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“A must-read both for children who live this life of forced separation and those who don’t.” –Kirkus Reviews

Mama’s Nightingale

Written by Edwidge Danticat
Illustrated by Leslie Staub
Published by Dial Books

A touching tale of parent-child separation and immigration, from a National Book Award finalist. After Saya’s mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother’s warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she’s in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother’s tales and her father’s attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own one that just might bring her mother home for good. With stirring illustrations, this tender tale shows the human side of immigration and imprisonment and shows how every child has the power to make a difference.

Primary ISBN: 9780525428091
Available As: Hardcover
Picture Book, Age 06 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , ,

Setting: United States

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: Immigrant

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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Teaching Guide
Source: Anti Defamation League

Family Discussion Guide

Source: Anti Defamation League


This book is part of the Welcoming Library. The Welcoming Library is a traveling collection of picture books set in our New Arrival and 
New American communities. From small towns to big cities, these immigration stories are helping readers 
(of all ages) Welcome and Belong. WelcomingLibrary.org