Told through the voices―and windows―of children from around the world, this story’s comforting message and bright illustrations bring hope into your home even as our world changes outside. The book’s beautiful design reveals similarities―“In different windows everywhere, I see rainbows, hearts, and teddy bears”―that can comfort and unite us, even in hard times.
While it is difficult for adults to understand the extent of changes in the world brought about by the 2020 pandemic, it must be so much more confusing to children. Waiting and spending time indoors while a favorite park is closed or school is shut down has been a constant companion for children in 2020.
It’s a normal day, at first, for a girl on her family farm. But then the wind starts. It blows harder and harder and harder. Her mother grabs her baby brother. Her father opens the root cellar door. They pile in and sit in darkness. But when they emerge, their home is gone. Through a series of short sentences, many beginning with “I remember . . .,” readers experience the girl’s emotional trajectory of shock, terror, sadness and, finally, hope — and even laughter.
Kabir has been in jail since the day he was born, because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. He’s never met his dad, so the only family he’s got are their cellmates, and the only place he feels the least bit free is in the classroom, where his kind teacher regales him with stories of the wonders of the outside world. Then one day a new warden arrives and announces Kabir is too old to stay. He gets handed over to a long-lost “uncle” who unfortunately turns out to be a fraud, and intends to sell Kabir. So Kabir does the only thing he can–run away as fast as his legs will take him. How does a boy with nowhere to go and no connections make his way? Fortunately, he befriends Rani, another street kid, and she takes him under her wing. But plotting their next move is hard–and fraught with danger–in a world that cares little for homeless, low caste children. This is not the world Kabir dreamed of–but he’s discovered he’s not the type to give up. Kabir is ready to show the world that he–and his mother–deserve a place in it.
A boy whose grandfather is gone wonders why he said nothing to his family and friends, but finds comfort in the familiar smell of the clothing left in his closet and tailor shop.
A girl learns words in a new language to prepare for her move to a new country. But when her family arrives, everyone speaks so fast and “all her words fly away like birds.” The girl waits, and watches, and listens, trying to figure things out. Only, it’s hard. Then one day the girl meets someone who needs her help. And as she makes a new friend, the new words start to come easier — becoming her words, at last.
Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he’s “too much” and seeks refuge from his home life in a local drag bar. Luna is pretending to go along with the popular crowd but is still grieving the unexpected passing of her beloved cousin Tasha. Then there’s Rafa, the quiet new kid who is hiding the fact that his family is homeless.
But Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find themselves thrown together when an extraterrestrial visitor lands in their city and takes the form of Luna’s cousin Tasha. As the Visitor causes destruction wherever it goes, the three teens struggle to survive and warn others of what’s coming–because this Visitor is only the first of many. But who is their true enemy–this alien, or their fellow humans?
Meixing Lim and her family have arrived at the New House in the New Land. Her parents inherited the home from First Uncle who died tragically and unexpectedly while picking oranges in the backyard. Her mama likes to remind Meixing the family never could have afforded to move here otherwise, so she should be thankful for this opportunity.
Everything is vast and unknown to Meixing in this supposedly wonderful place. She is embarrassed by her secondhand clothing, has trouble understanding her peers, and is finding it hard to make new friends. Meixing’s only solace is a rundown greenhouse, that her uncle called his glasshouse, at the far end of her backyard that inexplicably holds the sun and the moon and the secrets of her memory and imagination.
When her fragile universe is rocked by tragedy, it will take all of Meixing’s resilience and bravery to finally find her place of belonging in this new world.
When Joseph and Mama lived in a refugee camp in East Africa, everyone cooked and ate together. And Joseph could always hear someone playing the awal. It’s much too quiet and lonely in his new home. Though Whoosh, the girl who lives upstairs, is friendly, Joseph misses having more people around, especially his grandmother, who still lives across the ocean. So he invites his relatives in the city to come for dinner, then he invites his teacher, then Whoosh and her mami — but everyone is too busy.
Ramón is a little boy who can’t sleep. He is nervous for his first day at a new school. El Cucuy is the monster who lives in Ramón’s cactus pot. He can’t sleep, either. It turns out that El Cucuy is scared, too! This gentle, perceptive story explores the worries that can accompany moving to a new place and beginning a new journey—and reveals how comfort, bravery, and strength can be found through even the most unexpected of friendships.