A Family from El Salvador: A Story Based on Real History


Hopes and Dreams


82 Pages, 5.375 x 8.375

Formats: Paperback

Paperback, $13.50 (US $13.50) (CA $17.95)

Publication Date: February 2019

ISBN 9780866474870

Price: $13.50


This 82-page easy-to-understand reader is one of 12 historical novels in the Hopes and Dreams series, whose diverse and fascinating characters, regardless of their ethnicity, face prejudice, danger, hardships, and setbacks, but survive with perseverance, a little bit of luck ,and a generous amount of love in their new home in the US. Downloadable audio recordings of all 12 novels and free supplementary materials for teachers are available (visit for more details).

Plot Summary for Neighbors: In the 1980s in El Salvador, the struggle for power between the government’s army and the Guerillas causes widespread damage and death. A peasant couple, Ramón and Pilar, see their neighbor being taken away, his wife killed, and his house burned. Ramón becomes involved in a protest and is marked for death. He tries to escape to the U.S. but is returned to El Salvador and discovers that his village was destroyed and his family gone. He again crosses the U.S. border and is rescued from death in the desert by two nuns. He is given sanctuary by a couple in Texas. While there, he learns that his family is safe. Together again, they move to Maryland where they work in a restaurant. After several years, they work to help others gain protected status and sanctuary in the U.S.


"The Hopes and Dreams series is highly recommended... as an excellent example of controlled vocabulary with a low-Lexile level and a glossary, relevant content about immigration, and engaging storytelling by the author, Tana Reiff." - Helaine W. Marshall, PhD, Professor of Education and Director of Language Education Programs, Long Island University

Author Biography

Tana Reiff, author of the Hopes and Dreams series, holds a B.S. degree in elementary education and a master’s in secondary English with a concentration in applied linguistics. She has taught adult basic education, ESL, and college-level linguistics, and worked in multimedia communications for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. She is the author of dozens of hi-lo books (high interest, low reading level) for readers of all ages.