La Frontera, written by Deborah Mills and Alfredo Alva, tells the journey Alfredo took with his father from Mexico to the United States. The words and illustrations of this book help children understand some of the turmoil and hardships immigrants face as they travel to the United States. In the beginning of the story Alfredo says, “I did not even want to think about leaving Mama. I was hungry, yes, but I did not want life to change.”
One of the social justice issues we are discussing across grades (K-8) revolves around the detention camps at the border. This book provides a window into the choices many immigrants must make and some of the experiences they might encounter.
First graders say:
“I would have been scared if I was Alfredo.”
“He was brave.”
“Why couldn’t he just take a plane?”
“I was happy when he got to see his mom again.”
“When I started (first grade) I didn’t know anybody either. I was nervous.”