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Still Dreaming / Seguimos soñando

Review
By Kirkus Reviews

In this bilingual English-Spanish tale, a brown-skinned child describes the journey their family must undertake, heading to a country only Papá knows.

The child’s sorrow is palpable as the house is packed and the tías are tearfully embraced. On the road, the family passes a boarded-up bakery and a store with a sign declaring that Mexicans aren’t served there. When nighttime comes, they and other families sit by a campfire and talk about the lives they left behind; the child’s parents describe picking pecans “here in Texas.” The book ends with the family reaching the Mexican border; the author’s note explains that the story takes place in the 1930s during a largely forgotten chapter of U.S. history: Mexican Repatriation. After the Mexican-American War of the 1840s, Mexican territories were annexed by the United States, and many Mexicans were encouraged to come to the United States to work; during the Great Depression, however, many were forced to leave. Some families, like the one in this story, included both U.S. citizens and those born in Mexico and so chose to leave together to avoid being separated. Martínez’s straightforward text and Mora’s signature smudgy yet vibrant illustrations bring to life a story that reminds us that little has changed in U.S. history, as immigrant families still face deportation and the fear of separation. 

A tale about a specific moment in history that is nevertheless universal.