Until Someone Listens: A Story About Borders, Family, and One Girl’s Mission

Roaring Brook. Sept. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250832122.
PreS-Gr 3–This is an openly political book. It’s written by a 13-year-old girl who spoke about her mother’s deportation at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and she has been forced to have a clear agenda. It’s also a moving personal perspective about living under the constant threat of immigration laws that tear families apart. The Juarez family lives in a vibrant Floridian paradise. The beginning depicts a joyous family. The government officials, here portrayed by literal shadows darkening the walls of the family home, bring uncertainty as they threaten Estela’s immigrant mother. The large, expressive eyes of the main characters draw readers in, illuminating the pain of separation. The illustrations, radiant when the loving family is together, become bleak and broken. It ends with moments of bright color seeping in as Estela commits to speaking up until her family can be together again. Admirably, while the book is hopeful, it cannot end on a clear happy note, because everything is not resolved. The closure is a small girl using all she has, her voice, to work towards a better tomorrow.
VERDICT A humanizing—and necessarily upsetting—glimpse into immigration policies and the power of speaking out; share judiciously and with supplementary discussion.

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