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Highly recommended.

Author and illustrator Tonatiuh (Danza!, 2017, etc.) turns the light of his distinctive style on the plight of undocumented workers.

While the origins of undocumented workers are diverse, this story focuses primarily on the experiences of Juan, a Mixteco immigrant from Mexico. When Juan’s father passes away, he heads north in hopes of finding work and housing through his uncle who already lives in the United States, making the treacherous journey with the help of a coyote. Juan ultimately finds a job working for a restaurant, where he meets his wife and a new friend from China who helps connect him to a center for workers rights. Through the center he becomes an advocate not only for himself, but other Mixteco immigrants and, indeed, immigrants from around the world, both documented and undocumented. Tonatiuh’s illustrations, inspired by the styles of native Mesoamericans, are bound in a folded codex which also harkens to the author’s and protagonist’s Indigenous Mexican roots and is reminiscent of Jose Manuel Mateo’s Migrant (2014). By focusing on the narrative of one immigrant worker, Tonatiuh breaks the mammoth issues of immigration and workers rights into an easy-to-swallow bite, allowing the reader to easily engage with an often intimidating topic. The personal is again political.

Highly recommended. (Graphic novel. 8-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2854-9

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Abrams ComicArts

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2018

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A hearty collection of Polish and Ruthenian tales recalled from Kuniczak's youth, featuring plucky peasant lads, imprisoned princesses, cruel squires, ghosts, hidden treasures, sorcerers, and plenty of demons. Jauntily told, the stories combine quick action and familiar motifs (magic shoes, tasks, journeys) with clever twists (a ``Changeling'' helps a needy family by capturing Gnawing Poverty and knocking out its teeth). Kuniczak mentions ``the marvelous geography of the fantastic,'' but there's little sense of a particular culture here, and most places and people are unnamed. Sex roles are drearily traditional (all the independent women are old witches) and, despite many happily-ever-afters, the last story—a malicious gossip teaches a devil how to ruin a marriage—ends the collection on a sour note. Still, lively and readable. Illustrated with a few mannered pen drawings. (Folklore. 11-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-7818-0087-0

Page Count: 153

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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A nuts-and-bolts look at a revered, fun celebration. ``Check out a powwow sometime,'' the author advises in this installment of the We Are Still Here series, ``There are thousands of these celebrations throughout the country every year. You'll love it, too!'' From the initial setting up of camp to the final dance contest, the powwow of Braine's book emphasizes Northern Plains dancing, drumming, and costumes, and combines features of a county fair, rodeo, dance festival, family reunion, and celebration of Indian heritage. Full-color photos show the camp, food vendors, attendees, dancers, and drummers. She also describes a ``giveaway'' ceremony in which gifts are given in honor of a family member. Similar to Robert Crum's Eagle Drum (1994), which has a more lyrical narration, Braine's provides a brief glossary and further reading. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 16, 1995

ISBN: 0-8225-2656-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1995

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