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Booktalking "Life, After" by Sarah Littman

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Daniella, little sister Sarita, and parents emigrate from Argentina to Twin Lakes, NY in an attempt to start a new life, free from terrorism. It is difficult for everyone to adjust to having less money after the father lost his job at the clothing store in Argentina, and he cannot seem to get it together to function in American society following the loss. The family reels from his vitriol and constant despondent moods.

Dani forms a bond with Jon, who has Asperger's Syndrome, probably because they are both different. She is bullied by Jon's twin Jess until Dani sticks up for Jon, and Jess reconsiders the girl. Although Jessica never quite apologizing for her nasty behavior, Daniella and she become friends. She allows Dani to borrow her designer-label clothing for school dances, and the two discover that they share something in common besides an affection for Jon: Dani lost her tia Sara in the AMIA bombing, and Jess and Jon lost their father in the 9/11 terrorist attack. 

Daniella's novio Roberto is in California, but Brian Harrison's sense of humor and lopsided grin lure her in and make her spine tingle. Learning English and thinking in a new language hurts Dani's brain at times, and American ways astound her, but she is no longer living in a dictatorship.

Life, After by Sarah Littman, 2010

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