My Diary from Here to There ⁄
Mi diario de aquí hasta allá
Amada Irma Pérez
Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzales
The team behind My Very Own Room/Mi propio cuartito again takes its inspiration from an event in the author’s childhood, this time exploring the feelings of a Mexican girl on the verge of starting a new life in Los Angeles. While the rest of the family proclaims excitement at their imminent move (“They have escalators to ride!” says one of her five brothers), Amada confides her fears to her journal: “Am I the only one who is scared of leaving our home, our beautiful country, and all the people we might never see again?” Her father tells her, “You are stronger than you think,” but Amada isn’t sure. In the end, she indeed discovers her strength, as well as a way to keep beloved friends and relatives back in Mexico “in my memories and in my heart.” Pérez sensitively explores her protagonist’s emotional journey, peppering the narrative with details of specific moments-Amada’s last walk in the park with her best friend, an uncle’s magic trick to keep up the children’s spirits. Gonzalez’s color-saturated vignettes unfold against eye-catching backdrops of turquoise, yellow, green and purple, and the sweeping brush strokes and bold, slightly stylized features of her characters lend the pages a folk art feel. English and Spanish versions of the text are cleanly worked into the compositions.