As we are aware, immigration is a complex issue. Sometimes, it can mean leaving behind one’s family, and other times, it can mean losing one’s family. As many people clamor to cross the border looking toward a new future in the North, they embark upon dangerous journeys. Not all survive this journey, and this is a reality that families must face on both sides of the border. Thus, we turn to a book that discusses this subject and describes the tale of one child who lost everything while going through this journey, gained a new family, and then had to reconcile with how he would continue in the journey of life. This week, we will be discussing Laura Resau’s Red Glass.
Red Glass follows a young woman, Sophie, who goes to the hospital with her parents one day. There, they meet a little boy, Pedro, who traveled along with his parents and coyote across the dessert and into Arizona. When he is discovered, he is found severely dehydrated, the lone survivor of the trip. Thus, Pedro goes to live with Sophie and her family. Nearly a year later, Pedro’s family in Mexico makes contact with him, which leads to a trip home and a decision for Pedro to make.
While we certainly don’t want to frighten our students, Red Glass challenges traditional notions on immigration and begs us to understand the complexities of the process. Immigration is not about “illegals” jumping the border; it is a process that involves real life people in often dangerous situations. Thus, this book challenges us to amend our perceptions on immigration. While this book is recommended for middle grade readers, it does talk about themes of death. We may not want to go into too much depth or bring up painful experiences for students in our classrooms who may have lived such an experience, but this happens in real life because restrictive immigration policies and outlandish expenses often place limitations on people who wish to immigrate to the US. Thus, this may be a good way to introduce a discussion on US immigration policy or current immigration debates to students of this age.
I hope you will check out Red Glass. Actually, I should note that Laura Resau is the author of next month’s featured book, What the Moon Saw, and she will be our featured author as well.
Until Next Time,