Book Review: Serafina’s Promise

It’s been a wonderful, but incredibly busy semester around the LAII! I’m a little behind in getting out our monthly book reviews, but I finally have some time to get caught up! Here’s my review of April’s featured novel.

Serafina’s Promise
Written by Ann E. Burg
Published by Scholastic Press, 2013
ISBN: 9780545535649
Age Level: 10 and up

Book Summary:

Serafina has
a secret dream.
She wants to go to school
and become a doctor
with her best friend, Julie Marie.
But in their rural village outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti,
many obstacles
stand in Serafina’s way–
little money,
never-ending chores,
and Manman’s worries.
More powerful even
than all of these
are the heavy rains
and the shaking earth
that test
Serafina’s resolve
in ways she never dreamed.
At once heartbreaking and hopeful,
this exquisitely
crafted story
will leave a lasting impression
on your heart.

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¡Mira, Look!: Goodbye Havana, Hola New York

Goodbye HavanaWrapping up our theme on immigration, I thought it would be nice to explore immigration through the context of historical fiction. While we showcased Yes! We are Latinos! a few weeks back, it is important to also see immigration through the lens of a child as we saw in Dear Primo. The nice thing about historical fiction with this topic is that it emphasizes the notion that immigration is not a new phenomenon; rather, the United States is a country built on immigration that has been happening for centuries from a variety of locations, for a variety of reasons. Thus, this week, we are turning to Goodbye Havana, Hola New York by Edie Colon.   Continue reading