My Family Divided: One Girl's Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope

Book review by Nayanika Kapoor, Common Sense Media
My Family Divided: One Girl's Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Heartbreaking, inspiring memoir of popular actress.

Parents say

age 18+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 4 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Stands out for and .

Community Reviews

age 18+
First, I would like to state that it has been decades since writing a “book report” I have written many Business articles, essays and other day to day business items such as: operating manuals, safety and security memos so am familiar with the need to be both specific and encompassing when writing. The book that I am reviewing is called “My Family Divided” – it is a biography book that at first look on the cover says it is about a family that wants to become American Citizens and instead they were deported. As I go through this book reviewing it in detail I will share alarming Propaganda and show the reader of this report just how it is presented and the wording to characterize it as an “R” rating book. A book that is certainly NOT suitable for middle schoolers. From the onset, the only reason I know this book is in existence is due to my daughter asking me a simple question: “Mom, who is the 45th President…” I answered her and then asked her why she was asking that. In showing me the book she started reading I was astonished and angered by what I had read initially. This only greatly intensified when I read the entire book. Trying to probe my daughter without causing alarm at what I was reading I asked her: “Why did you choose this book?” her reply was: “Mom, it is worth 28 points!”….ummm gotcha there…Reel the kids in with large point numbers for certain books and voila – you got them reading this propaganda. On to my “book report” in the next few paragraphs. This book was published in 2018 by Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC. In the “Introduction” section, which by the way reads as if it is part of the book gives way immediately to the story line and the hatred of our than sitting President. (Page 4) Quoting: “The forty-fifth president’s administration is not making life easy for immigrant people. No, in fact, the administration is going out of its way to make it as difficult as possible, with a plan to increase border security, build a wall, and threaten innocent individuals and families with deportation.” Although this is in the Introduction section the mere mention of this is a gross mischaracterization of our than sitting President. In the same page it further states: “Luckily, many, many people disagree with that dude in the White House…” the blatant disregard for the Office of the President is obvious from the start in this book. While I figured this would be just a “Political bashing” book and I would address that and move on I was immediately concerned for all of the other children that have read this book in our schools once I saw what this book really was about. This book pushed so many social agenda boundaries and crossed SO many lines with sex and personal safety I couldn’t imagine why our school would allow this in our library and have our innocent children read such a depraved book in the first place. Let me explain more. The beginning of the book started with the history of this family, and it wasn’t long into the start of this book that the reader is hearing about children in her school being pregnant in 6th grade (page 43), this author teaching about “Safe sex” in 7th grade (page 46), and it gets worse from there. The fighting increases, the out of wedlock brother has a baby in High School (Mind you this is in a middle school library where 10-13 year olds have access to this book.), if that isn’t enough now in detail the book is going to talk about depression, self-harm and even suicide. The book devotes entire chapters discussing in detail how the author first started “cutting” and how to hide it. (Chapter 16 – starting at page 177) It got so bad the author was hospitalized. In that same chapter, the author talks about striping as she “earned cash fast” queue in drinking and partying and you have a much bigger mess coming up still. I’m not sure if this author planned to have her “strike out” moment when she decided to try and commit suicide for the reader or not, but she sure has the “Hook” in so the reader will keep going…do you see just how DARK AND DEPRAVED this book is so far??? Let’s make sure to mention the author is excited about not only her role in: Orange is the New Black but also about the comedy-drama called “Jane the Virgin” [this “comedy” is about a 23 year old virgin that becomes pregnant from artificial insemination from her gynecologist.”] … in the book for good measure also. (pages 220-221) Shake in a little ‘Obama is amazing’ and ‘Trump is bad’ in Chapter 20 through the end of the book and we have a whole Political agenda thrown into this crazy little book that is allowed in our middle school library with resources at the end to become a “political activist”. (pages 250-251) Now, as I’m finishing up this book my concern turns to wanting to know just how many MORE books like this are our children innocently coming across that shakes up their foundations and crushes any safeguards we as parents set up. The last several pages are all about becoming an activist (page 237) and a “fellow fighter” (page 241) and encourage the readers to “donate” (page 246) to immigrant causes or groups… Talk about being brainwashed in this book, it wasn’t enlightening as the author hoped it would be in her introduction; instead it caused a substantial amount of concern and additional stress on our family making me wonder what else is being delivered to our children if this is so easily assessable. There is ZERO reason that middle schoolers should have access to a book that talks about pre-marital sex, self-harm and activism without parents consenting prior. The “My Family Divided” book does NOT address the FACT that the author’s family broke the law and did not have the right to stay in the United States without going through the proper process first. It is my hope that you understand and take action for my concerns and follow up with the families that may have unknowing been impacted by their child(ren) reading this book. It is not an acceptable book for any Middle School library and certainly not a book that Middle School should be offering. In reality, this should be rated “R” for adult reading only and have warning labels all of the cover that mentions: Violence, Sexuality and Explicit Content to name a few.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a sister and brother holding hands
    Brothers and Sisters
    See all
  • Cartoon hands high fiving
    Friendship
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a girl
    Great Girl Role Models
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a high school letterman's jacket
    High School
    See all
  • Cartoon photo of a keep out sign
    Middle School
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate