From Publishers Weekly
The team behind My Very Own Room/Mi propio cuartito again takes its inspiration from an event in the author's childhood, this time exploring the feelings of a Mexican girl on the verge of starting a new life in Los Angeles. While the rest of the family proclaims excitement at their imminent move ("They have escalators to ride!" says one of her five brothers), Amada confides her fears to her journal: "Am I the only one who is scared of leaving our home, our beautiful country, and all the people we might never see again?" Her father tells her, "You are stronger than you think," but Amada isn't sure. In the end, she indeed discovers her strength, as well as a way to keep beloved friends and relatives back in Mexico "in my memories and in my heart." Prez sensitively explores her protagonist's emotional journey, peppering the narrative with details of specific moments-Amada's last walk in the park with her best friend, an uncle's magic trick to keep up the children's spirits. Gonzalez's color-saturated vignettes unfold against eye-catching backdrops of turquoise, yellow, green and purple, and the sweeping brush strokes and bold, slightly stylized features of her characters lend the pages a folk art feel. English and Spanish versions of the text are cleanly worked into the compositions. Ages 6-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-5. In her first diary entry, Amada is anxious about her family's move from Juarez, Mexico, to Los Angeles. Despite her father's assurances, she worries that they will never return to Juarez, that she won't be able to learn English, and that he will have problems finding work. Amada records their travels, their stay with relatives in Mexicali, eventual journey to Los Angeles, and the joyful reunion with their father. Told consistently through the eyes and feelings of a child, the narrative successfully telescopes the family odyssey. The art, done in the style of murals, features broad-faced human figures and a vibrant palette highlighted by purples and turquoises. As in her previous book, My Very Own Room (2000), Perez tells her story in both Spanish and English (here the appended personal note is only in English). Any child who has moved away from a familiar neighborhood or a best friend will identify with Amada, but her story will especially resonate with immigrant kids. Linda Perkins
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