Book - 2018
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"Lola was just a baby when her family left the Island, so when she has to draw it for a school assignment, she asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland ... and in the process, comes up with a new way of understanding her own heritage"--
Publisher: New York, NY : Dial Books for Young Readers, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780735229860
Branch Call Number: DIAZ
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Additional Contributors: Espinosa, Leo - Illustrator
Alternative Title: Island born


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IndyPL_MollieB Jan 28, 2021

Islandborn, written by Junot Díaz and illustrated by Leo Espinosa, explores shared memories of families and communities.

An assignment sends Lola on a mission to find out about where she was from, and island she left before she could remember. She relies and family and neighbors to share their memories about the island for the assignment.

You'll want to explore this story and illustrations to learn about where Lola and her community come from.


VaughanPLTiziana Jan 27, 2020

A very colourful picture book about a young girl named Lola. Her teacher assigns a project to her class to draw a picture of where their families emigrated from, but Lola feels sad because she can't remember "the Island" - the country she was born in - because she was just a baby when her family moved away. Lola's abuela (grandmother) tells her, "just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you". With the help of family, friends, and the tight-knit community where she lives, Lola is able to learn so much about her country, her family, and is proud of her roots.

SJPL_LibrarianEEDS Aug 22, 2019

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!
This book is so vivid and vibrant! The child learns vicariously about her family's homeland. This book encourages curiosity and listening to shared stories.

Dec 25, 2018

Lola has a big class assignment, she has to draw a picture of the country she was originally from. Everyone in her class is from somewhere and they all seem to be aware of that place, except for Lola. She knew she was from an island but that was it. She tried hard to remember something, anything about the island. She asked people in her community what they remembered. Her cousin told her about bats as big as blankets, Mrs. Bernard remembered the music, Mr. Rodriguez remembered sweet mangos, Mr. Mir didn’t want to ever go back there. Lola wanted to know why Mr. Mir thought it was such a bad place. This would require some skill to get him to talk. Do you think Lola got her answers and was able to draw her picture?

Author Junot Diaz shares a wonderful story of history and family. Colorful illustrations bring the story to life. We all should know about our family and where we come from. This is an ideal story for an advanced reader. Parents and teachers will enjoy sharing this story as a way to discuss culture, heritage, traditions and most importantly family.

RobertELPL Nov 26, 2018

Sweet story that shows your culture is a part of who you are, no matter how little you can remember.

SnoIsleLib_LindseyA Nov 18, 2018

A powerful picture book about keeping culture alive through family and community.

As Lola collects stories about her family's native homeland (Dominican Republic) for a school project, she finds that most involve happy memories: the taste of mangoes, the sound of a güira, etc. Her grouchy neighbor, Mr. Mir has bleaker memories of the Island, and he tells her of the Monster that terrorized it for many years. This story is especially poignant when you realize the Monster is dictator Rafael Trujillo (though it's never explicitly stated). Mr. Mir also tells her how the people rose up, and that Lola herself is a daughter of heroes. As you can imagine, this gives her plenty to work with.

I love the language woven throughout the text (it begs to be read aloud, though it's a bit long for storytime sessions) and the colorful illustrations are bursting with life.

CatherineG_1 Apr 23, 2018

Lola was a little girl who as a baby came from the Dominican Republic. Her teacher assigns her a project - make a drawing of the place she was born. At first she struggles but with the help of her family, her neighbours and her community, especially the superintendent of her building, Lola is blessed to have a great picture of the island where she was born.
This would be a wonderful book for any classroom especially concerning the themes of inclusion and diversity.

ArapahoeErinR Apr 06, 2018

Too young to remember her Island birthplace Lola turns to her family and friends to help her complete a class assignment. Lola learns about the beautiful things the island had, but also that a monster can exist even in the most beautiful of places.

PimaLib_AnnieW Mar 30, 2018

I absolutely love this book and cannot say enough good things about it. This wonderful book is a grand celebration of family, neighborhoods, culture, kids and elders. Beautiful language and illustrations. At once funny and powerful. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Gina_Vee Mar 15, 2018

This is the most unique and special book I have ever seen of its kind. As an island girl who left the island when she was young herself, I loved and adored this story.

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