94 pages 3 hours read

Ernesto Cisneros

Efrén Divided

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2020

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Efrén Divided

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade contemporary realistic
  • Originally Published: 2020
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 710L; grades 4-8
  • Structure/Length: 19 untitled chapters; approx. 4 hours, 32 minutes on audiobook
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: When his mother is suddenly deported to Mexico, seventh grader Efrén Nava must take charge of his younger siblings while keeping up with schoolwork and chores; he hopes that in doing so, the money his father earns at a second job will be enough to bring his mother home.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Immigration; deportation; detention

Ernesto Cisneros, Author

  • Bio: Raised in Santa Ana, California; degrees in English, teaching, and creative writing
  • Other Works: Falling Short (2022)
  • Awards: Pura Belpre Award for Efrén Divided (2021)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Fight for Humanitarianism, Tolerance, and Justice
  • Personal Sacrifice for Family
  • Miracles Versus Reality

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the cultural and social contexts regarding immigration issues that incite Efrén’s conflict.
  • Read/study short paired texts and other resources to make connections on themes of Humanitarianism, Tolerance, and Family.
  • Plan, design, and construct visual media that convey Efrén’s character traits and hopes based on novel details.
  • Analyze and evaluate plot and character details to draw conclusions in structured essay responses regarding Efrén’s mentors, David and Efrén’s friendship, and other topics.