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DeFelice, Cynthia C.
New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2003.
IL 5-8, RL 6.6
ISBN 0374380325

3 booktalks

Booktalk #1

Joe Pederson wants one thing for his birthday -- a big, expensive motorbike.  His parents decide he needs a lesson on the value of money and tell him he will earn the money himself.  Living on a ranch in New York, Joe's family employs migrant workers from Mexico.  The summer will find Joe working alongside the Mexicans and sharing their life.  As Joe gets to know the workers, he realizes that his attitude toward them is changing.  And he begins to see his own friends in a different light.

Booktalk #2

Joe’s 14th birthday is rapidly approaching and there’s no question what he wants—the $1000 motor bike from the X-treme Sports catalog. Already he can envision the freedom he’ll enjoy all summer long. He’s ready with the catalog when his parents bring up the topic of a gift, but their response is ALL WRONG! The Pedersons tell Joe if he wants the bike he’ll have to earn the money for it, working in the fields along with the migrant workers hired from Mexico. While the workers have been a part of the Pedersons’ farm forever, living under the same sky, he never paid much attention to them. The work crew this year includes Manuel, the sixteen year old crew boss, and Luisa, another teen supporting her family in Mexico, as well as other workers. As he labors alongside the workers, Joe comes to appreciate how difficult the work is, how good they are at it, and the challenges and dangers they face as migrant workers. When Federal agents come to check the legal status of the workers, everything changes. Joe’s parents are out of town, and he has to make some difficult decisions. This book has no easy answers but one that certainly addresses the illegal immigrant situation in the United States from a compassionate and practical standpoint. (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2005-2006)

Booktalk #3

All I wanted for my fourteenth birthday was a motorbike. When I asked my mother and father for it and that it would only cost seven hundred and seventy nine dollars my parents said a big fat no. Then my father said if I really wanted it I could earn the money by working on the farm with the Mexican laborers. So that’s what I’m doing with my summer, Joe Pederson worker instead of Joe Pederson man of leisure. Joe had it all figured out, how much he would make each week and how long it would take to earn the bike. Of course things never go the way we plan and Joe will learn that very quickly. At first Joe is very jealous of the crew boss Manuel, but as Joe starts to get to know Manuel and the other crewmembers he learns how hard they have it. Joe begins to realize that there are more important things in life than a motorbike when the locals as well as immigration harass the laborers. When Joe discovers that some of the workers are in the country illegally, he will have to make a decision on whether to help them escape from immigration or turn them in. Will Joe help his new friends escape? Read Under the Same Sky by Cynthia DeFelice to find out.  Oklahoma Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award nominee, 2005-2006

SUBJECTS:     Farm life  -- New York (State) -- Fiction.
                        Migrant labor -- Fiction.
                        Mexicans -- New York (State) -- Fiction.
                        Fathers and sons -- Fiction.
                        New York (State) -- Fiction.


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