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My Diary from Here to There / Mi diario de aquí hasta allá
     

My Diary from Here to There / Mi diario de aquí hasta allá

by Amada Irma Perez, Maya Christina Gonzalez (Illustrator)
 
One night young Amada overhears her parents whisper of moving from Mexico to Los Angeles where greater opportunity awaits. As she and her family journey north, Amada records in her diary her fears, hopes, and dreams for their lives in the United States. Amada learns that with her family's love and a belief in herself, she can make any journey and triumph over any

Overview

One night young Amada overhears her parents whisper of moving from Mexico to Los Angeles where greater opportunity awaits. As she and her family journey north, Amada records in her diary her fears, hopes, and dreams for their lives in the United States. Amada learns that with her family's love and a belief in herself, she can make any journey and triumph over any change — here, there, anywhere. The author and artist's previous collaboration was My Very Own Room/Mi Propio Cuartito, the winner of the 2000 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award.

Editorial Reviews

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." P rez 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. (Sept.)
Children's Literature
My Diary from Here to There chronicles a family's journey from Juarez, Mexico to Los Angeles. Through her diary, a young girl records her experiences and emotions: her sorrow at leaving her best friend and beautiful country, her worries about what is ahead. "You are stronger than you think," says her father and at the end the narrator acknowledges the truth of his words. Author Amada Irma Perez undertook such a journey herself as a child and her bilingual tale will speak to young recent immigrants and interest long-term residents of the United States as well. The narrator's five mischievous brothers provide a humorous contrast to her reactions. Excited at moving to the United States, the land of toys and popcorn, the boys wreak havoc wherever they go. Visiting relatives on the border, they bang pots, break a jewelry box and constantly tease the narrator. Maya Christina Gonzalez uses color to brilliant effect in illustrations that swirl across double-page spreads. 2002, Children's Book Press,
— Mary Quattlebaum
Kirkus Reviews
In an autobiographical outing written in English and Spanish, Amada tells her diary all about her fear of moving from her home in Juárez, Mexico, to not only a new town, but also a new country. Fortunately, she has a father who understands her trepidation and he tells her that as a child, he too had to make a similar move in reverse. Still, the trip is fraught with anxiety, especially since once they arrive in Mexicali, another border town, Papá will leave for Los Angeles to look for work. Once she arrives at her grandmother's, she's surrounded by helpful family members, her uncles telling jokes, doing magic tricks, and doing favors. Then she hears from her father who is picking in the fields of Delano, California. His news is not encouraging, but one day, he sends their green cards and they get set to leave for California. The diary follows them on their journey, until they reach Los Angeles and she closes with the news that Papá has found a better job. Filling her story with the details of this watershed in her life, Pérez captures the essence of the trauma of moving to a new place that is universal to all children, but here it is expanded by the facts of her immigrant experience. Gonzalez, who teamed with Pérez on My Room (not reviewed), packs her lively pages with vibrant, jewel-toned color and vivid images, illuminating the text and adding the richness of the culture. A nice touch is the back of the book jacket, which is a map of the area, showing the route from Amada's old home to the new one. Pérez has plainly remembered her grandmother's advice: "Keep your language and culture alive in your diary and in your heart." Very nicely done. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892391752
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
07/28/2002
Edition description:
Bilingual Spanish-English
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.66(w) x 10.16(h) x 0.47(d)
Lexile:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

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