The Land Of The Cranes

Nine-year-old Betita and her parents fled Mexico after her uncle was killed by the cartels, and settled in Los Angeles seeking political asylum and safety in what her father calls Aztlan, the land of the cranes; but now they have been swept up by by the government’s Immigration Customs Enforcement, her father deported back to Mexico, and Betita and her mother confined in a family detention camp–Betita finds heart in her imagination and the picture poems her father taught her, but each day threatens to further tear her family apart.

Jimena Perez Puede Volar

Ten-year-old Jimena loves El Salvador but when gangs threaten to force her to join, she and her mother immigrate to the United States, but are separated at the border.

Orphaned

Snub is a young female gorilla, somewhat jealous because her mother is occupied with a new baby, curious of the world around her, a world that is being reshaped by shaking ground and mountains that bleed fire, and most terrifyingly by a new form of predator that walks on two legs; when her mother is killed Snub finds herself in charge of her baby brother–and accompanied by one of the not-gorillas, a very young female who has been orphaned by the violence of her own kind.

Jazz Owls

In early 1940s Los Angeles, Mexican Americans Marisela and Lorena work in canneries all day then jitterbug with sailors all night with their zoot suit wearing younger brother, Ray, as escort until the night racial violence leads to murder. Includes historical note.

A Little House In A Big Place

Every day, in a little house in a little town in the middle of a big place, a girl stands at her window and waves to the engineer of the train that passes on the nearby tracks. The engineer waves back and his wave and her wave together make a home in her heart. The little girl is curious about the engineer, about where he came from and where he goes. Which makes her wonder if she might go away, too, some day. This beautiful free verse picture book explores the magic of a connection made between strangers, while also pondering the idea of growing up, and what might lie beyond a child’s own small piece of the world.

Isla De Leones

A biographical novel about Antonio Chuffat, a Chinese-African-Cuban messenger boy in 1870s Cuba who became a translator and documented the freedom struggle of indentured Chinese laborers in his country.