Compromised By Heidi Ayarbe

Compromised By Heidi Ayarbe 150 150 Reader Views Kids

Heidi Ayarbe
HarperTeen (2010)
ISBN 9780061728495
Reviewed by Theresa La (age 16) for Reader Views (08/10)

Everywhere we go, we see homeless people. They are the people who are standing at a street corner holding up a sign asking for charity, they are the people who are pushing a shopping cart, of what we think is trash, but what is actually their belongings. In this book, the author takes us on a journey with three kids who are homeless and are trying to find a home. The two teenage girls were from a foster care center, where life was very tough. One of the girl’s father had signed away his rights, since he was arrested for tax evasion and other related crimes. Maya is on a journey to find her mother’s sister, the only family member left. Another girl, Nicole, was also abandoned by her parents and decides to join Maya on her journey.

Along the way, they also pick up another kid who has runaway from home, believing that he is the devil and the person who caused their house to be set on fire, killing his dad. Maya uses her knowledge of how to read and books smarts to determine where they are going and how to get there, but it is Nicole who has the street smarts to allow them to get to their destination alive and how to survive on the streets. However, not everyone gets a happy ending.

The young boy, Klondike, dies during the journey, shortly before Maya finds her aunt. Nicole get arrested for drugs and is sent to a jail/rehab center, and changes as a completely different person, a person who Maya still cares very much for, but no longer the person who helped them to survive on the street. However, Maya is able to have a happy ending; her aunt does arrive to the homeless center and takes Maya home with her. This story shows that every person on the street has a reason why they are there and that they desperately need someone to help them.

I was very excited to start reading this story. The synopsis that the author provided on the back was very intriguing. The covered embodied the spirit of the story, that there were many people who were alone that were going down an uncertain path but that they still had light at the end of the hallway. This story was very exciting, and I was still able to empathize with the characters, even though I am not homeless and not in the desperate situation that they were in.

The author’s writing drew me into the story, making me feel as if I was going on the journey with Maya, Klondike and Nicole. I grew more consciously aware of the people who were in need in my community. I began to see that each person was a person with a heart and soul. I enjoy the brief periods of humor that the author provided, making the story seem brighter and not so depressing. I also liked that Maya was able to have a happy ending, even though I would have liked for Nicole to have a happy ending as well.

This book was a great eye-opener as well as a very engrossing book to read. I would recommend to this book to anyone; teachers, parents, teenagers, grandparents, it is suited for anyone who is old enough to accept the realities of the world. This book would also, in my opinion, make a great movie, since the plot is very well developed and the characters are also developed and interesting. “Compromised” was a riveting read – for anybody and everybody.


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