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[A] breath of fresh air and new perspectives on immigration and the supernatural.”

When You Get to the Other Side

Written by Mariana Osorio Gumá and Cecilia Weddell (Translator)
Published by Lee & Low Books

The morning they left Amatlán in the bed of a pickup truck, in the hours between darkness and daybreak, the world became immense and noisy. Emilia Ventura shut her eyes and inhaled deeply, bringing in the fresh air of her homeland. She wanted to hold onto it. Let it go down into the depths of her soul, wrapped securely in the mist of daybreak.

Emilia and Gregorio spent their childhood following their grandmother through the mountains of central México, gathering the ingredients she used for curandera work and learning about the supernatural world. When she passes away, the siblings are left alone. So they scrape together their money and pay coyotes to smuggle them to their father in the United States.

The siblings are exhausted before they even reach the border, where the coyotes seize Emilia for their own harsh ends. As brother and sister fight to find each other again, battling the parching desert and the ruthless criminals who haunt it, they draw strength from their profound bond and the insights into nature they gleaned from their grandmother. If Emilia and Gregorio can survive their journey, what awaits them on the other side?

This masterful novel, first published in México, pushes beyond stereotypes to honor not only the dangers immigrants withstand, but also the far-reaching knowledge and roots they carry. When You Get to the Other Side is a powerful, poignant look at the nature of borders, what it means to cross them, and the changes people undergo when they travel between two worlds.

Primary ISBN:
Publication Date: September 2022
Available As: Paperback, eBook
Young Adult , Age 12 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , , ,

Setting: Mexico, United States

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: Immigrant

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Source: Lee & Low Books