|I wish you knew|
Author: Azua Kramer, Jackie
When Estrella's father has to leave because he wasn't born here, like her, she wishes people knew the way it affects her. A story about depression, divided families, and the importance of community in the midst of uncertainty.
School Library Journal (05/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2021 At the center of Estrella’s school is an old oak tree—a locus for the children and their teacher to explore, learn, play, and share their thoughts and fears. The tree provides a comforting place for Estrella to be alone when she is sad about her father, who wasn’t born in the U.S., being forced to return to his home country. Here Estrella can allow herself to miss him and think about the ways his absence changed their family. A teacher sees Estrella and, with the help of the all-knowing oak, finds a way to invite her and the other students to share the things they wish the teacher knew. The cheerful colors mirror the warmth and playfulness in the scenes of the school community, representing hope, which is ultimately the message. The teacher and children come together through sharing and strengthen their connections to one another under the protection of the old oak tree. This meditation on social and emotional communication will prompt readers, old and young, to open up about their vulnerabilities. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2021 K-Gr 3—Kramer's latest tells the story of Estrella, a young girl whose father was not born in the United States as she was. During the school year, he has to return to his home country and Estrella is left to deal with his absence. With a hardworking mother and a scared brother, Estrella is stressed out and wishes that others at her school understood what she was going through. Her teacher sets up sessions that allow her students to share "what I wish you knew" with her and their classmates, either anonymously or aloud. This gentle story embodies the social media movement #IWishMyTeacherKnew that has helped build community and strong school relationships across the country. An author's note describes her childhood, and the inspiration for this true story. Mora's soft watercolor illustrations depict a diverse student population. Estrella's memories of her father and experiences with her brother and mother after her father leaves are duller grays, conveying a sadder mood. VERDICT Estrella and her classmates' experiences are all too common and children will relate, if not for themselves, for others, to this compassionate recommended purchase.—Sara Thomas, New Castle P.L., DE - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.