All the Stars Denied
In a companion novel to her critically acclaimed Shame the Stars, Pura Belpr Award Winner Guadalupe Garcia McCall tackles the hidden history of the United States and its first mass deportation that swept up hundreds of thousands of Mexican American citizens during the Great Depression.
In the heart of the Great Depression, Rancho Las Moras, like everywhere else in Texas, is gripped by the drought of the Dust Bowl, and resentment is building among white farmers against Mexican Americans. All around town, signs go up proclaiming No Dogs or Mexicans and No Mexicans Allowed.
When Estrella organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos in their town of Monteseco, Texas, her whole family becomes a target of repatriation efforts to send Mexicans back to Mexico -- whether they were ever Mexican citizens or not. Dumped across the border and separated from half her family, Estrella must figure out a way to survive and care for her mother and baby brother. How can she reunite with her father and grandparents and convince her country of birth that she deserves to return home?
There are no easy answers in the first YA book to tackle this hidden history.
In a companion novel to her critically acclaimed Shame the Stars, Guadalupe Garcia McCall tackles the hidden history of the United States and its first mass deportation event that swept up hundreds of thousands of Mexican American citizens during the Great Depression.
Tu Books, 9781620142813, 336pp.
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. In what way is “repatriation” a euphemism? Why? What would the word be a euphemism for?
2. How does the Great Depression affect the situation Estrella and her family experience? What other factors affect how they are treated by the Monteseco town government?
3. How is the situation in which Estrella’s family find themselves (being deported to Mexico) different for their family than for other Mexican and Mexican American families? How is it similar?
4. How do Estrella’s poems and journal entries add to the narrative? What new perspective do they bring to the story?
5. How are Estrella and her mother restricted by expectations placed on women during this time period? How do they overcome them?
6. What personality traits help Estrella keep her family together during their time in Mexico?
7. How do you think the trauma that Estrella and her family experience will impact them in the future?
8. This book does not italicize Spanish words. Why do you think the author and editor made that decision? Do you agree with it?
9. Many people in America are descended from immigrants. Did your ancestors immigrate to the United States? If so, how do you think it would feel to return to the country they came from?
10. What parallels do you see between the forced deportation of Estrella and her family and current events? What can history teach us about what is happening today?
11. All the Stars Denied is historical fiction. Did you know about this episode in American history? Did you learn anything new that surprised you?