An urgent and eloquent account of a boy traveling in a caravan from his beloved homeland of El Salvador to the US border.
This novel in verse is a powerful first-person account of Misael Martínez, a Salvadoran boy whose family joins the caravan heading north to the United States. We learn all the different reasons why people feel the need to leave — the hope that lies behind their decision, but also the terrible sadness of leaving home. We learn about how far and hard the trip is, but also about the kindness of those along the way.
Finally, once the caravan arrives in Tijuana, Misael and those around him are relieved. They think they have arrived at the goal of the trip — to enter the United States. But then tear gas, hateful demonstrations, force and fear descend on these vulnerable people. The border is closed. The book ends with Misael dreaming of El Salvador.
This beautiful and timely story is written in simple but poetic verse by Jorge Argueta, the award-winning author of Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds. Award-winning Mexican illustrator Manuel Monroy illuminates Misael’s journey. An author’s note is included, along with a map showing the caravan’s route.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
About the authors
JORGE ARGUETA is an award-winning author of picture books and poetry for young children. He has won the International Latino Book Award, the Américas Book Award, the NAPPA Gold Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award for Multicultural Fiction for Juveniles. His books have also been named to the Américas Award Commended List, the USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor List, Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices. Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds, illustrated by Alfonso Ruano, won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, was a Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature honor book and an ALA Notable book, and received many other honors. A native Salvadoran and Pipil Nahua Indian, Jorge Argueta has returned to El Salvador and built a library in his backyard in San Salvador so that children can learn to love books.
Manuel Monroy is one of Mexico’s most accomplished illustrators whose work has appeared in children’s books, in magazines, on posters, and most recently in animation projects. He has won many awards, including the A la Orilla del Viento prize, given by the Fondo de Cultura Economica; the Noma Concours in Japan; a Gold World Medal for Art Direction at the New York Film Festival, and a Merit Mention from the Society of Publication Designers. His work has also been included on the IBBY Honour List and in the White Ravens catalogue. Manuel has illustrated many children’s books, which have been published in Canada and the United States, such as Daybreak, Nightfall (Alba y ocaso) and Rooster Gallo, both by poet Jorge Luján; When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo by Poli Delano; and What Are You Doing? by Elisa Amado. He has also exhibited his art in Mexico, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands. He lives in Mexico City.
- Commended, NCTE Notable Poetry Book and Verse Novel
- Commended, USBBY Outstanding International Book
- Commended, Américas Award — Children’s and Young Adult Literature Commended Titles
- Commended, Westchester Fiction Award Honourable Mention