||To write JUST LIKE US, Denver journalist Helen Thorpe followed four teenage girls of Mexican heritage for four years, tracking how their dreams collided with politics and racial identity. Because Clara and Elissa are legal U.S. citizens, their futures offered opportunity and education, but their best friends, Marisela and Yadira, are illegal immigrants, which places severe limits on what they might achieve. Combining great human empathy with in-depth analysis of the immigration issues at play, JUST LIKE US offers a personal look at how young Mexican-Americans cope with the complexities of their adopted country.
||Just Like Us tells the story of four high school students whose parents entered this country illegally from Mexico. All four of the girls have grown up in the United States, and all four want to live the American dream, but only two have documents. As the girls attempt to make it into college, they discover that only the legal pair see a clear path forward. A coming-of-age story about girlhood and friendship, as well as the resilience required to transcend poverty, Just Like Us is also a book about identity. The girls, their families, and the critics who object to their presence allow the reader to watch one of the most complicated social issues of our times unfurl in a major American city.