An Immigrant American Hero is a modern literary novel inspired by the stories of very real extraordinary immigrant men. Where the book American Me told the East Los Angeles story of immigrants becoming the gangsters of Mi Familia, (the Mexican Mafia), An Immigrant American Hero is but one story of the heroes coming from the same community.
Reviewed by: Sandra
Rating: 4 stars
Review: After some time living in Mexican foster home, 8-year old Tico finally embarks on his journey to California to be reunited with his family. Though it hasn't been easy to keep the tears at bay, Tico made every effort to be the "brave young man," which enabled him to be kind, respectful, and humble--attributes that would be fruitful in his next life.
Of course, no path is without its rocky roads.
"Mexicans were tolerated when they were quiet and made no noise while doing their assigned tasks. Americans did not tolerate foreigners who made too much noise or spoke a different language or tried to change what had always been." (35)
"[Tico] had been proud to be from Mexico. Yet, all around him, the word “Mexican” was linked to thieves and hoodlums—people not worthy of trust." (45)
"He learned from his father’s example: though he walked with crutches, then a cane, laughter and joy could still be found in hard work." (47)
Well-written and captivating, An Immigrant American Hero is a coming-of-age story of a courageous and bright boy that surpasses all obstacles while navigating through the prejudice and politics of 1950's Los Angeles . Readers will be entranced by his extraordinary development and his unyielding faith. Being "an outsider" never stopped our aspiring young hero, which led him to the Navy reserves in the battlefield of an American war.
Perhaps his one downfall was his fierce dedication, especially to that selfish and unstable wife of his; sometimes that dedication can be a fatal flaw. Nonetheless, Tico is an admirable character. Even the cumbersome layer of militia protocols and lawyer jargon does not diminish the quality of this work.
A worthy and comprehensive read that vividly portrays the blissful struggles of the Immigrant American hero.