Author: Meg Medina
Illustrator: Angela Dominguez
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Awards: Pura Belpre Honor Award 2016
Themes: Family, Empathy, Caring, Teaching, Culture, Language
Summary: Mia wants nothing more than to be able to connect with her grandmother. She just came from her home country and they do not speak the same language. Mia is concerned about her sharing a room when they cannot even talk to each other. Read to find out how they learn to communicate and how their relationships grows!
Response: How did the author make the story believable? Were you able to relate to the characters in any way?
The United States, as well as many other countries is a melting pot of languages and cultures. People frequently move to another country where they do not speak that language. Overtime people begin to learn some catch phrases or key words, but learning a language takes time. This story is believable, even as a fictional story, because a grandmother moves in with her family who speak English even though she speaks Spanish. The granddaughter takes it upon herself to teach her English; meanwhile, she picks up some Spanish.
I was able to relate to this story because of the challenge and joy in speaking a different language as someone else. I have many great friendships built from only a simple smile that led into teaching more of the others language. I have taught ESL for a year and tutored Arab children throughout middle and high school. I connected with how to teach students English. I also have learned Arabic and know the difficult process to learn a language. It takes patience, but much like Mia, it is worth it once the conversations flow.