2024 NATIONAL MEDAL
for Museum and Library Service Finalist

Brighter Than the Sun

Daniel Aleman
Audience: 
Book Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

About This Book

This timely and thought-provoking story about a teen girl shouldering impossibly large responsibilities and ultimately learning that she doesn’t have to do it alone is the perfect follow-up to Daniel Aleman's award-winning debut novel, Indivisible

Every morning, sixteen-year-old Sol wakes up at the break of dawn in her hometown of Tijuana, Mexico and makes the trip across the border to go to school in the United States. Though the commute is exhausting, this is the best way to achieve her dream: becoming the first person in her family to go to college.
 
When her family’s restaurant starts struggling, Sol must find a part-time job in San Diego to help her dad put food on the table and pay the bills. But her complicated school and work schedules on the US side of the border mean moving in with her best friend and leaving her family behind. 
With her life divided by an international border, Sol must come to terms with the loneliness she hides, the pressure she feels to succeed for her family, and the fact that the future she once dreamt of is starting to seem unattainable. Mostly, she’ll have to grapple with a secret she’s kept even from herself: that maybe she’s relieved to have escaped her difficult home life, and a part of her may never want to return.

Reviews

Anonymous

5

Brighter Than the Sun Book Review:

This book is a great read for anyone who enjoys reading about different cultures, hardships, and conflicts people commonly experience worldwide. This novel was very engaging and contained vivid descriptions of the characters and plot. Daniel Aleman makes it easier for the reader to relate to the difficulty of being in two different places, literally and figuratively. The book also gives a closer look at what financial difficulties can do to a family. It also resembles a dream that I also share with the main character, which is the goal to get an education. This is a coming-of-age novel which focuses on the struggle of life of a girl from Tijuana, Mexico. Soledad or ‘Sol’ lives with her family in her hometown in Mexico, even though she was born on US lands. Due to the fact that she is a citizen of the US, she is able to get a better education than her siblings. For most of her life, she always wanted to go to college and raise her parents when they got old. However, due to complications in the family, the restaurant that they own becomes a burden. Without many more options, she is forced to work part-time jobs for her family. From this, she learns how hard it is to balance between school, family, and work. No matter how hard she tries to balance, she fails all the time. As her family keeps getting poorer and poorer, they have no option but to sell their restaurant, a remnant of Sol’s mom. I personally think this is a great book for teens since it describes the struggles that Mexican-American students have to go through to support themselves and their families. It shows the difficult and exhausting life that people like Sol go through. The novel also reveals much bigger themes such as empathy, hope, and strength. Overall, this book is one that many should consider reading.

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