An intergenerational ode to a positive United States immigration experience.
Libby is proud of her great-aunt Lobo (which means “wolf” in Spanish), who has just passed the United States citizenship test. On Thursday, Libby will lead her class in saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and on Friday, Lobo will recite the pledge to officially become a U.S. citizen. Lobo and Libby practice together, and Lobo shares her story. While Lobo’s nostalgic recounting of her immigration experience pairs well with Barton’s soft pencil sketches, the story of her family’s immigration reads a bit candy-coated as she describes her father’s desire for a “safer place” to raise his daughters and neglects to mention any hardships they may have faced. In the end, all goes well for Libby at school, and she is able attend the ceremony with Lobo and recite the pledge along with her great-aunt. Intertextual historical facts make this book a shoo-in for social-studies units on the United States, though they have been simplified for the audience. Libby’s teacher tells her class that Francis Bellamy wrote the pledge in 1892, but she neglects to point out that “under God” was added during the Eisenhower administration.
While it is wonderful to see a book featuring Latina characters who are proud Americans, the promotion of idealized visions of life in the United States and the immigrant experience makes it a distinctly one-sided treatment. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-9)