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Pura Belpre Children’s Author Honor Books 2023

“The story is uncomplicated and earnest while explaining a deeply nuanced aspect of attempting to enter the United States as a refugee. Dreamy colored pencil, pastel, gouache, and Photoshop collage illustrations put a human face on the real struggle facing so many refugees today. A hopeful story that encourages compassion.”
Kirkus Reviews

The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border

Written by Stephen Briseño
Illustrated by Magdalena Mora
Published by Random House Children's Books

Based on true events, this inspiring story follows a mama and her daughter who are denied entry at the U.S. border, and must find the refugee in charge of “the notebook,” an unofficial ledger of those waiting to cross into the U.S.

Before, the sun drenched the yard. Our neighbor’s laughter danced in the streets. Now, the streets are quiet. Papa is gone, and we are no longer safe here. We are leaving, too.

In this moving and stunningly-illustrated picture book, Noemi and Mama flee their home in Mexico, and head for the US border. There, they look for “The Notebook Keeper”— the person in charge of a ledger for those waiting to cross, and they add their names to the book. As the days turn into weeks, and hope dwindles, the little girl looks for kindness around her— and inside herself. One day, when the Notebook Keeper’s own name is called to cross, Noemi and her Mama are chosen—for the generosity in their hearts— to take her place.

Primary ISBN: 9780593307052
Available As: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Picture Book, Age 06 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , ,

Setting: US/Mexican Border

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: Immigrant

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

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