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Finding Miracles

af Julia Alvarez

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253778,998 (3.74)1
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.

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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
"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)"
  CDJLibrary | Feb 28, 2021 |
Milly has always kept her adoption hidden from the other kids in her small Vermont town but when a new boy starting at her high school hails from the same Latin America country where she was born, she discovers that she is interested in learning more about her birth story.

This book had a strong start but petered out somewhere in the middle. In the beginning, it explored the many relationships within one family, with each character having their own quirk -- from Milly's mother who is occasionally a bit of a prude as a result of her Mormon upbringing to Milly's Jewish grandmother who uses her wealth as leverage while secretly still being haunted by stories of the Holocaust to Milly's over-eager younger brother who just wants everyone to get along. Assorted friendships at Milly's school are also addressed, feeling quite a bit like a typical coming-of-age story for middle grade/young adult literature.

Then the book veers into Milly's trip to visit the country of her birth and her quest for more information about her biological parents. All of this is fairly fitting with the story so far, but here it also diverges into looking at stories of the revolution there and the troubles that people went through in Milly's native country. One thing that was small but bothered me greatly is that Alvarez did not name a country, just stated that it was somewhere in Latin America. To some extent, I get that she did this to mold the narrative of the country's political upheaval to fit the story she was telling. But it also seemed odd in a book that was otherwise so rooted in the particulars of everyday realism.

This part of the book also started touching on dicey subject matter such as torture and rape; the rest of the book seemed appropriate for younger kids but this section made it firmly rooted for teens in my opinion. While none of this section was bad per se, it just didn't seem to mesh with the rest of the book; it felt like it belonged to an entirely different book.

In the end, many things still seemed up in the air, which may or may not bother some readers. For me, it seemed realistic and fit the story well. The audiobook is narrated by Daphne Rubin-Vega, who did an excellent job. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Feb 21, 2020 |
I would pair this with "The House on Mango Street." ( )
  nickietravis | Jul 26, 2015 |
This is a YA novel by Julia Alvarez ... it's a quick read, and enjoyable, though not spectacular (In the Time of the Butterflies still remains my favorite Alvarez novel). ( )
  purplehena | Mar 31, 2013 |
Personal response:

Started out kinda corny, but got interesting fast. Girl with a past trying to fit in, a person who shakes her up, a family crisis, and finally deciding to find herself. A journey to her native country, a beginning of romance, and a big happy ending with a family ceremony/celebration. I teared up, and to me that means it is a good, emotional, beleivable book.And corny as it is, I am a big fan of happy endings.

cirriculum/programming connections:

A book for group discussion on topics of adoption, immigrants, blended families, South American conflicts, revolutionaries, genealogy.
  ramonamadalena | Aug 12, 2010 |
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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.

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