Discussion: Book of Unknown Americans

This is a general discussion post for the novel, The Book of Unknown Americans

This is a great place to post your observations as you read as well as questions you might have. Comment below to continue the discussion that we started in class.

You can also respond to another class mate. If you know the answer to a question someone poses, help them out by replying with an answer. 

Some questions to consider:

  • What did you find interesting about the reading so far? 
  • What caught your attention and why?
  • Are there any patterns that you noticed as you were reading?
  • What themes do you notice? Explain.
  • What did you not like? 
20 Comments
  1. Brandon Carr 10 months ago

    I drew a picture of Mayor being bullied in the locker room by Julius and Garrett. I plan on writing about bullying in our society. Mayor’s situation is watered down in comparison to some of the things that happen to other kids, and even adults at schools around the country.

  2. Michaela 10 months ago

    I drew mayor tripping over the ball and his peers laughing at him because I wanted to show how a little later on he gets laughed off the field because of that.

  3. David Van Osdel 10 months ago

    The scene I had drawn was where Rafael and Celia were on the beach in Panama. This scene will tie into how he are more like our parents than we think because Mayor takes Maribel to a similar location shares a moment with her just as his mother and father had.

  4. Michaela 10 months ago

    I drew Mayor tripping over the ball and getting laughed off the field by his peers. I want to write about how Mayor suffers from being bullied, and his inferority complex.

  5. Alexander Cristobal 10 months ago

    I drew about immigration. I thought of all the reasons why people immigrate. Benny left from a civil war and he felt his homeland wasn’t his home anymore. It made me think of Alma and Arto who went to America legally just to seek health care for their daughter’s mental health.

  6. Shalveen Singh 10 months ago

    What I drew was a drawing of how Garret was pinning Maribel against the wall and how her mom came in and saw them together. Her mom had then come between them and I also drew how the mom had gone to talk to the cops. I drew this scene so I can talk about how the mom is behaving the way she is, why she didn’t tell the dad about the assault she saw. Also about why she might be behaving a certain way.

  7. Samantha Chavez 10 months ago

    I drew the scene where Arturo walks in from his first day of work exhausted and Alma asking how his day was. He says that it was tiring and not too good. He tells her that he picked mushrooms all day in the dark. She then asks well don’t they know your qualifications? He says he’s not just going to tell his supervisors that he’s more qualified. Alma keeps asking questions and not understanding which is frustrating Arturo. This scene stuck out to me honestly because I haven’t read most of the book. But I do want to point out that Alma still isn’t understanding that they’re not in Mexico anymore.

  8. Lynn Son 10 months ago

    The picture that I drew was the scene where Garret picked on Maribel after she got off the bus on a rainy day, took away her sunglasses, was name calling her, and was trying to put her hands on her. Mayor witnessed the scene and went to rescue Maribel, in turn, he ended up getting punched by Garret but was able to escape. I chose to draw this scene because it stood out to me about how vulnerable Maribel is especially with her brain injury and that she would need someone, whether it’s Mayor or her parents to help protect her. The topic that I am thinking about writing is probably about the hardships and obstacles it takes to adjust to a new environment especially when losing a whole life that you used to live.

  9. Joey Rueff 10 months ago

    I drew a picture about the red pickup truck after 30 hours of crossing the border. My topic i want to write about is Immigration and the difference coming legally.

  10. I drew the scene where Mayor was bullied at school when he was at soccer practice and he fell. It interested me because this scene led him to not tell his father that he was not going to play soccer. It further drove his cowardice and fear of speaking to his father. How children view their father as a very dominant figure in their lives is what I want to focus on.

  11. Joseph Apodaca 10 months ago

    The scene that I decided to draw was the one where Mayor’s father bought a car. Mostly because I enjoy drawing cars, but also because this was an opportunity for Roberto to indulge in something he wants. Based off the book and family experience, when immigrants come to the US, they put what they want in the back of their mind and put what they need at their focus. A lot of sacrifices are made by immigrants, they work their asses off just to survive. So what I got out of this scene was mainly about sacrifice, a subject that is constantly discussed in the book, and something I will consider for my essay.

  12. Aubrie Rudder 10 months ago

    I drew a picture of the house with Cinder blocks and a comparison of the house Alma had expected before she arrived. she expected a red brick house with white shutters and flowers in the background. I liked this scene because it made me feel like she got her hopes up when she saw something lower than her expectations.

  13. Edwin Gutierrez 10 months ago

    I drew the scene when Mayor is lying to his parents about being in soccer. This scene is important because Mayor’s dad, Raphael, pushes him to join soccer even though he is not good at it. Raphael wants him to be like his brother, but does not understand that he is different, and is not good at soccer. Mayor lying to his dad can lead him to having future problems with his dad, but he just wants his dad to feel proud of him.

  14. Nicole Robles 10 months ago

    from the book I drew the scene about the mom Alma talking to a police officer. She was trying to explain what the boy was doing to her daughter. I picked this scene because I want to talk about the guilt Alma has in the book and how it is affecting Alma’s daughter.

  15. Charizma Hernandez 10 months ago

    I drew the scene where Garret pinned Maribel to the wall and lifted her shirt. The significance of the drawing is that the Mexicans have been neglected and seen in a negative way because of our new President. Garret, somehow to me, represents those who are against Mexicans, while Maribel represents the Mexicans that haven’t done wrong. I will be writing about how people who are against Mexicans will take advantage of them as much as possible.

  16. Brandon Obando 10 months ago

    I draw the scene where Garret crowed up behind her, settling his hands on her lips. drawing her against him, and person tells him leave her alone, and he cuss word on him. what got my attention when there was a argument between Garret and Mayor, and i did not really notice much about any patterns, and what themes i notice when there was drama and fighting. and i do not like when there was cussing and bad language.

  17. Samantha Rodriguez 10 months ago

    I drew the scene where Maribel falls off the ladder when carrying the heavy bucket of cement and that’s when Alma starts to feel guilty for allowing her daughter to do something so dangerous that Maribel has to go through something traumatic that changes her life.

  18. Austin Mudd 10 months ago

    The scene I chose to draw depicted mayor in his struggles during school. Mayor was a huge target for bullying in his school. He got bullied many times and the book gives a glimpse as to what that was like for him. The first time we read this is during his experience in the locker room. A main focus of the book is bullying and what effects it can leave on people.

  19. dezara burrell 10 months ago

    I drew the scene where it was Maribal first day of school and her mom Alma was telling her that she was going to school in Delaware and Maribel was confused even though she told her that she was going to school there. This is one of the times where she gets a little frustrated with her. This is showing that sometimes it can very difficult where going from raising a child without a disability to raising one with disability which requires more patients

  20. Merneeta Romero 10 months ago

    My drawing was a scene from Rafael and Celias hall way when Mayor kissed Maribel for the first time. My theme will be all about selfless love. Mayor expressed that when he spent all his savings on the scarf he bought for Maribel. Also when he kissed her the first time she wasn’t sure what to make of it but it turned out that she actually seemed to like him back. Liking someone and them liking you in return is the best feeling ever. To be able to genuinely like someone regardless of their flaws and disposition is priceless.

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