The Book of Unknown Americans

Diversity Book Review
Reviewer: Liza-Jo Perlas-Quiray, Business Systems Analyst V
Title: The Book of Unknown Americans
Author: Cristina Henriquez

In The Book of Unknown Americans, the author discusses the stories of immigrants living in one apartment building who are struggling with the language barrier, looking for jobs and trying to fit in with their new country.

To bring these struggles to life, the author presents a series of different stories that connect the book’s characters. There’s a family who came to the United States to get better care and services for an injured child; members of a family fleeing violence in their home town; a woman who loves the movies but will never be a star in her own right at home; and a man who sends money so his sons could further their education.

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book: “We’re the unknown Americans, the ones no one even wants to know, because they’ve been told they’re supposed to be scared of us and because maybe if they did take the time to get to know us, they might realize that we’re not that bad, maybe even that we’re a lot like them. And who would they hate then?”

I believe this book humanizes the people who have come to the United States hoping for a better way of life. Our country is, for the most part, a melting pot of different cultures. We should not forget that at one point in time, someone from each of our families came here to seek a better life.

This book review reflects the opinions of the reviewer and does not reflect the opinions of
Horizon BCBSNJ.