Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Islandborn by Junot Diaz –OPTIONAL

Diaz, Junot Islandborn. PICTURE BOOK. Dial (penguin), 2018. $18. 9780735229860

Lola is given the assignment of drawing a picture of the country she was born in. The other students in her class all remember the country they were born in before coming the US. But Lola was just a baby when her family came from the Dominican Republic so she must discover the memories of people in her community. She learns such amazing things that she wonders why anyone would ever leave. Will she find out why? Filled with large bright and wonderful illustrations.

This is a great story for children who want to explore where their family came from, both the good and the bad memories. The ‘bad’ thing that led many people to move is only explained as a monster –and that the brave people fought against it and won. I could see student listeners being further confused about that –if they won, why did they still leave? Also I wish there had been some true facts in the back of the book to help the teacher who is doing the read-a-loud. This book is a bit long and wordy to make for a good book for a student to read on their own (unless they are too old to be that interested). The illustrations are just incredible.

EL(K-3) – OPTIONAL.  Stephanie, Elementary School Librarian & Author

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