My Diary from Here to There

by: Amada Irma Pérez and Maya Christina Gonzalez

My Diary from Here to There for 3rd Grade

This story is written by Amada Irma Pérez. This book is based on her own family's journey from Mexico to the United States. Maya Christina Gonzalez illustrated the book. She is an award-winning artist renowned for her vivd imagery of strong women and girls. The book is mostly based in Mexico as the family is waiting to transition their lives into America. They talk about different Mexican food and traditions that they do to celebrate family. They have a large family of cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that comes together and eats a feast that includes tamales, beans, pan dulce, and hot chocolate. This is still a traditional Mexican celebratory meal that includes a lot of family and food.

Key Strengths of My Diary from Here to There

  • Rich in cultural detail: This book gives many details of how life is in Mexico, mostly concerning friends and families traditions.
  • Demonstrate unique language or style: The book is written in both English and Spanish and is written in diary form which is unique in itself.
  • Have appealing format and be of endearing quality: The book jumps out at you with vibrant colors and beautiful illustrations of people, places, and objects. It is also appealing because it makes you feel like you are in the book when you read her diary entries.

This book one the Pura Belpré Award Nominee for Narrative in 2004

Focus words and questions

  • What does infer mean? (before book)
  • So, just from the cover and the title, what can you infer the book will be about? (before book)
  • What does opportunity mean? (pg. 9)
  • Judging by this picture, what does saguaros mean? (pg.13)
  • What emotions would you be feeling if you were Amada right now? (pg. 23)

Activity

Now that we have read the story. Have any of you ever had to move before? How did it make you feel?

We are going to write a journal entry to a friend far away. It can be a real friend or an imaginary one. You are going to tell them all about your home, friends, school, family, and your favorite things to do. Make sure to include a lot of details so it feels like your friend is there with you.

Reflection

Why was this particular book selected? How did it match the funds of knowledge of this particular class/group of students? I selected this book because it had both English and Spanish written in it. Some of my students are Spanish and English speakers.

What were the strengths of the read aloud/the picture book/vocabulary teaching presentation? The strengths were the words that I used that challenged the students. The conversation that went on during the questions were really productive and positive.

What would I need to do differently next time? I would pace my reading better to where it wasn't fast in some places and slow in some places. I would also put a model of what I wanted them to do for the activity on the smart board, instead of using my own words.

Implementing multicultural children's literature that is culturally and linguistically diverse relative to my elementary students has... challenged me to think more about diversity in the schools and community. I don't often think about people being different than myself, but reading this book and seeing some of the kids relate to the culture opened my eyes to understanding not everyone is the same and we need to find sensitivity in that.