I received this book for free from Barefoot Books, Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.La Frontera: El Viaje Con Papa / My Journey with Papa by Alfredo Alva
Published by Barefoot Books on May 1, 2018
Genres: Children's Picture Book
Source: Barefoot Books, Edelweiss
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Join a young boy and his father on a daring journey from Mexico to Texas to find a new life. Theyll need all the resilience and courage they can muster to safely cross the border ? la frontera ? and to make a home for themselves in a new land.
La Frontera is a bilingual children’s book. The story follows Alfredo during the 1980s where he and his father cross illegally into the US. The story is told through Alfredo’s eyes that bring an innocence and naivetés to the story that I personally really appreciated. I appreciated how the story began with why Alfredo and his dad decided to immigrate to the US and it explained the process. The process was anything but easy, they gave money to coyotes and they traveled a rough road along the Rio Grande. It was a journey that I’ve been told my great grandparents made as well. It also explains the conditions of the path they travelled, the trains leaving water jugs for the immigrants, people leaving things out so they can take such as extra clothes and food.
I also appreciated how the story touched on Alfredo transitioning to the American education system from the Mexican education system. I felt like many people forget that after crossing the border (both legally and illegally) an immigrant, they have to adjust to the American lifestyle. It also touched on Regan’s amnesty and that is how Alfredo became a citizen. It explains it is a long process and can even take up to a couple years.
My favorite part of the story is when Alfredo is reunited with his mother and siblings in El Paso; I live in El Paso so this was really awesome to see for Little 1 and me. There are tons of families torn apart. I for instance, have aunts and uncles even grandparents who cannot come to the US. We can’t always travel to see them and they can’t travel to see us. Some people don’t ever have the privilege of seeing their family again. I felt this book also gave hope. Hope that someday you can see their families again. Here in El Paso, they open the borders for one day so that you can come see your family for one day. Some have even gotten married during this event. For me, although I am an American citizen, I loved this story. I loved how I can think back to the time that my family immigrated to the US to eventually become US citizens so that my children and I could be citizens.
E-ARCs of children’s picture books are a bit hard to read sometimes because the illustrations aren’t always formatted right but the few illustrations that were shown are really beautiful and colorful. For me, the Mexican culture is always bright and beautiful and I felt the illustrations really captured that.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book. I can’t wait to recommend a copy to my local library so that we can see the illustrations in person.