/ Identity / Picture Book


Islandborn, written by Junot Díaz and illustrated by Leo Espinosa, is a gorgeous book that explores the difficulty in negotiating identity for immigrants. Islandborn tells the story of Lola, a girl who can no longer remember The Island where she was born. When she is given an assignment to draw a picture of her birthplace, Lola runs into trouble. However, as she interviews members of her community, she learns about The Island and realizes that "Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you."


Islandborn is an excellent picture book to share with a class. Students who have immigrated will appreciate seeing Lola's struggle to reconnect with her original home. As well, the book will provide a window for other students to better understand issues faced by immigrants and refugees. Coupled with gorgeous drawings, this is a perfect book for World Read Aloud Day.