La Frontera: El viaje con papa / My Journey with Papa

by Deborah Mills, Alfredo Alva, and Claudia Navarro

A first-person narrative tells the true story of a boy’s journey from Mexico... read more

A first-person narrative tells the true story of a boy’s journey from Mexico to the United States. When Papa can no longer provide for his growing family, Abuelo urges him to leave La Ceja, Mexico, for the United States, and to take Alfredo along. They hire a man, Coyote, to guide them to the border, but he disappears after Papa carries Alfredo across a river. Papa and Alfredo continue the journey alone, finally arriving at the Embassy, a collection of old vehicles and furniture where they take up residence. Alfredo begins school, although he is frightened and does not understand English. Things begin to look up when an older, Spanish-speaking boy takes Alfredo under his wing. After four years, the rest of the family join Alfredo and Papa in the United States. Details of this young immigrant’s experience—the $100 bill he carries in case he’s deported and needs to buy a bus ticket back to La Ceja, his fear that the “men in uniforms” may appear on his school bus—make this purposeful account particularly affecting. (Ages 7–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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