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Star in the Forest

Click this cover for a(n) eBook sample of Star in the Forest.

Star in the Forest

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Zitlally's family is undocumented, and her father has just been arrested for speeding and deported back to Mexico. As her family waits for him to return--they've paid a coyote to guide him back across...
Zitlally's family is undocumented, and her father has just been arrested for speeding and deported back to Mexico. As her family waits for him to return--they've paid a coyote to guide him back across...
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.5
  • Lexile:
    780
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Reading Level:
    3

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Description-
  • Zitlally's family is undocumented, and her father has just been arrested for speeding and deported back to Mexico. As her family waits for him to return--they've paid a coyote to guide him back across the border--they receive news that he and the coyote's other charges have been kidnapped and are being held for ransom. Meanwhile, Zitlally and a new friend find a dog in the forest near their trailer park. They name it Star for the star-shaped patch over its eye. As time goes on, Zitlally starts to realize that Star is her father's "spirit animal," and that as long as Star is safe, her father will be also. But what will happen to Zitlally's dad when Star disappears?

    "A vibrant, large-hearted story."--Publishers Weekly, Starred (on Red Glass)

    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One There is a forest behind my trailer, through the weeds and under the gate and across the trickly, oily ditch. It is a forest of very, very old car parts, heaps of rusted metal, spotted orangey brown, with rainbow layers of fading paint, and leaves and vines poking and twisting through the holes. Birds and snakes and bugs sometimes peek out from the pipes and hubcaps. My neighborhood is called Forest View Mobile Home Park. I think this must be the forest they're talking about.

    On the day Papa was deported, that's where I went.

    The police had pulled him over a week earlier, and while he was in jail, Mama was on her cell phone all the time.

    Deportado, deportado, deportado, she said, in a hushed, dangerous voice.

    Deportado, she said to my aunts Rosa and Virginia and Mar'a.

    Deportado, she said over the phone to Uncle Luciano in Mexico.

    Deportado meant Papa would be sent back to Mexico, and it would be very, very hard for him to come back.

    The day before he was deported, I saw Papa at the jail. He stared at me through the scratchy plastic divider. The phone shook in his hand. He said, "Goodbye, Zitlally." Then he whispered, "Ni-mitz nequi." I love you.

    He looked strange in the blue jumpsuit, and even stranger because he was crying, right there in front of the other prisoners and their families and the guards. But my tears stayed hidden under a stone inside a cave inside me. I worried that Papa thought I wasn't sad because my face was dry when I said goodbye.

    The next day, alone in the car part forest, I felt tears pushing out like a geyser.

    My name is Zitlally. Estrella. Star. That's what it means in Nahuatl. Nahuatl is what Papa speaks to me in secret, even though I don't understand. It is a soft language full of shhhhs and perfect for whispering at night. I used to think it was the language of the stars, what they whispered to each other. This year during the Mexico unit in school, I found out it was the language of the Aztecs. The Aztecs are supposed to be all dead. Maybe they're the ones whispering. I didn't tell anyone that their words aren't dead. I know because Papa speaks them. Because he named me one. Because I hear the stars whispering. Shhhh.

    The day after Papa was deportado, Mama was on the phone saying deportado, deportado and crying and Reina was watching a murder movie on TV and Dalia was hanging out with her friends at the edge of the park that no kids are allowed to go to because of the broken glass and needles. Usually Mama would frown and Papa would say that Dalia couldn't hang out with them and that Reina couldn't watch murder movies, but now that Mama was always on the phone, saying deportado, deportado, she didn't notice much.

    I brought my math worksheets outside and sat on the ripped Astroturf porch, leaning against the tin side of our trailer. I shivered and wished I'd brought a sweater. It was a little cold because it was April.

    Fractions. Four-fifths. The fraction of my family here. Papa used to look over my shoulder as I did math homework and help me. He didn't do problems the way Mr. Martin did on the board. He had his own system. He was a framer and always had to cut wood perfectly, down to the exact one-eighth of an inch, and not waste any wood. He was a master of fractions.

    Something crashed, something glass. It came from next door. Then came a waterfall of bashing and breaking and yelling. It was that girl, Crystal's, mom and her mom's boyfriend.

    I never talked to Crystal at school.

    My best friend, Morgan, said that Crystal shopped at garage sales.

    My second-best friend, Emma, said she had poor dental hygiene and chronic...
About the Author-
  • Laura Resau lived in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca, Mexico, for two years as an English teacher and anthropologist. She now lives with her husband, her dog, and her son, Bran, in Colorado, where she teaches cultural anthropology and English as a Second Language. She is also the author of What the Moon Saw and Red Glass.

    From the Hardcover edition.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Children's Books
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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