Amelia's Road

Amelia's Road

4.5 2
by Linda Jacobs Altman, Enrique O. Sanchez

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Tired of moving around so much, Amelia, the daughter of migrant farm workers, dreams of a stable home.See more details below


Tired of moving around so much, Amelia, the daughter of migrant farm workers, dreams of a stable home.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This story about the daughter of migrant farm workers is, in PW's words, ``an affecting and ultimately hopeful look at a transient way of living.'' Ages 3-10. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Amelia Luisa Martinez has moved so often in her short life as a young member of a migrant worker family that she has come to hate roads and cries whenever she sees her father get out the map. One day, however, she discovers her own accidental road. It leads her to a favorite place that comes to represent her hopes and dreams for a more stable future. An author's note provides some background information on migrant farm workers. The warm, colorful illustrations help portray both the poignancy and hope of this realistic picture book.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Books allow older children to see that families live in all kinds of different ways. The heroine of Amelia's Road, is a migrant worker's child who hates what the roads mean and longs for a home. She finds peace at the story's end by planting a treasure box beneath a wondrous tree and creates a place "where she belonged, a place where she could come back to."
Children's Literature - Lydia Ferguson
Amelia Luisa Martinez, the daughter of migrant workers, has a childhood that falls far short of the "ideal." Whereas many children look forward to road trips, expecting them to end at destinations such as Disneyland, Amelia hates travel, maps, and every kind of road. Without a permanent home or school, she struggles through the days. She feels as though she belongs nowhere, since nothing belongs to her. As apple-picking season arrives, Amelia finds herself in a place she recognizes; it is the same labor camp where her family worked the previous year. As she revels in the familiarity of the farm, she dreams once more of settling down in a permanent home and school. While exploring the area after her day's labor, Amelia comes across a path that leads her to her own vision of paradise. Although her miniature Eden consists only of grass and an old shade tree, it represents relief from the toil of her everyday life. Trying to forge a permanent bond with her new retreat, Amelia buries a box of her most prized possessions at the foot of the tree. She hopes to return to reclaim them. Amelia and her family represent a significant part of the U.S population who straddle two different cultures. They live and work in America, yet lack the permanency many people take for granted. The narrative is not only valuable for addressing cultural displacement, but also for illustrating a child's sense of helplessness in the larger world around them. Sanchez's colorfully-detailed illustrations resemble painted canvas, providing additional texture to the Altman's already-rich story of migrant workers in America. Reviewer: Lydia Ferguson
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A poignant yet gentle portrayal of the lives of migrant children. Constantly on the move, Amelia's family records events by crops not dates, carries with them only what will fit in the car, and are never anywhere long enough to feel at home. The girl longs for a place to stay, a place where she belongs. Teachers rarely bother to learn her name, so when Mrs. Ramos does so, it is special. The child's picture of a white house with a big shade tree earns a beautiful red star. On the way home, she discovers a road leading to a tree just like the one she drew. She visits this place often, and buries a small metal box filled with her treasures there when she must leave. For the first time in her life, Amelia has a home place. The acrylic-on-canvas illustrations have a folk-art quality that works well with this story. The canvas texture shows through the paint to add an almost tactile roughness of hard labor while rich colors capture the harvest crops at their succulent best. An important title for any library serving migrant populations, Amelia's Road should be a welcome addition almost anywhere. Useful in a variety of educational units, it works equally well as a read-aloud or read-alone.-Jody McCoy, Casady School, Oklahoma City
Hazel Rochman
Amelia Luisa Martinez hates roads. The roads she knows as the child of migrant farmworkers lead to sunstruck fields and grim, gray shanties. She cries every time her father takes out the map. This picture book doesn't have the poetic intensity of Sherley Anne Williams' "Working Cotton" (1992), which focuses on one child's long day of work in the fields with her family. Altman's story is somewhat contrived, more convincing as metaphor than fact: Amelia finds a road of her own and a big old tree that she can remember as a place to come back to. What will stay with kids is the physical sense of what it's like to work and move all the time. Sanchez's full-paged acrylic illustrations show one small child's experience against the harsh background of field labor and temporary camps. The yearning in the story is palpable: the dream of what many long for and others take for granted--a settled home, white and tidy, with a fine old shade tree growing in the yard. Security.

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Product Details

Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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