Indies Introduce

Middle Grade

  • Efrén Divided, Ernesto Cisneros
    HarperCollins, 9780062881687, March 31, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    Efrén Divided is such an important middle grade book needed in this climate in which families are being separated. This debut made me feel a range of emotions from anger and sadness to love and hope.”

    Robyn Broderick, The Reading Bug (San Carlos, CA)

    Efrén is a good kid and the events of his life are that of a regular middle schooler: annoying younger siblings, hanging out with friends, worrying about homework. Until his mother gets deported. Very quickly, Efrén steps into the role that his mother was forcibly vacated and he becomes his siblings’ surrogate parent, making me cry several times in the first few pages. It’s a well-written account of something very topical and I hope that kids get to read it.”

    Jackie Jou, Mysterious Galaxy Books (San Diego, CA)


    “Efrén, an 11-year-old boy who lives with his Amá, Apá, and two younger siblings Max and Mia, goes home and finds that his world has irrevocably shifted as Amá, his Soperwoman, has been suddenly deported across the border to Tijuana. As his Apá works around the clock to raise money to try to bring his Amá home, Efrén faces mounting and overwhelming responsibilities, more than any eleven-year old should have face, in taking care of his siblings, managing school, and worrying about how to get his Amá back home.  From Ernesto Cisneros, Efrén Divided is an important, timely, and impactful book that looks at the oft-overlooked impacts of immigration and deportation on the families involved, and while it does not shy away from the difficulties faced, it is also a book filled with hope and courage.”

    -Nathan Halter, Lahaska Bookshop (Doylestown, PA)


    “Seventh grader Efrén lives with his Amá, Apá, and two rascally younger siblings, until the day he comes home and discovers his Amá has been deported. Efrén’s sweetness belies the deep well of strength he is forced to call on as his father works longer hours, leaving Efrén to take care of his brother and sister. While filled with plenty of joy (Efrén’s goofy best friend is a highlight), Efrén Divided underscores how immediately a life can become unmanageable—unable to tell anyone at school his mother was deported, for fear that his father (also undocumented) will be targeted, Efrén is thrust into the impossible position of needing to act like a grown-up while still being a child. Author Cisneros holds up a mirror to our world, and readers will see both Efrén and themselves within.”

    -Bethany Strout, Tattered Cover Bookstore (Denver, CO)


    "This book is very unfortunately relevant to our current political climate and to too many young readers. That's what makes it so important that this story exists. When Efrén’s mother is deported suddenly, he has to figure out how to balance his relationships at school with his new responsibilities at home. As if middle school wasn't hard enough! Showing the stories of those most affected by ICE crisis—kids—will make any reader want to take action to change this story to full fiction."  


    Riley Davis, Next Chapter Booksellers (St. Paul, MN)

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