Border Crossing Review


Border Crossing, Maria Colleen Cruz’s realistic-fiction novel demonstrates the need to gain knowledge about ones individual identity by learning more and reflecting about your cultural identity.

      The plot was very engaging. It was descriptive, and had enough confusion to make you want to understand it more and more. It is necessary so that they can draw in a reader. The title page,with the title, Border Crossing, the author, Maria Coleen Cruz, and the image of the the family running. It drew in a reader. The plot was not predictable. At one point you assumed that Cesi was going to get extremely in trouble with her father, but her father did not get her in trouble at all. It was not predictable at all, but I felt like the plot had little holes, like how much of a coincidence it was. But in general, it did not have anything very predictable

When I first began reading border crossing, I was immediately drawn into the conflict between Cesi regarding her cultural identity and what her own individual identity was. I was engaged almost immediately. But it still was a little confusing at the beginning, because I was not used to the constant changing of setting from her learning about her cultural identity to her traveling to Mexico, and then back to what made her decide to go to Mexico.

       Some of the relationships between characters are interesting. One of the ones I found was between Cesi, and her brother Max. They understood each other, even though they were not similar at all. They both wanted to know about their past, even though Cesi was more interested in it than Max, but they both want to learn more. They also both have questions about way their dad never taught them any Spanish. Also the relationship between Tony and Cesi is interesting, but to coincidental. They both had different views over Mexicans, but the fact that they were related was to much of a coincidence. Some of the characters in the story remind me of people I know. One of them is Tony. Tony is a strong minded individual who was easily distracted. As well, he very much felt connected and defended his culture just like Tony did to Cesi when Cesi stated that “I can’t believe I trusted these people,”which she stated after her money was stolen.

       Cesi did mature over the entire story. She went from not understanding anything at all about her culture, to be extremely knowledgeable on many parts of it. She did learn more about herself. Some of these things was her learning about what troubles her father went through. She was mainly focused in her identity, and she found more about that. She did mature throughout the book.

      The book structure is very unique. First it had a chapter about the present, but then it had a chapter from the past. It does shift from past to present for the majority of the book, but towards the end it sticks to present. The author chose the way she told the story to let us understand what Cesi’s motivations to her actions were, and what those actions were. It began to let us understand her actions, and what happened because of those actions in the future. Cruz used this style because we do not know how Cesi’s past was, and it was a very good way to show  that.

The author explains multiple things that could possibly be themes. One of these is the impact of understanding your cultural identity to form your individual identity. This was shown during the entire story telling sequence on page 95 to page 100 when Aunt Delfina tells Cesi and Tony the story about her Cesi’s father. It is also shown during when Cesi goes to the library to do some research before hand about her cultural identity. She does use some symbols to reinforce the main ideas. She uses the alter, or “ofrenda” as used in the story, as symbolism.

The dialog on pages 90 to 100 is very profound. It describes the troubles that Aunt Delfina and Cesi’s father goes through in school. It was important because it gives Cesi the understanding of what happened to her father. A key thing that was stated in this section was the entire page 97 to 98. It describes the teacher assuming that Cesi’s father is a thief, and that it was not him. That describes the theme very well.

I think it is sort of satisfying. The reason I think this is because of how many coincidence were needed to make this entire story happens. The way that Tony and Cesi end up being related. How Tony brings Cesi to his Aunt Delfina’s house, who was friends with Cesi’s father. They very end was very nice, bringing in her last grandfather, but I would change the coincidences.

I would ask her why she chose to write the book from someone going into to Mexico from the U.S, when normally you think about crossing the border from Mexico. I think it inspires me to read other books from the same author about the same or similar concepts because of how different this one’s perspective is on the world around us. It is showing how their is more than just illegal immigration when it comes to the border, it is also people trying to explore and learn more about themselves.


One thought on “Border Crossing Review

  1. I really like the way you answered the questions, you show evidence of what you are saying by putting the pages that you got the information from. Also, you go in depth about the topic by adding a lot of details of the book. The last thing that I think you did well in this was the vocabulary that you used in the writing of the book review.


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