by Junot Diaz, illustrated by Leo Espinosa
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018 – march 2018
Lola’s problem becomes the reader’s problem and Lola’s delight becomes the reader’s delight in Islandborn.
Lola’s school assignment is to draw a picture of her original country, but Lola left as a baby and does not remember her country. Then she decides she can ask her family and neighbors who were all from the island. Each person has one thing they remember best, from blanket bats to poetry on the beaches and even a great monster and the brave female heroes who stopped the monster. She works on her drawings all evening.
Each page is filled with moving colors showing what everyone remembers best: music, dancing, favorite foods, the sea life, … Bravely, the story includes the monsters, the reason why everyone left their island and tells of the brave women who battled the monster and sent the monster away. A beautiful, honest, heart-warming, and fun story. A wonderful way to introduce discussions of immigrants, for both immigrants and native-born.