Indivisible - book cover
Literature & Fiction
  • Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Published : 04 May 2021
  • Pages : 400
  • ISBN-10 : 0759556059
  • ISBN-13 : 9780759556058
  • Language : English


This timely, moving debut novel follows a teen's efforts to keep his family together as his parents face deportation.

Mateo Garcia and his younger sister, Sophie, have been taught to fear one word for as long as they can remember: deportation. Over the past few years, however, the fear that their undocumented immigrant parents could be sent back to Mexico started to fade. Ma and Pa have been in the United States for so long, they have American-born children, and they're hard workers and good neighbors. When Mateo returns from school one day to find that his parents have been taken by ICE, he realizes that his family's worst nightmare has become a reality. With his parents' fate and his own future hanging in the balance, Mateo must figure out who he is and what he is capable of, even as he's forced to question what it means to be an American.

Daniel Aleman's Indivisible is a remarkable story-both powerful in its explorations of immigration in America and deeply intimate in its portrait of a teen boy driven by his fierce, protective love for his parents and his sister.

Editorial Reviews

"Indivisible is a deeply moving tribute to those caught between two worlds in the immigration crisis in America-a potent reminder that no human being is illegal, and that hundreds of thousands of children in this situation are forced to grow up too quickly. Although this is fiction, it's far too real."―Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Book of Two Ways

"Indivisible is a powerful story about family, friendship, and home. In a world divided by so many labels, this story is a reminder that there are no boundaries for love. It shines a light on the difficult choices people make for their family and community, and reminds us that each family is a little world. Mateo, Sophie, and their parents are now part of my heart."―Yamile Saied Méndez, author of Pura Belpré Inaugural YA Award winner Furia

"As heart-wrenching a tale as it is, Indivisible is also a heartening tribute to the power and endurance of familial love."―Adi Alsaid, author of Let's Get Lost and North of Happy

"Indivisible is a heartbreakingly poignant and timely coming-of-age story of the human cost of a morally bankrupt immigration policy. This book is an unforgettable chronicle of the fiercest, indomitable love and devotion."―Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King

"Both a gripping, harrowing story about an American tragedy and a moving portrait of the bonds of family and unexpected community, Indivisible somehow never loses its humor, its humanity or its hope."―Kelly Loy Gilbert, author of Stonewall Honor Book Picture Us In the Light

"Daniel Aleman is a fearless writer who never shies away from the complexity of his premise, yet gives Mateo such agency and drive, you never lose hope as a reader. A total miracle of a book."―Adam Sass, author of Surrender Your Sons

"In his moving debut novel, Daniel Aleman skillfully paints a story of how injustice rips us apart, friendships and family gathers our broken pieces, and hope slowly stitches us back together. Indivisible belongs on every shelf."―Julian Winters, award-winning author of Running With Lions

"Indivisible is an intimate and emotional portrait of a family trying to survive under the threat of deportation, with a deeply sensitive and resilient narrator at its center. It's a powerful story of finding strength: strength to hold a family together as their worst fear becomes reality, and strength to learn who you are, what you want and the person you hope to become. At times heartbreaking, ultimately uplifting, this book is a poignant story we need."―Julia Drake, author of The Last True Poets of the Sea

* "Stellar, cle...

Readers Top Reviews

J.PratherLeyla Demir
Indivisible is a truly heart wrenching story. I'm not in this book's target audience, as it is written for young adults. I am an older adult, and as a mother I have to say that this is one of the most heartbreaking stories of our time, made all the worse by the knowledge that there are scores of similar stories being played out in our country every day. I will admit that I had trouble believing in Mateo's character in the beginning. There were many times when his reactions and dialogues just didn't make sense to me. I then realized that they didn't make sense to me because this was how a teenager would see things. After that realization, I became fully immersed in the story that was both beautifully written and well paced. It was impossible to put down. This will be a valuable book for teens that I hope finds it's way into classrooms in the years to come. Many lessons to be learned here, laid out in a way that is not didactic, but heart breakingly real. An enthusiastic recommend.
Trudie Barreras
Although “Indivisible” by Daniel Aleman could certainly be classified as a YA novel due to the age of Mateo (Matt), the protagonist/narrator, it is deeply mature and powerfully relevant for readers of all ages. Although it deals with a very fraught topic, the issue of detention and deportation of undocumented parents of American-born children, the story is in no way polemical; it is the heartfelt discussion of a real family dealing with what has been feared for years, but is still somehow unimaginable until it occurs. The basic storyline is extremely familiar; Matt’s parents came to the US 20 years ago separately, where they met and married, but overstayed their tourist visas. However, the father has been successful as the owner of a small bodega, and the mother is employed as a housekeeper in a hotel in New York City, where they live. Their two children, Mateo aged 17 and a junior in high school and Sophie, 7, are of course citizens. Mateo happens to be gay, and this is a relevant part of the story, but not part of the trauma. He is interested in theater, as is one of his two friends, Adam. As the story begins, the two of them are auditioning for a part in an Off-Broadway play. We are also introduced to Kimmie, Matt’s other close friend, who is interested in music and writing songs. Matt works part-time at the bodega, and is a serious student, hoping both to get a college education and follow a career on the stage. All this normality is shattered with the deportation of his parents. Although with the help of friends and concerned neighbors, Matt tries valiantly to keep the bodega running, carry on with his school work, and care for and encourage Sophie; the little girl is so traumatized that she insists the only thing that will “work” for her is to go to Mexico to live with her parents. The character development in this novel is stellar. Aleman is a master story teller with a keen sense of pace and deep sensitivity for the human issues and individual reactions of the main players as well as the peripheral ones, such as the two women employees at the bodega. Though the story doesn’t work out the way we “wish it would”, a hopeful tone is set at the end. I recommend it highly for all those who want a truly human perspective on a cruel social reality of our times.
Kristin Myers
I loved the meaning of family. It talks about the inseparable moments that summarizes the story. Family is the most important thing because they can never be separated, but within our hearts when they are no longer with us.
Jessica C.
I got it for school. I did not think I would like it or would get my attention, but it was interesting, nice, and also sad at times. I enjoyed it very much. I loved the hard cover of the book.
Kasee B.
Gosh. I'm not even sure I have words for how much I loved this book. "Indivisible" tells the story of Mateo and his efforts to keep his family together as his parents face deportation. It's powerful in its explorations of immigration in America and tells a deeply intimate portrait of a teen boy driven by his fierce, protective love for his parents and his sister. I couldn't put it down once I started, and was completely engrossed from beginning to end. What a beautiful and important book -- tender and heart-wrenching and resonant. The writing was beautiful and meaningful without being flower-y or over-the-top, the characters were real and well-developed, and the story is incredibly important and impactful. ...Just wow. It's a book I'm going to be thinking about -- and recommending to everyone -- for a long time. (I know I'm also going to be buying several copies for myself!) An incredibly moving and important debut. Adding Daniel to my list of auto-buy authors!

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