by Yuyi Morales
Penguin Random House, 2018
$24.99, 40 pp, ages 4 – 8
Dreamers is the story of Yuyi Morales and her son Kelly’s experience immigrating from Mexico to the United States. This well-written story is enhanced by beautiful illustrations by Morales. Moving to a new country and not knowing the customs and the language, the library becomes a place of surprise and trust for the author and her son. Morales and Kelly learn their new language through their time at the library, which leads them to read and write in English. Through an autobiographical essay also included, readers learn that Morales’ love of books led to her writing and illustrating her own books and sharing her own stories.
Classroom Connections: Using Dreamers as a resource for an immigration unit would allow students to understand some of the challenges immigrants face in their new homes. Students would be able to research about other immigrants and their stories when starting over in another country. Allowing students to look at the challenges immigrants face could help them see how they can help others. Students may be able to do some research about their own family history to share their family’s experiences with immigration. As Morales shares how much impact books had on her life, students could share their favourite stories and explain to others the importance of the book to them. At the end of the book, Morales shares a list of books that inspired her. Sharing these books with students and discussing why they may have inspired Morales would invite good literature discussions.
Review by Cindy Haack.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Winter 2020 issue.