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“[A] beautifully told and illustrated story that expresses, with sensitivity and inspired use of figurative language, a child’s attempt to fit with the dominant culture—a common experience that will resonate with many readers and inspire empathy in others.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Tomatoes in my Lunchbox

Written by Costantia Manoli
Illustrated by Magdalena Mora
Published by Roaring Brook Press

A moving picture book from a debut author about the first day of school, layered with themes about the immigrant experience and the universal experience of feeling out of place.

A child, newly arrived in another country, feels displaced, lonely, and a little scared on her first day of school. Her name doesn’t sound the way she’s used to hearing it. She knows she doesn’t fit in. And when she eats her whole tomato for lunch, she can feel her classmates observing her—and not quite understanding her.

But sometimes all it takes is one friend, one connection, to bring two worlds together, and gradually the girl, her tomato, and her full name, start to feel at home with her new friends and community.

This emotionally sweeping debut picture book by Costantia Manoli, with vibrant art by Magdalena Mora, artfully captures feelings of displacement and the joy that comes from forging new friendships.

Primary ISBN: 9781250763129
Available As: Hardcover, Audiobook, eBook
Picture Book, Age 06 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , ,

Setting: Not named

Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: Immigrant

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

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Creator Interview & Read Aloud