They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn t know where they are going. Read more...
They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn t know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move, although sometimes they are forced to stop and her father has to earn more money before they can continue their journey.
As many thousands of people, especially children, in Mexico and Central America continue to make the arduous journey to the U.S. border in search of a better life, this is an important book that shows a young migrant s perspective.
- ISBN-13: 9781554987412
- ISBN-10: 1554987415
- Publisher: Groundwood Books
- Publish Date: October 2015
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 5-8
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-08-31
- Reviewer: Staff
Hope and hardship coexist in this haunting look at refugees fleeing home in hopes of a safer, more secure life. While strongly suggestive of Mexico, the setting is never mentioned explicitly, nor are the reasons why the young narrator and her father are traveling. For the girl, counting—chickens on the side of the road, people encamped by train tracks—offers a stability that her day-to-day life cannot; numbers are constant, even when you’re always on the move. On every step of their journey, which includes fording a muddy river on rafts built on rubber tires and riding atop a rusted-out train, they are joined by a narrow-eyed coyote, a visual metaphor for those who smuggle migrants and refugees across borders, not always with good intentions. Colored in drab browns and blues, Yockteng’s illustrations emphasize the closeness between father and daughter without downplaying the dangers they face. Buitrago and Yockteng (who previously collaborated on Jimmy the Greatest!) leave the family’s story open-ended, powerfully underscoring the idea that there are few certainties in the life of a refugee. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)