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Publisher's Summary

Just Like Us tells the story of four high-school students whose parents entered this country illegally from Mexico. All four of the girls have grown up in the United States, and all four want to live the American dream, but only two have documents. As the girls attempt to make it into college, they discover that only the legal pair see a clear path forward.

A coming-of-age story about girlhood and friendship, as well as the resilience required to transcend poverty, Just Like Us is also a book about identity. The girls, their families, and the critics who object to their presence allow the reader to watch one of the most complicated social issues of our times unfurl in a major American city.

©2009 Helen Thorpe (P)2011 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

"An excellent, in-depth study of immigration policies gone amok." (Library Journal)
"Just Like Us beautifully and powerfully reminds us of the individuals whose lives lie at the center of the chaos that is our approach to immigration. Helen Thorpe has taken policy and turned it in to literature." (Malcolm Gladwell)
"With a gaze that is tender and ever alert, Helen Thorpe follows the lives of four young women - Mexican and American - so alike in their coming-of-age, but separated by the ironies of geography, the border that cuts through the heart." (Richard Rodriguez, author of Brown: The Last Discovery of America)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Valice
  • Las Cruces, NM, United States
  • 03-22-14

I wanted to listen but...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If I could bear the narrator I could have heard the story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Just Like Us?

The realization that I couldn't listen to it one more moment.

How could the performance have been better?

A different narrator.

What character would you cut from Just Like Us?

The author.

Any additional comments?

Unfortunately, since Amazon took over Audible, the reviews don't reflect the audio experience, the reviews are mostly about "reading" experiences. This was a book group choice. I wanted to listen it, very much, but the narrator was so awful that I couldn't.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Janelle
  • FORT COLLINS, CO, United States
  • 03-01-17

It is ok

jumped around a bit because I lost interest at times. but a very good and relevant story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 10-28-14

Timely, poignant biography

Would you consider the audio edition of Just Like Us to be better than the print version?

Probably. I don't know what audiobook another reviewer read, but I thoroughly loved this narration. Paula Christensen did a fantastic job with her characters, and thoroughly owned this personal book. Her pronunciation was wonderful, and the only weak spot was her dialogue portions, which were difficult to differentiate between the characters at points.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I would have to say Clara or Yadira - good girls, bookish, who (in Yadira's case) keep themselves squirreled away and not letting others get too close. I found them complex and likable.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were many that moved me. I found myself asking many questions during the course of this book, not many of which have answers that will assist the girls in this book, and those like them - children who, through no fault of their own, are in the USA or Canada illegally - or the countries that struggle to find a place for them.

Any additional comments?

Fantastic and timely book. It was timely in 2009 when it was first published, and it is timely now, when we have people coming from war or poverty from Mexico, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, and many other countries.<br/>Terrific!