Book Review: Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez

Hey everyone! It’s time for another book review! This book is for ages 8-12 so definitely closer to teen. Return to Sender has some pretty varied reviews on Goodreads. To change things up a bit, I will paste some reviews onto here. I will of course give the authors of the comment 1000% credit. Let’s jump right in!

Name: Return to Sender.

Author: Julia Alvarez

# of pages: 318

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Rating: 3.7/5 stars

Amazon: 4/5 stars

Amazon Summary:

After Tyler’s father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. Tyler isn’t sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented? And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected to her American life. Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences?

Amazon Reviews:

Heather Darby- “I hated this book it spoke in third persons the base stunk and in all this book was not setup well.” 1 star review

Arizona Mom- “This was a pretty good book. I read it with my son. I would have given it 5 stars but I didn’t like how the author told a lot of the story through letters. In other words, a young girl is writing to her mother and you learn about what has been happening through her letters. There are several chapters of that type of writing style in the book.”    4 star review

Sandra Scavazzon- “Return to Sender places a human face on the immigrants who make their way to the United States and to the families who benefit from their labor. Children are children, families are families no matter from what country. This is an important lesson that I wish to teach my grandchildren, since we are an international family. Too often the hardships that immigrant families endure are marginalize and even discarded because we, as Americans, do not pay attention to the human factors.” 5 star review

Goodreads Reviews:

Anne- “This book disappointed me–I would give it 2.5 if I could. Julia Alvarez is a brilliant novelist who should probably stick to writing for adults, because her young adult “tone” comes off as forced, oversimplified, and too young. This is a compelling and timely story bogged down by an awkward format, too many exclamation points, and a style that isn’t true to Alvarez’s lyrical talents.” 3 star review

Anne Marie- “The topic of the book and the way the story is related – through narrative prose and letters, and also through insightful points of view – were really interesting, but ultimately completely overshadowed by how heavy-handed, preachy, and condescending the book is. There is also very little description of any characters or settings – all emphasis is on dialogue and “lesson-teaching.” 1 star review

Sergio Lopez- “It was a really nice story because it’s based on true facts . Many mexicans do come to the U.S. in search of a better life and many times they are treated unfairly” 3 star review.

Let me know what you think of adding reviews written by real people.

My Thoughts:

This was such a great book! It’s most likely aimed at younger audiences since the characters are  11-12. There were so many suspenseful moments. I fell in love with the characters. Many had issues with the letter style of Mari’s POV but I loved it. I definitely recommend reading it. Return to Sender shows the real issues of Mexican immigrants and how just one wrong move can get you deported. This is definitely a must read!

Let me know what you think of adding real reviews to the book reviews!  Are you going to read Return to Sender? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more book reviews!

~Makayla the Bookworm 🙂