About the Author:

Lauren Markham


Lauren Markham, the winner nominated by the California Association of Teachers of English, is the author of The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life in which she tells the story of two Salvadoran brothers who escape gang violence in their homeland and make it to Oakland, California. While working at Oakland International High School, she has helped hundreds of unaccompanied minors like them gain access to legal counsel and social services.

By bringing her authoritative investigative journalist’s voice to the plight of these two boys, Markham tells the bitter truth about the lives of unaccompanied minors in the USA, about poverty, and the caprices and brutalities of immigration policy. The book is filled with facts and figures and policy particulars but always in the service of trying to understand the forces that brought the boys to the U.S. and the struggles they faced living here. Lauren Markham is able to explain immigration law, the workings of the legal system and the infrastructure immigrants and refugees have to deal with. Based on her knowledge of education policy and her personal experiences with many immigrants and refugees, her book foregrounds complex issues facing inner-city schools with high immigrant populations.