New Releases: Fight Back and Still Dreaming / Seguimos soñando

Today, we are celebrating two exciting book releases: Fight Back by A. M. Dassu and Still Dreaming / Seguimos soñando by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez, illustrated by Magdalena Mora!

Fight Back by A. M. Dassu

Amina’s Voice meets A Good Kind of Trouble in this story about 13-year-old Aaliyah, who feels alone after putting on a hijab for the first time, but finds friends and allies through organizing a protest at her school.

More about the book:

Thirteen-year-old Aaliyah can’t wait for a concert by her favorite K-pop boy band, 3W. She isn’t too concerned with stories on the news about the rise of the far right–after all, it doesn’t affect her–until a terrorist attack at the concert changes everything.

Local racists are emboldened and anti-Muslim rhetoric starts cropping up at school and on the street. When Aaliyah starts getting bullied, she knows she has to do something to stand up to the hate. She decides that, instead of hiding who she is, she will begin wearing a hijab for the first time, to challenge how people in her community see Muslims.

But when her school bans the hijab and she is attacked and intimidated for making her choice, Aaliyah feels alone. Can she find allies–friends to stand beside her and help her find ways to fight back?

Acclaimed author A. M. Dassu’s follow-up to Boy, Everywhere is an essential read to encourage empathy, challenge stereotypes, and encourage positive action.

Praise for Fight Back:

“A powerful novel [that] will show readers they are not alone when facing racism and hate and that standing together in support of one another provides hope for the future.” —Booklist

“This group of committed friends will win readers’ hearts.” —Kirkus Reviews

Order a copy:
Lee & Low
Indiebound
Bookshop
Barnes & Noble
Amazon

A. M. Dassu won the international We Need Diverse Books mentorship award in 2017. She is the deputy editor of SCBWI-British Isles’ Words & Pictures magazine and a director at Inclusive Minds, an organization for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality, and accessibility in children’s literature. Her work has been published by The Huffington Post, the Times Educational SupplementSCOOP Magazine, Lee & Low Books, and DK Books. She lives in the heart of England. You can find her on Twitter as @a_reflective or at amdassu.com.

Still Dreaming / Seguimos soñando by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez, illustrated by Magdalena Mora

In one of the first children’s books to describe the long-forgotten chapter of US history known as Mexican Repatriation, a boy and his family leave their beloved home to avoid being separated by the government.

More about the book:

Faced with the prospect of being separated from each other, a young boy and his family make the difficult decision to leave their home and begin a journey filled with uncertainty. On the road, they meet other people like them. Families with deep roots tied to the land. Others that helped build the railroads. Some were shop owners and factory workers. Each with similar hopes and dreams.

Historians estimate that between 1930 and 1940, two million people living in the United States were forcibly removed and sent to live in Mexico. Telling this story from a child’s perspective, award-winning author Claudia Guadalupe Martínez lyrically recounts this often-overlooked period of United States history–Mexican Repatriation. Emotive illustrations by Magdalena Mora convey this poignant tale of longing for home and permanence, which reflects many of the dreams and hopes of people today.

Ante la perspectiva de ser separados, un niño y su familia toman la difícil decisión de dejar su hogar y emprender un viaje lleno de incertidumbre. En el camino, se encuentran con otras personas como ellos. Familias con raíces profundas atadas a la tierra. Otros que ayudaron a construir los ferrocarriles. Algunos eran dueños de tiendas y trabajadores de fábricas. Cada uno con esperanzas y sueños similares.

Los historiadores estiman que entre 1930 y 1940, dos millones de personas que vivían en los Estados Unidos fueron sacadas a la fuerza y enviadas a vivir a México. Contando esta historia desde la perspectiva de un niño, la galardonada autora Claudia Guadalupe Martínez relata líricamente este período de la historia de los Estados Unidos a menudo pasado por alto: La Repatriación Mexicana. Las emotivas ilustraciones de Magdalena Mora transmiten esta conmovedora historia de añoranza por el hogar y la permanencia, que refleja muchos de los sueños y esperanzas de la gente de hoy.

Praise for Still Dreaming / Seguimos soñando:

“[The] author’s note details a difficult history of forced migration shared by many, while the story emphasizes the importance of family and ultimately feels optimistic.” —The Horn Book

“This is solid choice for classrooms wanting to discuss the U.S.’s family separation policies and a seemingly forgotten historical event. Recommended for picture book collections.” —School Library Journal

Order a copy:
Lee & Low
Indiebound
Bookshop
Barnes & Noble
Amazon

Claudia Guadalupe Martínez has called Mexico and the US home. Her core childhood memories are set in El Paso, Texas. This dynamic of growing up between borders inspires her writing. She is the recipient of two Texas Institute of Letters Best Young Adult Book Awards, a Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, an Américas Award Commendation, a Junior Library Guild Award, and multiple starred reviews. She now lives with her family in Illinois. You can find her at claudiaguadalupemartinez.com.

Magdalena Mora is an illustrator and graphic designer with a special interest in children’s books and visual storytelling. She illustrated Equality’s Call and I WishYou Knew. When not drawing, she spends her free time reading, people-gawking, and trying to find the best tacos in the Twin Cities–mostly the latter. She lives in Minneapolis. You can see more of her work at magdalenamora.com.

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