Spare Parts: Four Undocumented High School Students, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

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Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book PrizeFour undocumented Mexican American students, two great teachers, one robot-building contest . . . and a major motion pictureIn 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, und...