Estrella feels insulated from much of the trouble that is happening in her small Texas town of Monteseco. After all, she has loving parents who have a beautiful ranch and a younger brother, who at times, pretty much runs the household with his brattiness. The biggest issues she has are having to watch the afore mentioned little brat when she’d rather be reading and doing a few chores around the house. She does know that other families in her town don’t have it as good though. After all, the year is 1931 and the whole country is in the grip of the Great Depression. Many people are out of work and looking for someone to blame. And unfortunately, as with many times in the United States’ history, it is people of color who are blamed for everything.
Estrella sees the round ups of families and friends who happen to have Mexican ancestry. The government is allowing it, and sending all the people to Mexico and calling it repatriation. However, most of the people that were rounded up, weren’t even from Mexico! They were United States citizens, many who had been in the states for generations, as is the case with Estrella’s family.
When Estrella herself is almost caught in a round up, she encourages her parents and friends at school to step up and do something more than just write editorials in the newspaper. Unfortunately, the ramifications of such actions are not what Estrella or her family imagined and their lives are torn apart.
All the Stars Denied by Guadalupe Garcia McCall is a look at a bleak time in our history as a country. This is an important moment to remember and acknowledge the terrible injustice that happened to many of our citizens as well as other innocents who were caught up in an appalling situation.
Recommended for grades 6 and up.