Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places. So when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela’s words: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.” Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination’s boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves
The illustrations in this book are phenomenal, filled with gorgeous colors! When a girl needs to remember her home country for a school assignment, she ends up asking those in her neighborhood for help because she moved when she was little and doesn’t remember her birth place. She learns a lot about the history of her family and her people. The only reason I didn’t rate it higher was because the book talks about a monster that threatened the island and people for many years, until boys and girls stood up to fight it–a great concept for those who know the reference, but the book doesn’t actually tell you the island the girl is from. It’s referencing a past dictator in the Dominican Republic, but I had to look at a synopsis of the book to fully understand the story.
JUNOT DÍAZ was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. A graduate of Rutgers University, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachu-setts Institute of Technology.
Leo Espinosa is an award-winning illustrator and designer from Bogotá, Colombia, whose work has been featured in <i>The New Yorker</i>, <i>Wired</i>, <i>Esquire</i>, <i>The New York Times</i>, <i>The Atlantic</i>, and more. Leo’s illustrations have been recognized by American Illustration, Communication Arts, Pictoplasma, 3x3, and the Society of Illustrators. Leo lives with his family in Salt Lake City, Utah.