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Islandborn

By: Junot Díaz

Illustrator: Leo Espinosa

The kids in Lola's class are all from faraway places, so they are excited to draw pictures of their families' homelands. But Lola left The Island when she was just a baby. How can she draw it if she can't remember it? Full-color illustrations were created digitally with Photoshop and mixed media.

ISBN: 9780735229860

JLG Release: Apr 2018


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Islands , Dominican Americans , Schools , Immigrants , History of the Dominican Republic, 1930–1961 , Africa , Emigration and immigration

$12.75  Member Price

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Multicultural Elementary

Grades 2-6

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$210.60/year

Awards & Honors

2019 Pura Belpre Award Honor, Illustration
ALSC Notable Children's Books - 2019
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens - 2019
CSMCL Best Books - 2018

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

Horn Book

Lola’s school, in an unnamed U.S. city, is full of immigrants like her. For homework one day, Ms. Obi tasks her young students with drawing “a picture of the country you are originally from.” Lola has a problem: because she left “the Island” when she was a baby, she doesn’t remember it. Fortunately, she can tap t Lola’s school, in an unnamed U.S. city, is full of immigrants like her. For homework one day, Ms. Obi tasks her young students with drawing “a picture of the country you are originally from.” Lola has a problem: because she left “the Island” when she was a baby, she doesn’t remember it. Fortunately, she can tap the memories of her family members and neighbors, all eager to help . . . except for elderly building superintendent Mr. Mir (“Nobody cares about that old stuff . . . Just be glad that you live here”). When Mr. Mir finally agrees to speak with Lola, he relates something no one else has: that “a monster fell upon our poor Island,” terrorizing it for thirty years; the creature was defeated only when “heroes rose up.” That monster is the piece missing from Lola’s until-now glossy portrait, and her drawing, which concludes the book, shows her homeland in its complexity: revelers, animals, and greenery share the two-page spread with activists smiting a fanged enemy. Although the island is likely a nod to the Dominican Republic, whence hails Pulitzer Prize-winner Díaz (The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), the monster can stand in for any country’s political destabilization. Islandborn (concurrently published in Spanish as Lola), whose pages hustle and bustle with Espinosa’s vibrant illustrations of city and island life, is a welcome community and immigration story in which a young character’s existential concerns stem not from being different but from losing what makes her so by diminished connection to the past. nell beram

Book Details

ISBN

9780735229860

First Release

April 2018

Genre

Fiction

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

11" x 8 1/2"

Page Count

48

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.4; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Dial

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Islands, Dominican Americans, Schools, Immigrants, History of the Dominican Republic, 1930–1961, Africa, Emigration and immigration,

Cover Art

Download Cover Art

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