My Diary From Here To There

Presented By: Darbey Madden | Block B

Information about the book!

My Diary from Here to There

Written By: Amada Irma Pérez

Illustrated By: Maya Christina Gonzalez

Genre: Non-Fiction

Theme: No matter what comes your way, YOU are stronger than you think!


  • Starred Review (Kirkus Reviews)
  • Pura Belpre Honor Award (American Library Association)
  • Americas Award Commended Title (Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies)

Pérez, Amada Irma., and Maya Christina Gonzalez. My Diary from Here to There. San Francisco: Children's Book, 2002. Print.

Meet The Author: Amada Irma Pérez

Amada Irma Pérez been a bilingual educator, consultant and presenter for more than twenty-five years. Her teaching experience includes kindergarten through university. She is an advocate of programs that encourage literacy and multicultural understanding. She believes that better communication will lead to world peace. Amada Irma Pérez speaks at local, state, national and international conferences and inspires diverse audiences of students, teachers, parents, businesses and community organizations.


Meet the illustrator: Maya Christina Gonzalez

Maya has illustrated over 20 award-winning children’s books and authored three. Since 1996, Maya has been providing presentations to children and educators about the importance of creativity as a tool for personal empowerment. Her work with children in public schools helped her develop two lines of curriculum called Claiming Face and Gender Now and she’s currently also developing a 3rd line, I See Peace. In 2009 she co-founded Reflection Press, an independent press that publishes radical and revolutionary children’s books, and works that expand spiritual and cultural awareness. And in 2013, Maya co-created an online learning environment called School of the Free Mind about expanding the mind and reclaiming the creative. The School offers e-courses for those who are ready to uncover and connect with their unique and most powerful way of living and creating. Her latest courses include sharing everything she knows about creating children’s books, living life as your work of art, and manifesting your reality using peace as a path in! Maya lives and plays in San Francisco with her two adorable kids and her husband Matthew.


My favorite Illustration

This illustration of Amada and Michi is my favorite illustration from the book. To me, it symbolizes the link between two countries. Michi still remains in Mexico while Amada has just started her new life in America. They keep up with each other through letters back and forth and this first letter written by Amada is so special.

Criteria for High Quality Muliticultural Literature

  1. Language should reflect distinctive vocabulary, style, and patterns of speech of the cultural group. The language used in this book definitely reflects the distinct vocabulary of Mexican culture. The word "m'ija", meaning daughter, is used when Papa is talking to Amada. When referring to family, people of the Mexican culture use different names. Amada refers to her uncle as "Tio" and her aunt as "Tia". Also, when the family arrives in Mexicali, the feast included many foods that are distinctively known by those of the Mexican culture. (tamales, pan dulce) Throughout the entire book, there are English/Spanish translations.
  2. Themes should be consistent with the values, beliefs, customs, traditions, and conflicts of the specific cultural group. Many Mexicans have had to go through a journey such as Amada and her family's. This is a very true-to-life transition which accurately depicts both the good and the bad of leaving one's home. Those of the Mexican culture are resilient and brave. This is seen through the lesson that Papa teaches Amada - "You are stronger than you think." Mexican culture values family and that is consistent with the theme of this book.
  3. Physical characteristics of a people of a diverse culture should replicate natural appearance and avoid stereotypes. Armada is not only the main character of the book, she is the author! The illustrator, Maya Gonzalez, did an excellent job of replicating the natural features of Amada. (Seen above under "Meet The Author: Amada Irma Pérez) Mexicans are usually dark-skinned and dark-haired. This is replicated in the illustrations, but does not reflect any unnecessary stereotypes.

How could you use this book in your classroom?

Classroom Teaching Application

Grade Level: 3rd

ELA Standard:

Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

Objective: The student will identify and describe characters in the story and how the journey from Mexico impacted them.

Ideas for Lesson:

  • The teacher would need to engage the students by connecting the journey in the book to a journey the students have experienced themselves. This could be a move from different cities, different states, or maybe even different countries! The student's journey might even be from one grade to the next. The students will need relate to this so that they can connect with the feelings the characters in the book had.
  • One thing the teacher could have the students do is write their "journey" experience down with a few ways it impacted them/how it made them feel. The teacher would need to model this by talking/writing about their own journey.
  • After the teacher read the story aloud, the students could write about each character and how they reacted to the journey and how the journey impacted them. The students could compare/contrast character's reactions and feelings as well as brainstorm ideas for why certain characters felt the way that they did.
  • The students could then create a timeline of the journey from the book and write in the character's actions and how they added to the sequence of the story.

An excerpt from the book. by ME!


My Reading of "My Diary from Here to There" by darbeymadden

Amada Irma Pérez reading her book!

AMADA IRMA PEREZ : My Diary from Here to There, Enfoque Local