood stories. and hope. Everyone will have their own struggles overcome – whether they grow up as a poor migrant worker or in a privileged home. no matter what that means. Even though her physical experiences are different from privileged children’s. She experiences all of the same things that other girls do – loneliness.accepts it and begins the journey of discovering herself and finding out who she truly is. But her story brings a strange feeling of comfort and reassurance to every reader. there will be times in their lives that are not easy and may seem endlessly difficult. however. it is possible not only to survive but to succeed. While Elva’s story is a unique one of poverty and growing up without all of the things that others are so blessed to have. too. reminding them that they are normal for thinking the things they’ve thought and feeling the things they’ve felt. curiosity. This shows that life is never easy for anyone. deep down. have longed to find some sense of purpose or identity in the chaotic world. All children feel like outcasts at some point. whether we grew up poor or privileged. she feels lonelier than ever. Her words show that we don’t have to be afraid of who we are. Even when she is successful. whether in school or at home. Her story also shows. pain. whether they’re fond or shameful. love. a female Mexican writer and a migrant child at heart.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.