Author: Jaime Martinez Tolentino
The Other Island is an engrossing tale of a Hispanic kid from Puerto Rico whose parents moved from the island to apart of New York in hopes of giving their children a better life.
People can relate on many levels to The Other Island. This memoir is also part history. Readers will learn something about growing up in the U.S. when English isn’t your native language, and one comes from a different culture.
The protagonist must face the difficult task of assimilating into a foreign way of life and overcoming not only language and cultural issues, but also health issues and issues of poverty and cultural stereotyping; being Puerto Rican growing up in the 1950s and 1960s El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) of New York.
Then there is the problem of having to move to El Barrio because New York declared eminent domain over 17 blocks (16.3-acres); including the one where you’re living, in a rundown building. Then, having to move into the only place available, which is a step down because the city is going to build the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts where your building presently stands. All your family receives in compensation is moving expenses, leaving the family to find a new place they can afford.
This review is from reading The Other Island by Jaime Martinez Tolentino, a Puerto Rican who was the first in his family to entertain the idea of college. He was the first in his family to graduate from college.
The Other Island is a book for every reader. The Other Island receives a five out of five stars rating, with a must read recommendation.
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