DREAM THINGS TRUE: A Novel
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Age Group: Young Adult
A modern-day Romeo and Juliet story in which a wealthy Southern boy falls in love with an undocumented Mexican girl and together they face perils in their hostile Georgia town. Evan, a soccer star and the nephew of a conservative Southern Senator, has never wanted for much -- except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two-years-old, excels in school, and has a large, warm Mexican family. Never mind their differences, the two fall in love, and they fall hard. But when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) begins raids on their town, Alma knows that she needs to tell Evan her secret. There's too much at stake. But how to tell her country-club boyfriend that she's an undocumented immigrant? That her whole family and most of her friends live in the country without permission. What follows is a beautiful, nuanced, well-paced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one's family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives.
*Author Guest Post*
Undocumented immigration has become such a highly debated topic recently in the news and in politics.
Talk about your feelings on this subject in relation to Dream Things True and what you'd hope your book may do to help anyone who may be conflicted about or even directly affected by this hot button issue.
These days, in politics and in the news, we hear constantly about “the eleven million” –undocumented immigrants who currently live in the United States. People are asking what should be done about “them”. This is an important policy question, and one that I care very much about. I have been working with undocumented immigrants from many years, and I know this: each of those eleven million immigrants has a story – they are mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. Some of them have extraordinary stories of love and sacrifice; some have mundane stories of living everyday life -- making lunches and making ends meet.
Each of those stories matters -- way more than a number. When we turn these real, complex, people into a number, we strip them of their humanity. I think this paves the way for terrible consequences, not only for undocumented immigrants, but for the neighborhoods, churches, schools, and communities where they live, work, and worship.
Because I’ve written non-fiction books about undocumented immigration, I often get asked to talk with groups of non-immigrants about these issues. I know a lot of facts and figures, and these help people think about immigration in new ways, but I find that what really matters is relationships – knowing and loving a person who faces these issues is what makes a person care.
I wrote Dream Things True because I wanted to give readers a chance to step into the stories of a few of those “eleven million”. It’s narrated in alternating points of view because I want for readers to imagine themselves into the experience of being an undocumented teenager, and I also want for them to imagine what it would be like to love an undocumented teenager, and to want the best for her.
When we see thorny issues through the eyes of love, it changes everything.
"Where can people get involved" video:
Praise for Dream Things True:
“In this YA debut, immigration activist Marquardt knowledgably takes on the plight of undocumented families in the U.S. Readers seeking a star-crossed love story with a twist won’t be disappointed.” —Publishers Weekly
“Various aspects of undocumented immigration are explored: the economic factors influencing the decision to come to the United States, the often harrowing journey, the exploitation upon arrival, and the political factors that influence policy… [A] worthy examination of undocumented immigration in the American South through the lens of young love.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Marquardt provides a critical view of the stigmas and difficulties plaguing undocumented youth in U.S. schools without glossing over the legal realities of deportation and detainment.” —School Library Journal
“Marquardt's Dream Things True vividly weaves to life the thrill of falling in love in the South while awakening readers to the struggles of US-Mexican immigration policies. In this touching coming-of-age story, full of hope and possibilities, Marquardt captures the bittersweet world of undocumented teens living in the US and the power of true love.”
—Malin Alegria, author of Estrella’s Quinceañera and the Border Town series
“Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt is a story that must be told and needs to be read. With sensitivity and care, Marquardt deftly illustrates the struggles and hopes of Alma, an undocumented teenager living in the United States. Alma's story reflects the lives of millions of young people trapped between countries and cultures, longing for a place to belong. An important story that's full of heart, it will forever change the way you view those who live their lives in the shadows.” —Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About Alice
About the Author:
Marie Marquardt is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University's Candler School of Theology and the author of Living Illegal: The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration. She is widely published on issues of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. South. Marquardt has also worked as an advocate among immigrants in Atlanta. She is a founder and co-chair of El Refugio, a hospitality house near the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. Dream Things True is Marie's first young adult novel.