I found this book by chance while wandering the aisles of the public library looking for something to read during Christmas break. Sometimes my random picks from the library don't work out so good, but sometimes they do. This was definitely a winner.
This story starts in Tuscon Arizona and is told from the perspective of a multi-phobic girl named Sophie. In a way she kind of reminds me of a roommate I used to have who was sort of small and quiet, a little socially awkward in all the best ways. :) Sophie described herself as an amoeba in the social network of the body of society, never really belonging to any particular group. One day she and her parents are called to the hospital to try and identify a 6-year-old boy named Pablo who was the lone survivor of a party found crossing the Mexico-Arizona border. They don't recognize the boy but decide to become his foster family until they know what to do with him. After several months they locate his family in Mexico and decide to take him home. Sophie, her eccentric Bosnian war refugee aunt Dika, Dika's new boyfriend Mr. Lorenzo, and Mr. Lorenzo's son Angel all accompany Pablo on a journey to his village in Mexico. A nice little relationship forms between Sophie and Angel while Sophie learns how to overcome all of her irrational fears and embrace the good things in life, especially the good people around her.
I really loved the personal journey Sophie went on during this story. As one who grew up shy and insecure, I especially appreciated reading about how Sophie gained courage and confidence when those she loved needed her help. The writing used some beautiful imagery and actually made me cry in a few parts. I became very attached to the characters and felt Sophie's fears and pain and eventual confidence and success. I would definitely recommend this book to others.
4 out of 5 stars