Friends from the Other Side / Amigos del otro lado
By Gloria Anzaldúa
Illustrated by Consuelo Méndez
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"Did you come from the other side? You know, from Mexico?" So begins the friendship between Prietita and Joaquín, the young boy who, with his mother, has crossed the Rio Grande River to Texas in search of a new life.
Prietita, a brave young Mexican American girl, defends Joaquín from the neighborhood kids who taunt him with shouts of "mojado" or "wetback." But what can she do to protect Joaquín and his mother from the Border Patrol as the van cruises slowly up the street toward their hiding place?
Writer Gloria Anzaldúa is a major Mexican American literary voice. Illustrator Consuelo Méndez is a noted Latin American artist. Both grew up in South Texas. In this, their first collaboration, they have captured not only the hardship of daily life on the border, but also the beauty of the landscape and the dignity and generosity of spirit that the Mexican Americans and the Mexican immigrants share.
Check out reading and craft tips created by the staff and partners of Reading to Kids, a grassroots organization dedicated to inspiring underserved children with a love of reading.
Use Friends from the Other Side with the unit, Immigration Journeys, by Sarah Loudon and Doug Selwyn, provided by the National Park Service and Densho, the Japanese American Legacy Project. This unit is part of the Civil Liberties Curriculum created to encourage elementary, middle, and high school students to examine questions of constitutional and civil rights in relation to the Japanese American incarceration.
About the Creators
was a major Mexican American/Chicana literary voice, scholar, and activist. Her first book for Children's Book Press, Friends from the Other Side/Amigos del otro lado, about a brave young girl's friendship with an immigrant boy and his mother, was praised by School Library Journal as "an important book touching on a timely and sensitive issue." She passed away in 2004. Photo credit: Annie F. Valva
is a painter and artist from Caracas, Venezuela, whose work is widely exhibited in Latin America. She spent a large part of her growing up years in South Texas before coming to San Francisco to study art. She returned to South Texas in order to do research for this book, which she illustrated in watercolors, graphite and colored pencils, and collage. She has illustrated several books for children.