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Lupita Mañana by Patricia Beatty This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

“Will tomorrow really be better, little Lupita?” reads the back of the tattered book copy. If you read this book tomorrow, it will definitely not get better. Lupita Mañana is a realistic fiction novel by Patricia Beatty that is not very realistic. It is about a girl named Lupita Torres, her brother, Salvador, and their attempt to cross the United States-Mexico border. Although it is a dangerous mission, Lupita and Salvador must cross because their father has died at sea and they need to get money for their mom so they can pay off their house in Ensenada. They head to Indio, California, on their family’s behalf, so they can live with their Aunt Consuelo and get the money to help their mother. Even though the ideas expressed were realistic, the characters tended to narrowly escape detection from la migra, the immigration police.

As I said before, the concepts of the book were very realistic, but the characters’ fate was not. There is a scene in the book when Lupita and Salvador make their second attempt to cross the border. A pocho, a Mexican-American, helps them sneak onto a train so they can travel further into California. Both of them find a car, and watch as la migra finds a family of illegal immigrants. They hide in their train hopper as la migra nears, but they do not check their hopper even though la migra thinks that the hopper Salvador and Lupita are in is empty. Another time the characters get lucky is when la migra enters the restaurant Lupita and Salvador are momentarily working at in Colton, California. Both characters are warned ahead of time by another worker, and they manage to escape in time. It was a very narrow escape though.

All in all, this book is not well written. The writing could have been planned out a lot better. If I could rewrite this book, I would make the fates of the characters much more unpredictable than how it was written. I would suggest checking out La Misma Luna because it is much better than Lupita Mañana. Whatever you do, do not read this book today, mañana, or ever.





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