Fall 2021

Where I Belong

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

A Pura Belpré Honor Book

An immigrant teen fights for her family, her future, and the place she calls home.

In the spring of 2018, Guatemalan American high school senior Milagros “Millie” Vargas knows her life is about to change. She has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, ever since her parents sought asylum there when she was a baby. Now a citizen, Millie devotes herself to school and caring for her younger siblings while her mom works as a housekeeper for the wealthy Wheeler family. With college on the horizon, Millie is torn between attending her dream school and staying close to home, where she knows she’s needed. She is disturbed by what’s happening to asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, but she doesn’t see herself as an activist or a change-maker. She’s just trying to take care of her own family.

Then Mr. Wheeler, a U.S. Senate candidate, mentions Millie’s achievements in a campaign speech about “deserving” immigrants. It doesn’t take long for people to identify Millie’s family and place them at the center of a statewide immigration debate. Faced with journalists, trolls, anonymous threats, and the Wheelers’ good intentions—especially those of Mr. Wheeler’s son, Charlie—Millie must confront the complexity of her past, the uncertainty of her future, and her place in the country that she believed was home.

Format Your Price Add
978-1-5415-9797-6
$14.24
978-1-7284-1736-3
$23.99
Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 6
Genre Fiction, Young Adult
Category Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diverse Books: #OwnVoices, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Class, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2021
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 264
Publication Date 2021-09-07
Text Type Fiction
BISACS YAF052070, YAF058190, YAF058100
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Lexile 740
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, and eSource

Awards

  • Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Honor, Commended, 2022
  • In the Margins: Best Books for Teens, Winner, 2022
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2022
  • Skipping Stones Honor Award, Short-listed, 2022
  • Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year, Winner, 2021

Reviews

The Horn Book Magazine

“The reader is drawn into Millie’s heartbreaking inner monologue as the story pointedly cultivates informed empathy for the diversity of immigrant experiences, while emphasizing the importance of humility for those who stand as allies.”—The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

“[N]ot to be missed. There is truth on every page—about love, restraint, and integrity.”—starred, School Library Journal

Booklist

“[A]n appealing, authentic story featuring engaging, realistic characters.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“Full of thought-provoking conversations, messy answers, and lots of heart, this novel’s a quiet knockout. Utterly compelling.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Diana López

“In Milagros Vargas, author Marcia Argueta Mickelson has brilliantly captured a voice for our times.” —Diana López, author of Lucky Luna

Author: Marcia Argueta Mickelson

Marcia Mickelson was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States as an infant. She attended high school in New Jersey and then graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in American Studies. She is the author of five novels including Star Shining Brightly, The Huaca, and Where I Belong, and she is the winner of the Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Honor. She lives in Texas with her husband and three sons.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Where I Belong

A Pura Belpré Honor Book An immigrant teen fights for her family, her future, and the place she calls home. In the spring of 2018, Guatemalan American high school senior Milagros “Millie” Vargas knows her life is about to… View available downloads →