American Dirt

By Jeanine Cummins
Narrated by Yareli Arizmendi

January 2020 Group Selection



Motivation to Move: 4.9 Sneakers
Quality of Narration: 4.4 Sneakers
Overall Experience: 4.9 Sneakers
Moving and listening time: 16 hours 55 minutes


Despite the controversy, members who chose to participate in Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt felt it was an extremely meaningful round. “I am a better person for reading this book” was a sentiment expressed by many. Several members went on to read Urrea’s The Devil Highway to learn more about migration to El Norte.

We encourage the listener to take the time to investigate Cummins’s references like La Bestia, murder rates in Alcalpulco, gang violence, and tattoos. These book extras and several links to interviews with Cummins and the press on the controversy in our Discussion Group. Simply search Where American Dirt through the spyglass at the top right of the FaceBook page.

We had the pleasure of hosting both Cummins and narrator Yareli Azrimendi in our first Heart and Soul Book Chat which pairs authors and books with humanitarian causes. The event raised close to three thousand dollars for The International Rescue Committee to aid with COVid relief at the border. Hearing the soulful passion of both women was truly inspiring. Please take the time to read and research before coming to a conclusion on the author or book. We were able to have many fruitful and productive discussions to understand the controversy and the subject matter.

The narration was good, but some members felt the narrator’s tone did not match the story’s intensity.


Here’s what else our members had to say about American Dirt:

“Really opened my eyes and made me appreciate living where I do. So sad that people have to live like this.”

“I really liked this book, especially since I teach kids from Mexico and Central America; the stories of the various characters are very realistic.”

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