Love in English
by Andreu, Maria E.

Feeling blocked after moving from Argentina to New Jersey, a sixteen-year-old poet finds herself torn between a cute American boy in her math class and a Greek student who understands the struggles she is facing in an ESL class.

After Ana and her mother come from Argentina to live in New Jersey with her father, she's nervous about starting her junior year, although she knows she will have a special class to learn English. After a disastrous first math class, she can't wait to go to ESL, where she can speak Spanish with the teacher and students. But the students in the class are from all over the world; they can't understand one another, let alone the teacher, who speaks only English. As the class goes on, however, Ana loves to contemplate and absorb the English language. Poems that explore the quirks, idioms, and inconsistencies of English blossom throughout the narrative, adding dimension to Ana's character. As she learns to navigate a new language, she's also navigating a new culture, reconciling her new way of life with her old family ways and working toward a compromise with her strict parents. Andreu bases Ana's story on her own experiences as an immigrant teen, and she depicts Ana with authenticity and grace. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

A story about immigration, language, and finding one's voice. Sixteen-year-old Ana and her mom have recently emigrated from Argentina to New Jersey to reunite with Ana's father after three long years apart. As she starts her junior year of high school, Ana grapples with new, fraught relationship dynamics with her dad and his insistence that they speak only English at home as well as with the heartbreaking move away from family and friends to a new country while possessing only a basic level of English. But as she settles in and meets new people at school, including Spanish-speaking Altagracia, a fabulous Instagram influencer; cute all-American Harrison; and Neo from ESL class, a friendly Greek Cypriot, Ana starts to believe that everything may well turn out fine. Ana is a writer of poetry and lover of words, and the book features some of her quirky, thought-provoking poems about learning the ins and outs of the English language. The novel, focusing on Ana's experience as a documented immigrant, effectively explores the character's struggle to navigate unlike cultures and languages while she learns to communicate in English, discovers different facets of herself, falls a bit in love, and ultimately finds her footing-and her voice-in the U.S. Ana is White and Argentinian, and Altagracia is a Latinx lesbian. A wholesome immigration story with a healthy dose of romance on the side. (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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