|Areli is a dreamer : a true story|
Author: Morales, Areli
The author tells her own powerful and vibrant immigration story of moving from a quiet town in Mexico to the bustling and noisy metropolis of New York City.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/15/21)
School Library Journal (08/01/21)
Booklist (+) (06/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2021 *Starred Review* Areli loves the mountains and sun of her Mexico home, her abuela and her cousins, and school friends. The only part of her life that is missing is her parents, who are in New York and will soon send for her and her brother. When Areli’s turn arrives to make the journey to America, she is forced to leave all that she loves behind to travel to a new, faraway home, where she faces a difficult language barrier and the uncertainty of not being here legally. This beautifully illustrated picture book presents hardships that many undocumented children face when making the journey to America, in a way that will allow children to understand what others are going through or to find solace in the fact that they are not alone. Young readers will witness the complex and difficult emotions kids have to deal with when faced with such circumstances—including separation from their family—at such a young age, but they will also find comfort in a future bright with possibility. Uribe’s warm artwork conveys the many important aspects of Areli’s life, providing readers with an illuminating look into the life of a child making such an important life journey. Highly recommended for all collections. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2021 Gr 1–3—DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient Morales's book is based on her journey from Pueblo, Mexico, to New York as an undocumented immigrant at the age of six. The story starts with Areli at her grandmother's house in Mexico, where she enjoys the company of her cousins and the delicious food. Every Sunday, she and her brother, Alex, expect a call from their parents who are already in the United States. Alex, who was born in the United States, will be joining his parents soon. Areli, however, will rely on a family friend she does not know to take her into the country. In New York, everything is bigger and faster and unfortunately, things are not better at school, where she does not know English and is humiliated by boys calling her "illegal" and "backward." The first-person primary-grade-friendly narrative style moves effortlessly including Spanish language terms interspersed with English, the main language of the book. The one-to-five line paragraphs are set in small black font accompanying the pastel illustrations. This book could be used in a social science class highlighting Areli's capacity to adapt and thrive as she navigates her new environment. It contains an author's note addressing the fragility of the DACA program and back matter with a glossary defining the Spanish language terms in the story. VERDICT A moving biographical picture book that would be a sensitive addition to the shelves of libraries, accompanying A Journey Toward Hope by Victor Hinojosa and Coert Voorhees.—Kathia Ibacache, Univ. of Colorado Boulder - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.