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Becoming Kid Quixote: A True Story of Belonging in America

By: Sarah Sierra

Stephen Haff

I Belong is a memoir narrated by a nine-year-old Mexican American girl who lives in Brooklyn. At her after-school program, Still Waters in a Storm, children discuss and translate the original Spanish text of Don Quixote into English with the program’s founder, Stephen Haff. Using their translations, Sarah and the others write, create, and act out scenes that echo their own life stories and experiences, often focusing on how the government treats their families.

This stirring memoir includes stories about Sarah’s life as the child of undocumented Mexican immigrants; how she grew from a painfully shy seven-year-old to a confident leader at nine; and her creative/imaginative experiences at Still Waters in a Storm with her beloved teacher.

ISBN: 9780062943262

JLG Release: Jul 2020


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Sarah Sierra , Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City , Undocumented immigrants , Immigrant families , Still Waters in a Storm (after-school program) , Stephen Haff , Communities , Retellings of Don Quixote , Performing and performances , Family life , Friendships , Urban and city life , Mexican Americans , Leadership

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Ten-year-old Sarah Sierra’s bilingual chapter book discusses her experience as a Mexican American girl living in Brooklyn. Published to accompany the play The Traveling Serialized Adventures of Kid Quixote (an original adaptation of Don Quixote by the children of Brooklyn-based writing program Still Waters in a Storm), the diary-like chapters fol Ten-year-old Sarah Sierra’s bilingual chapter book discusses her experience as a Mexican American girl living in Brooklyn. Published to accompany the play The Traveling Serialized Adventures of Kid Quixote (an original adaptation of Don Quixote by the children of Brooklyn-based writing program Still Waters in a Storm), the diary-like chapters follow Sarah as she writes, rehearses, coaches her younger sister, and reflects on her immigrant family’s life in America. Co-written by Sarah and the play’s director, Stephen Haff, the young narrator’s voice truly shines. The content is both educational and celebratory. For example, while many young people will already know about toronjil, the lemony herb that some Mexican parents prepare for their sick kids, others will be excited to learn about it and gain further insight into Sarah’s world. Don Quixote, children in detention, food, space science, and other topics all fit flawlessly into the scope of this work. The language is simple yet reflective of the author’s inner world: “People making good food is one of the first things I think of when I think about my family.” The most powerful passages detail Sarah’s thoughts and feelings during the writing process, how ideas came to her, and how proud she feels when she hears them performed on stage. Sarah’s story is a beautiful representation of one young Mexican American girl’s journey to claim her identity. This important book spotlights a community using the arts to break down social borders.

Book Details

ISBN

9780062943262

First Release

July 2020

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

B

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

224

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

HarperCollins

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Sarah Sierra, Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City, Undocumented immigrants, Immigrant families, Still Waters in a Storm (after-school program), Stephen Haff, Communities, Retellings of Don Quixote, Performing and performances, Family life, Friendships, Urban and city life, Mexican Americans, Leadership,

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Cover Art

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