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The Resource Finding miracles, by Julia Alvarez

Finding miracles, by Julia Alvarez

Label
Finding miracles
Title
Finding miracles
Statement of responsibility
by Julia Alvarez
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Fifteen-year-old Milly Kaufman is an average American teenager until Pablo, a new student at her school, inspires her to search for her birth family in his native country
Storyline
Tone
Character
Award
YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2008
Review
  • Gr. 8-11. Alvarez returns to a familiar theme--the effect of a dictatorship on the citizens of a Latin American country--but half of this story is set in Vermont, where 16-year-old Milly Kaufman tries to come to terms with her adoption as a child from a never-named country. When new student Pablo arrives from their native land, Milly tries to ignore him, but she needs to know her history, so she returns for a visit with Pablo and his family. In some ways this is a blend of fairy tale and horror story. Pablo realizes Milly is from his country because of her unique eyes. Once in her homeland (the lack of the country’s name is awkward and annoying), Milly returns to the region where people with her eyes live and finds the elderly woman who remembers all stories: Milly’s parents were more than likely revolutionaries. The romantic personal voyage is mixed with the country’s history of murders, rapes, and sadness. Alvarez was probably trying to make the personal universal here, but in many places this unwieldy and too long. Effective? Yes, sometimes--but not as much as it could have been. -- Ilene Cooper (BookList, 10-15-2004, p397)
  • Gr 6-9 –In spite of her family's openness, Milly Kaufman has never wanted to talk about her adoption. However, during ninth grade, Pablo Bolívar, a refugee from an unnamed Central American country, joins her class and immediately identifies her as someone who might have come from his family's hometown. Then, her grandmother attempts to make a will that differentiates between her and her siblings. While her mother and father's angry reaction makes the woman back down, their increasingly close relationship with Pablo's family makes it impossible for Milly to stop thinking about the parents who gave her up and the war-torn nation she came from. When that country's dictator is deposed in a democratic election, the Bolívars go home to visit and invite Milly along. There she discovers a world quite different from her Vermont home, an extended family, a boyfriend in Pablo, and several possible sets of birth parents. She realizes, too, how much she loves her own family, and they join her for a grand reunion. The strength of this book lies in its description of adoption issues–Milly's feelings of abandonment and difference and her sister's fear that Milly's increased identification as Latina will destroy their close relationship. However, the plot is contrived to help Milly find her identity, and the characters never really come alive. The home country has been stripped of any identifying characteristics that might make the setting interesting. Still, readers interested in this subject will be pleased with the satisfying resolution.–Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC --Kathleen Isaacs (Reviewed October 1, 2004) (School Library Journal, vol 50, issue 10, p154)
  • Milly Milagros Kaufman has two names and two identities. She is "Milly," a fairly normal ninth grader, who has lived in Vermont for most of her life with her adoptive parents, sister and younger brother. She is also "Milagros," the abandoned orphan who was rescued from a troubled (unnamed) Latin American country by two Peace Corps volunteers when she was a baby. Self-conscious about being adopted, Milly avoids discussing or even thinking about her past, until she meets Pablo, a refugee who comes from the same politically unstable country where Milly was born. As Milly listens to Pablo's stories of home, her curiosity is piqued along with a long-repressed desire to connect with her birthplace, and when the opportunity comes for her to visit it (with Pablo and his family), Milly jumps at the chance. In this tender tale, Alvarez (Before We Were Free ) traces Milly's discovery of herself and a country that is at once beautiful and terrible. Despite the fact that Milly does not find answers to all of her questions, she does find acceptance and new purpose during her journey. The circumstances of Milly's trip and her relationship with Pablo feel somewhat contrived, yet her internal growth and changing attitudes progress authentically. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed November 29, 2004) (Publishers Weekly, vol 251, issue 48, p41)
  • Ninth-grader Milly struggles to deny her adopted status in a loving family until she begins to understand her origins through a friendship with Pablo, a new arrival from her country of birth. Vague as to which Central American country this is, Alvarez universalizes the story of a young girl finding both the love and the confidence to search for her birth parents. Through her attachment to a new student at her school—whose instinctive recognition of her connection to him gradually blossoms into romance—Mildred Milagros grows into her bicultural skin. Grounded in the daily life of school friends at first, the author explores Milly's adoptive family and then, as she seeks her roots, moves all the action to where Milly was born. Rather than losing anything, Milly finds herself gaining as she explores her heritage—resulting in a rich portrayal of this brave and lucky young woman. Written with immediacy and charm, there is accessibility to the very American Milly's attitudes and ideas that will help readers accompany her on her journey of discovery and growth. (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
128627
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Alvarez, Julia
Index
no index present
Intended audience
770L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG+
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 6
  • 9
Reading level
4.9
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Adoption
  • Schools
  • High schools
  • Central America
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Finding miracles, by Julia Alvarez
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
490171
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
264 pages
Isbn
9780375827600
Isbn Type
(trade hardcover)
Lccn
2003025127
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780375827600
  • (Sirsi) ADO-8795
Label
Finding miracles, by Julia Alvarez
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
490171
Dimensions
21 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
264 pages
Isbn
9780375827600
Isbn Type
(trade hardcover)
Lccn
2003025127
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780375827600
  • (Sirsi) ADO-8795

Library Locations

    • North Village BranchBorrow it
      2505 Steck Ave, Austin, TX, 78757, US
      30.362144 -97.7305032
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