Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tell Us We're Home

Tell Us We're Home by Marina Budhos
Jaya, Maria and Lola are in the 8th grade and live in the wealthy suburb of Meadowbrook, NJ. Their classmates never have worry about money. Some spend good money on clothes to look like they have no money. The three friends, Jaya, Maria and Lola aren't as privileged financially. All three have immigrated to America. Jaya is from Trinidad, Maria is from Mexico and Lola is from Slovakia. Their mothers are maids and nannies working for the parents of their classmates.

Jaya and Lola are the first to meet. They get along instantly. The two are bonded by the work of their mothers, going to the rich middle school, and being on the outside. When Jaya and Lola meet Maria the threesome is complete.

Budhos does a wonderful job with the friendships. The three take great comfort in each other, no explanations, lies or excuses are necessary.

Jaya's mother is fired for stealing. Jaya wants to clear her mother's name. Maria and Lola want to help but something goes wrong. The three friends begin to grow apart.

Jaya, Lola and Maria. have very distinct personalities and stories about how and why they came to America. The chapters alternate between the three and that worked very well for me. I was able to enjoy the stories of all three girls.

Jaya is worried about her mother's unjust firing. Maria likes and is tutoring a guy who comes from money. Lola is dealing with anger issues. There is much more like the unspoken divide of the have and the have nots. The author does an excellent job of seamlessly pulling it all together.

Tell US We're Home is a beautifully written novel. Budhos has created three very realistic three dimensional protagonist. She doesn't play favorites, each girl gets the same amount of page time. In those pages we learn about them and their friendships. Ages 12up

Read an excerpt
Author Lynn Miller Lachmann's review @ Readergirlz


rhapsodyinbooks said...

Ugh that would be awful to have a mom that was a maid to a classmate's mom. I'm glad they had each other for comfort, at least at first. Sounds good!

Maria said...

Oh, this one sounds good. I'll have to check it out ;)

MissA said...

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I finished it but I didn't love it like I thought I would. I didn't really connect much with any of the characters.

It was beautifully written and it's an important story, but I was missing the emotional connection I guess.

Doret said...

Jill and Maria - its worth checking out.

Ari- I am looking forward to reading your review. We will discuss it more then.