Print Сite this

“Just Like Us” by Thorpe


Helen Thorpe’s work Just like us: The true story of four American girls coming of age in America made a significant contribution to the development of literature and politics. The main problem of this book revolves around the topic of illegal immigration to the United States. This story is about the lives of four girls from Mexico and the political disputes over migration policy. The book does not leave anyone indifferent, although it has pronounced strengths and weaknesses. It is necessary to pay attention to the plot in the book, the author’s life story, and the political situation in the country during these years.

Our experts can deliver a customized essay
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
308 qualified specialists online
Learn more

A Short Life Story of the Author

Helen Thorpe has Irish roots and is also an immigrant who moved to the United States in search of a better job and opportunities. Her husband is a very prominent political figure, first in Denver and then in Colorado. The author uses such opportunities to delve into the political issues of immigration better. She also visits Yadira’s family in their hometown in Mexico. It is a good gesture, a manifestation of attention to their lives, but it does not change the author’s attitude to illegal immigration. She remains an opponent of this phenomenon and sometimes uses words such as “illegal.”

The book covers the political situation from 2005 to 2009 in Denver, Colorado when illegal immigration escalated for national reasons. This local incident was facilitated by involving the murder of a policeman by a Mexican without documents. Helen Thorpes husband was mayor at the time and was at the center of local politics, which dragged the author into the abyss of polarized feelings on both sides of the issue. She understands the events well, but inside she still opposes them, so her attitude towards girls is hypocrisy. Each storyline of this book deserves attention separately, and therefore further narration will be directed to the disclosure of each of the lines.

Four Girls from Mexico

This book is a personal and burning look at the lives of four young Mexican girls who are learning to navigate life. Just Like Us: The True Story of Four American Girls Coming of Age in America is not just another coming-of-age manifesto in which teenagers struggle with such temptations as alcohol and sex, suffer because they cannot meet the upper class at school, or argue with their parents about what time they should return home. Girls, like everyone else, participate in the usual American youth initiation ceremonies (Emily, 2011). They attend their graduation and get their first job. What is the difference between the experience of these girls and the experience of other American high school students?

The main difference is that two of the four girls, Yadira and Marisela, live in the United States illegally. The status of girls inside the United States is an eternal problem that positions the four in entirely different ways and has a profound impact on them because they assess their prospects for further prospects with feelings such as pessimism, anxiety, and depression. The weak economic situation of the families of each of the girls means that they must be wholly independent and constantly look for ways out of difficult situations (Emily, 2011). The lack of opportunities to earn enough money leads to family members living in different parts of the country. They are constantly on the lookout to make as much money as possible, and sometimes this leads to adults leaving their children alone.

Marisela and Yadira are very purposeful girls, and they feel a sense of duty to their family and a desire to achieve high results in high school. Elissa and Clara know about the unfair situation of their friends, but they can’t help them in any way. They have much more opportunities, for example, to move freely by transport, to have privileges while studying at university, and other social options. Willpower and connections with people with social benefits help Marisela and Yadira not to go astray. In addition to the story about the complexity of the girls’ lives, the author writes about the impact of the illegal status of Marisela and Yadira (Emily, 2011). They are deeply committed to gaining recognition and the right to vote where it is essential. Girls want to change their identity in the society that surrounds them.

The Political Side of the Problem of Illegal Immigration

Readers may find that the author is inclined to sympathize with illegal immigrants. Their families plunged into depression because of the inability to be around, but this is only one side of a significant problem. Helen Thorpe devotes her time to both sides and tries to convey the true feelings of those against illegal immigration. She adds to her book an interview with her husband’s political opponent Tom Tancredo, who wants to direct his policy to get rid of all illegal immigrants.

On-Time Delivery! Get your 100% customized paper
done in
as little as 3 hours
Let`s start

She followed Tom Tancredo to Iowa to personally see the progress of his presidential campaign in 2008. Tancredo managed to attract public attention to the problem of illegal immigration; sometimes, it even shocked him. At the same time, in one of the excerpts, Helen Harper writes that some critics called the politician nothing but a modern Nazi, but this did not affect his reputation in any way.

The author, the author, the status of a journalist, and the presence of a husband who is the mayor of the city, only covers the topic of the immigration debate and does not directly participate. She had the opportunity to dilute her emotions with her analytics, talk to other immigrants, show immigration policy dynamics, and put forward her political proposals. As an actual journalist, Helen Harper reports from the scene and quotes various opinions on this issue. There are different ways to treat such a narrative, but it would be better if the author tried to show his attitude to illegal immigration and his ideas on how to solve this problem.


Below is an excerpt from a short personal interview about the book and its main problem:

  • What is the main conclusion of this book?
  • This book left a pleasant impression, but it is not complete. An overview of the current problem and nothing more, the author does not offer any solution, but on the contrary, only supports the policy of restrictions.
  • What can be attributed to the non-disclosure of the problem?
  • It can be attributed to the fact that the author’s husband was a prominent political figure. The press and competitors could use any fact mentioned in the book against him.
  • What does it have to do with illegal immigration?
  • Sometimes, it is a necessary measure for many people to realize their potential. People leave their homes not because of the good life but because of the hopelessness of their situation in this place. It is necessary to soften the legislation in this regard, and then it will bear fruit.


Concluding all of the above, it is fair to assume that the book is a bestseller. One can argue for a long time about Helen Harper’s work’s positive and negative sides, but her contribution to literature is undeniable. For its time, it was a step forward in covering the problem of illegal immigration to the United States.


Emily, C. (2011). Reviewed Work: Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America by Helen Thorpe. American Journal of Education, 1(11), 87-90.

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2022, October 13). “Just Like Us” by Thorpe. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, October 13). “Just Like Us” by Thorpe.

Work Cited

"“Just Like Us” by Thorpe." StudyCorgi, 13 Oct. 2022,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "“Just Like Us” by Thorpe." October 13, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "“Just Like Us” by Thorpe." October 13, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "“Just Like Us” by Thorpe." October 13, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) '“Just Like Us” by Thorpe'. 13 October.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.