If you're looking to read a mind blowing work of literature, track Juan down. He knows his stuff.
Hear My Voice was easily the most heartbreaking children's non-fiction I’ve ever read. It depicts the bleak stories of children detained at the U.S./Mexican border during the years 2017 and 2019.
This book is illustrated through the collaboration of over a dozen Mexican artists and counterpoints the narrative sewn together by publicly available court documents taken from child detention cases. Hear my voice is cleverly split off into an English and Spanish version with the same binding. Although the cases are deeply bitter the stories are soulful and poignant. Above all, this powerful and beautiful book is a useful way to introduce young readers to the complicated and sensitive matter that detainment camps are a reality for human children in the year 2021.
I was immediately drawn to this book by a colleague and with good reason; I'm a sucker for illustrated reinventions of fauna in children's books. But even apart from the quirky, beautifully hand-painted illustrations, the story manages to steal the show. The relationship between these two unlikely friends results in humorous moments but also highlights the nature and characteristics of our true friendships: The inability to live without each other despite differences or obstacles, or, as in our protagonist's case, sheer size.
A Japanese ghost narrates his existence as a wandering spirit through the parks and streets of Ueno, a neighborhood in Tokyo. A setting which the specter once inhabited as a homeless citizen decades earlier. Yu Miri's slim novel critiques the imperialist culture of Japan, as she exposes the lesser known culture of Japan, as she exposes the lesser known culture of Japan's homeless population post WW2 through this lyrically rich and moving story.