year-old ROSE is the only AMERICAN in her household. She, her parents and
two beautiful sisters live in constant fear that they will be sent back to
MEXICO. Rose, homely, overweight is the target of relentless bullying at
the rich, white junior high school where she shines as a gifted student
and writer. HECTOR her father and NACHA her mother scratch out a living
with work on the winery where they live. They struggle to stay in America
so their daughters can receive an education and hope for a better future.
Anti-immigration anger and continued raids by IMMIGRATION create a
dangerous game of hiding "underground" while being a part of society.
ROSE'S ENGLISH teacher, receives notice that if she does not complete
certification to work with bilingual often illegal immigrant students, she
will lose her job. This injustice of possibly losing her job because of
people who break the law makes see her students differently, including her
best student, ROSE.
not escape a day of bullying at school by ZOE AND THE CLONES. Rich, white,
blonde MEAN GIRLS whose racism and entitled attitudes run the school and
torture ROSE for her looks, poverty, and ethnicity. When ROSE accidentally
spills enchilada sauce and some lands on ZOE'S pristine white shoes,
ANTHONY, janitor, 40's long hair, tattooed, diffuses the ugly situation
with unexpected empathy. As he cleans ROSE'S notebook, he reads her
writing, recognizes her talent, and a kindred spirit.
The winery is raided by IMMIGRATION. HECTOR, hides, leaves NACHA alone
with ROSE and her sisters, ESPERANZA 10, and ELENA 8. Desperation for
money to live and to hire an immigration lawyer pushes ROSE to accept the
challenge of entering a state-wide writing contest for the cash prize.
LILY must run the contest for the school: her two contestants: ZOE and
brings out the best and worst in all participants. ROSE'S fear of public
speaking, shame of her looks, must be overcome. ANTHONY aids ROSE by
allowing her to use the library's computer as he cleans, revealing his
struggles with OCD which made him run from life and writing. ROSE helps
Anthony with his fears by a day in a park; his first. Lily angry and
confused has an outburst which destroys Rose's fragile confidence and
makes her flee from school. She begins to works with NACHA cleaning houses
where one of the CLONES sees ROSE scrubbing toilets setting up public
humiliation for ROSE. Shattering any confidence left. A chance sighting
after practice by ZOE of ROSE and ANTHONY leaving the library in the
evening sets up ugly gossip jeopardy for both.
arrested, set for deportation. Housing at the winery is tagged. NACHA and
the girls are evicted, left homeless and broke. NACHA must go back to
Mexico, but the need for ROSE to stay in school forces her to go to LILY
for help. ZOE's jealousy threatens LILY, ROSE, and ANTHONY when she fails
to make finalist and goes to the principal with damaging charges. LILY has
to make choices that are true to herself; as ROSE has to overcome her
fears and prove her belief in stories and their power when she reads NO
RUNNING in front of the judges telling the story of good people who see
the world differently, and how they can survive in dignity.
2007 Sullivan Savage-Elizabeth
All Rights Reserved