“Flowers in the sky” Lynn Joseph

Rated 4 stars **** 2013. HarperCollins. ebook.

FlowersInTheSkyNina loves her life in the Dominican Republic, especially her beautiful garden of flowers. She misses her brother Darrio who moved to New York City when she was just 5 years old. Everyone in her little village always talks about life in New York and how one can get rich and marry rich baseball players. Now that she’s 15, her mother believes she should go to New York to live a new life, but Nina is not ready to leave her garden and her island.

When her mother catches her flirting, she is uprooted from everything she knows and sent to live with her brother in New York. Life in Washington Heights is very different from the Dominican Republic, and Nina is very unhappy. She misses her garden, her friends and the cool island breezes.

When she meets 18-year-old Luis at the barbershop, a rumored drug dealer, she finds herself dangerously attracted to him. Darrio is not pleased, but Nina comes alive when they’re together. Her happiness is marred when she discovers a secret about Darrio that has her feeling worried about their future. It’s only a matter of time before the life she’s managed to construct for herself comes crashing down, and someone will have to be there to pick up the pieces and help Nina’s life to blossom once more.

“Flowers in the sky” is a look at the immigrant life of Dominicans who came to the United States hoping to create a new life for themselves. Their fears, hopes and dreams are shared with its readers, aged 12-16, in the hopes they’ll understand what immigrants go through to be reinvented in a new country. Joseph reveals the bright, and dark, sides of life for these new Dominican immigrants.


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