Review of Perkins’s Between Us & Abuela

Review of Mitali Perkins’s Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border (ages 3 – 6)

& Our Book Guide with Supplemental Activities and Resources

In Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2019) , María, a young, clever and quick-witted girl from Southern California, narrates her family’s story about celebrating Las Posadas at the annual La Posada Sin Fronteras celebration that occurs at the aptly named Friendship Park, which is along the border between Tijuana, MX and San Diego, CA. Prior to this celebration, María introduces us to her younger brother, Juan, and her Mamá, Sylvia. María explains that sadly she hasn’t seen her Abuela in five years; however, both María and Juan are elated that they will see their Abuela (albeit through the fences along the border) and thus are busy making final touches to their homemade presents for their Abuela.

After a long bus journey and waiting in line for their turn, María, Juan, and Mamá finally get their chance to see and talk with their beloved Abuela who stands on the other side of the border, in Mexico. Their time spent together goes by quickly as they sing Las Posadas, pass hugs and kisses through the fences, and catch up on other family members that live on either side of the border. At the end of their time together, María tries to pass the scarf that she and Mamá have made for Abuela through the fence when she is stopped by Border Patrol Agents that explain that it is forbidden to pass things through the fence. However, this inspires crafty María to find a different way to ensure that Abuela can receive her Christmas gifts without disobeying the Border Patrol’s rules.

Author: Mitali Perkins; Illustrations by: Sara Palacios; Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (2019)

Check out our full book review and educator guide on Between Us and Abuela here.

Have you read this heartwarming story? Share your thoughts below! How do you plan to celebrate Las Posadas this year?

September 22nd | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! Here are more recent resources from around the web. Enjoy and happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Latinos in Kid Lit posted a book review for Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older, a follow-up to his book, Shadowshaper, which we featured here on the blog.  This is the second book in his “Shadowshaper Cypher” series and is recommended for advanced readers. As did Shadowshaper, this book grapples with difficult topics for young adults of color, including racialized violence, white supremacy, and youth activism.

– Colorín Colorado discussed Serving English Learners with Disabilities: How ESL/Bilingual Specialists Can Collaborate for Student Success. “Appropriately serving English Learners (ELs) with disabilities requires a team effort involving professionals from multiple disciplines to ensure that instruction is provided to support both the language-learning and disability-related needs of the students.”

— Also, Latinos in Kid Lit shared a Letter from Young Adult Readers to Latinx Writers about Race, Gender and Other issues. “As a class, we considered how these texts represent the Latinx community, and the history of Latin America and the Caribbean, to young readers, and in some cases, because of the lack of Latinx representation and authors in youth literature, these books may be the only portrayals a young reader may encounter in a book about Latinx people.”

–For those of you teaching middle or high school history, especially about the border, Santos released a new album named “Agonía.’ This album describes the many experiences of living at the border in Tijuana.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo