Islandborn by Junot Díaz ill Leo Espinosa
Lola por Junot Díaz ilustrado por Leo Espinosa
Lola is faced with a dilemma. Her teacher has assigned each member of the class the task of creating a picture of the country of his/her origin. Lola has no recollection of her native land. She left the country of her birth when she was a baby. After consultation with the teacher, she devises a plan. She will ask family, friends, and people in her community about her homeland. She hears delightful memories of sights and sounds, learns of special places and contented feelings. Her conversations expose not just the good things about her island home. She also learns of the horrors inflicted on innocent people, which forced her family to flee the island.
Extending the family story experience
Each student interviewed a family member, organized the results of individual research into a biography, and published the personal narrative as a book. Text was enhanced with copies of family photographs and student-created illustrations. We also (a suggestion from Dr. Ada) solicited recipes from families and compiled a cookbook of family recipes. A copy of the cookbook was prepared for the family of each student.
Then came the celebration! Families were invited to school to read the amazing family stories and to sample the delicious dishes from a variety of cultures. This became an annual event, shared with extended families.