Title: Islandborn
Author: Junot Díaz
Illustrator: Leo Espinosa
Publisher: Rock the Boat (2018)
ISBN: 9781786074775
“Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else. Hers was the school of faraway places.” Her teacher asks the class to draw a picture of their country of origin. Lola can’t remember as she was a baby when her family emigrated from a Caribbean island to America. “I should talk to everyone who does remember. I should draw from their memories.”
She makes inquiries with her family and neighbours to collect memories of “the Island”. They recall music, beaches, sweet mangoes and a colourful environment. “Even the people are like a rainbow.” They recall fears and difficulties including defeating the “monster” dictator and natures destructive forces. Theses tales build Lola’s pride in her heritage and she takes her abuela’s words to heart. “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.” This picture book, Islandborn, reinforces the themes of belonging, diversity, immigration and inquirer.

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Islandborn by Junot Díaz

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