"Tell Me How it Ends" Review

My roommate and I sat on the couch the other day, and I was complaining about finding primary sources for my International Studies research paper. It seemed that everywhere I looked, the only primary sources on immigration were statistical data charts, graphs, and UN statements. But immigrants are more than numbers on paper. I wanted real life accounts and stories from people who have been affected by immigration laws first hand. My roommate brought me a book that she had to read for one of her classes--Tell Me How It Ends, An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli.

It was everything I could have wanted in a book, and a primary source. The narrator and author describes her experiences as an immigrant in this country, while also keeping record of the experiences of others. Valeria worked as a volunteer performing intake questionnaires on children who have crossed the border illegally. In her book, she describes the dangerous, and necessary escape from their hometowns to America. Oftentimes the children have similar answers as to why they fled their country--gang violence, abuse, fear. I love that her book examines these aspects of reasoning without separating the people from their stories. It approaches the topic of immigration more humanely, without simply listing numbers and statistics.

I’d recommend this book to everyone. Immigration is such a hot button issue in America right now, and it needs to be understood from all sides, not just through what the media shows us. It's also one of the best books I’ve ever read.