Finding Miracles

by Julia Alvarez

Paperback, 2006



Local notes

PB Alv





National Geographic School Pub (2006), Edition: 1, 296 pages


Fifteen-year-old Milly Kaufman is an average American teenager until Pablo, a new student at her school, inspires her to search for her birth family in his native country.


Physical description

296 p.; 8.43 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member JulianaTorres
Finding miracles
Finding miracles is about a teenage girl that was adopted by a family and she meet a boy named Pablo and her life changed. This teenage girl is called molly Kaufman she is living in Vermont. She was failing English class so she decided to go into English class to make up those
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credits. She will always get these strange rashes because she couldn’t be herself. His exotic accent, strange fashion sense, and intense interest in Milly force her to confront her identity as an adopted child from Pablo's native country. As their relationship grows, Milly decides to undertake a courageous journey to her homeland and along the way discovers the story of her birth is intertwined with the story of a country recovering from a brutal history. There is this box that her “parents” will always tell her to look in which that box contained all the things about her old life which was when she was in that orphanage.
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LibraryThing member purplehena
This is a YA novel by Julia Alvarez ... it's a quick read, and enjoyable, though not spectacular (In the Time of the Butterflies still remains my favorite Alvarez novel).
LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
Milly has always kept her adoption hidden from the other kids in her small Vermont town but when a new boy starting at her high school hails from the same Latin America country where she was born, she discovers that she is interested in learning more about her birth story.

This book had a strong
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start but petered out somewhere in the middle. In the beginning, it explored the many relationships within one family, with each character having their own quirk -- from Milly's mother who is occasionally a bit of a prude as a result of her Mormon upbringing to Milly's Jewish grandmother who uses her wealth as leverage while secretly still being haunted by stories of the Holocaust to Milly's over-eager younger brother who just wants everyone to get along. Assorted friendships at Milly's school are also addressed, feeling quite a bit like a typical coming-of-age story for middle grade/young adult literature.

Then the book veers into Milly's trip to visit the country of her birth and her quest for more information about her biological parents. All of this is fairly fitting with the story so far, but here it also diverges into looking at stories of the revolution there and the troubles that people went through in Milly's native country. One thing that was small but bothered me greatly is that Alvarez did not name a country, just stated that it was somewhere in Latin America. To some extent, I get that she did this to mold the narrative of the country's political upheaval to fit the story she was telling. But it also seemed odd in a book that was otherwise so rooted in the particulars of everyday realism.

This part of the book also started touching on dicey subject matter such as torture and rape; the rest of the book seemed appropriate for younger kids but this section made it firmly rooted for teens in my opinion. While none of this section was bad per se, it just didn't seem to mesh with the rest of the book; it felt like it belonged to an entirely different book.

In the end, many things still seemed up in the air, which may or may not bother some readers. For me, it seemed realistic and fit the story well. The audiobook is narrated by Daphne Rubin-Vega, who did an excellent job.
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½ (38 ratings; 3.7)
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