Two girls missing home find comfort in sharing their experiences.
Mónica and Hannah—founders of the “Homesick Club” and immigrants from Bolivia and Israel, respectively—empathize with newcomer teacher Miss Shelby when she shares her recent arrival to town from Texas. As Miss Shelby teaches lessons on the stars and the moon Mónica ties them to her own memories of Bolivia. Believing Miss Shelby must miss her home the way she longs for familiar hummingbirds and frogs, Mónica proposes inviting her to join the Homesick Club. But according to Hannah, who misses tortoises and the wind, she shouldn’t join because, “Miss Shelby is a teacher!” However, Mónica doesn’t give up in her effort to make Miss Shelby feel welcome. With a sprinkle of ecological science, a pinch of astronomy, and a dash of gastronomy, Martinez creates an empathetic love letter to immigrants and any person living far away from home. Paired with Gibbon’s friendly and detailed illustrations, the story is suffused with the longing of all that is left behind in a hometown or home country. A most pleasant and thoughtful detail in this endearing book is the spelling of the protagonist’s name (Mónica), which, by including the accent, further imbues the characters with cultural context. Mónica has brown skin and black hair; Hannah and Miss Shelby are both white with blonde hair.
A beacon for all those missing home. (recipe) (Picture book. 3-7)