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In the Country We Love: My Family Divided Hardcover – May 3, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Teens may recognize Guerrero from Orange Is the New Black, where she plays Maritza ("If you want more pizza, vote for Maritza!"), or Jane the Virgin, where she plays the title character's BFF Lina. In recent months, Guerrero has been speaking out about immigration reform, and this book explains why: when she was 14, she came home from school one day to find that her parents had been arrested; they were ultimately deported to Colombia. Guerrero, born in the United States, was more fortunate than most young people in this situation, in that her family had a strong contingent of friends who lived nearby and who took her in, allowing her to continue her schooling. But she describes how she never truly felt at home once her parents were gone: she tried to minimize the space she took up; she always asked permission, even to eat a snack; she did household chores whenever she could; and she spent her free time worrying about how to achieve financial independence. Guerrero hid her story from others for years but eventually realized it was time to start dealing with her past and sharing her experience, in the hopes of helping others in the same situation. Her acting career has given her the platform to do just that. VERDICT This touching memoir will resonate with teens who love acting as well as those who want to know more about of the lives of immigrants and refugees, or have experienced a similar situation to Guerrero's.—Sarah Flowers, formerly with Santa Clara County Library, CA
One of Chicago Public Library's and BookRiot's Best Books of 2016
"Guerrero, 14 at the time, was left on her own with no government oversight whatsoever, a harrowing situation that she recounts with honesty, pathos, and bravery...Guerrero transforms a truly terrible situation into something meaningful, using her story and her role as an Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization by the White House to try to help other immigrant families left in this terrible position."―Publishers Weekly
“Orange Is the New Black actress Guerrero delivers an affecting tale of a childhood lived in the margins. . . . lovingly detailed in colloquial and well-paced prose . . . The author's candor in chronicling the lowest moments of her life reads like an urgent confessional. . . The author's greatest strength lies in her ability to advocate for undocumented immigrants and others affected by immigration status: 'I've written the book that I wish I could have read when I was that girl.' A moving, humanizing portrait of the collateral damage caused by America's immigration policy." ―Kirkus Reviews
"Guerrero relates her struggle to hold her life together, get through high school and college, and find her feet in the world--challenges that will resonate with many readers...[She] writes with humor and heartbreaking honesty. Offering readers the story she needed to hear as a child, Guerrero shines a light on this country's flawed immigration system, eloquently calling for reform without diminishing her appreciation for the opportunities US citizenship has afforded her. A timely and enlightening read."―Booklist
"In the Country We Love is the poignant, candid, and often shocking account of the challenges Guerrero faced as a citizen child of undocumented parents"―Kirkus Reviews [special cover feature]
“I think putting your life down on paper as honest and raw as Diane Guerrero has done is brave…, Guerrero bares her life showing her faults, her heart, her humor, that the saying kids are resilient is not so, and most importantly her fight to thrive and succeed. I could not recommend this book enough, especially if you liked The Book of Unknown Americans.” ―Book Riot [best books of April 2016]
"In the Country We Love is a necessary story for our times...It is a heartrending memoir that humanizes the story of America’s immigration policies and helps us all find a way to understand the challenging questions and ineffective strategies of current policies and practices."―San Antonio News-Express
"Advocating on behalf of the undocumented immigrants in our country, Guerrero’s memoir is a well-written tell-all of a woman who traveled a difficult path to stardom.”―ReadItForward.com
Top customer reviews
When she was 14 years old, living in Boston, both parents were deported to Columbia. Diane was born in the US so she was a citizen. Friends took her in. She was able to attend a good high school. She is beautiful and talented and so she made it as an actress. Her family problems did not start that day, however. Her parents were extremely anxious all of the time. Her older brother was also deported.
I recommend reading this book to better understand what our undocumented population live with. If the US had better control over visas, some of these situations would be avoided. But how to respond to the millions already here, people who have lived lawfully for a decade, that is the question. We also need to realize that these people are a part of the economy. There is a reason why the Congress, responsible for establishing a naturalization process in the Constitution, have failed to do their job. That reason needs to be brought to light and made known to the public. The consequences of continuing the current situation. Also needs a full debate.