Luca’s Bridge/El Puente de Luca

Penny Candy Books. Apr. 2019. 40p. Tr ISBN 9780998799957.
Gr 1-4–Although Luca and his brother Paco were born in the U.S., their parents are undocumented and receive notification that they must return to Mexico. To keep their family together, they move to Mexico, an unfamiliar place to Luca and Paco. Although her house is small, Luca’s grandmother welcomes the family with plenty of warmth and food to go around, but Luca yearns for his home and spends his days dreaming of returning. While feeling especially homesick one day, Luca picks up his trumpet, thinking that playing a tune will cheer him up. But his family is tired and asks him not to play, and so Luca drifts into a deep sleep. He dreams that as he’s playing his trumpet, the music forms a beautiful bridge and reconnects him back to his friends, his family’s old apartment, and the music he’d listen to on the radio. He’s so happy that he begins laughing in his sleep. Luca awakes and begins playing his trumpet, filling the home with joy that reminds them all of their old home.
VERDICT This bilingual book illustrates how Mexican immigrant families risk everything when they cross the border into the United States in search of a better life. An essential addition to any bilingual collection.

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