Islandborn by Junot Diaz and Leo Espinosa

Like the roots of most trees, our roots are often invisible to those around us. Yet, they are the very core of our being. Diaz and Espinosa’s work capture this truth. The main character of Islandborn is Lola, a child of Dominican origin, who seeks to find out just where her roots are buried. Too young to have memories of her own, Lola relies on the people of her neighborhood to retell the tales in which they are steeped. Diaz and Espinosa’s recapitulation brings to light just how these experiences still anchor and nourish Lola, a child raised in a different world, and a different age. Excellent, excellent read!

Kindergartners loved the vivid details. Here is how they connected to the story.

“The author colors like me! I use a lot of colors too!”

“I went to a island when I was on vacation. There were a lot of brown people too and they were nice.”

“Lola’s class is kind of like our class. They are a lot of brown people in our class.”

“Islands don’t have seasons like winter. I wish I could live on a island.”

“I like how everybody help Lola with memories so that she could do her drawing. That was kindness.”

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