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My Diary from Here to There/Mi diario de aqui hasta alla (Pura Belpre Honor Book Author (Awards)) (English and Spanish Edition) Hardcover – July 26, 2002
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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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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A little girl narrates her family's journey from Ciudad Juarez in Mexico to the Los Angeles outskirts.
Luckily for her the father is an American citizen so immigrating his wife and SIX children won't be a problem, wow, talk about stereotypes.
The father makes it over first and ends up in Delano Ca working as a farm worker.
Here political history gets personal. there's the obligatory mention of El Santo Cesar Chavez who is fighting for worker's rights etc.
But not to worry, the father will land a better job in a factory and move the family into a slum beside the airport and a railroad track.
Here it is everything Mexican Americans would like to forget or ignore about their past. Unfortunately it seems to be everything non-Latino Americans believe we all go through.
Saddest of all two Mexican-American women wrote and drew this book. Maybe it was their story but it just compliments the racist stereotype that we are all ignorant, unskilled workers with too many kids.
She worries about everything and remembers all details because she is diligently writing it all down in her journals. She writes about a brief mention in a letter her father wrote about Caesar Chavez which means a lot more in this day and age because who knew then what we know now about this wonderful man.
This book made me want to know more about this wonderful family and how everything turned out for them. This book is not just for Spanish speaking readers but a wonderful book for all new immigrants. A must read.
Author Amada Irma Perez has based this tale on her own experiences growing up. Like the protagonist she moved to America when she was a young girl, and the trip and relocation ultimately made her a stronger person. Perez is to be commended for this story. Because this is a children's book, it cannot directly tackle the worst aspects of immigrant life. Instead, it gently alludes to the myriad of problems awaiting the newest American citizens.
The book has many wonderful aspects, but there are a few inconsistencies I had trouble getting past. At one moment, Amada receives a letter from her father who is toiling in the fields of California. He says that a man named Cesar Chavez is there and that perhaps good unions will form. I love Cesar Chavez and I feel he was one of the great American heroes, but suddenly the text jars horribly with the illustrations. Up until this point, this book could have taken place today in this day and age. After all, what female child in the 1950s wore jeans all the time or, for that matter, flip flops? It's as if the illustrator decided that this book was going to be contemporary, Cesar Chavez reference or no Cesar Chavez reference. It's a blemish on what is otherwise a very well put together book.
Despite the Chavez allusion, I would recommend this book as a look on the current Mexican immigrant life and lifestyle. A great story for those kids who read English, and those that read Spanish. Anyone who peruses this story will instantly connect with the characters and their plight, making this a tale that needs to be told to little ones again and again and again.