Caravan to the North

Caravan to the North

Misael’s Long Walk

Written by: Argueta, Jorge
Illustrated by: Monroy, Manuel
Translated by: Bell, Elizabeth
ages 9 and up / grades 4 and up

An urgent and eloquent account of a boy traveling in a caravan from his beloved homeland of El Salvador to the US border.

This novel in verse is a powerful first-person account of Misael Martínez, a Salvadoran boy whose family joins the caravan heading north to the United States. We learn all the different reasons why people feel the need to leave — the hope that lies behind their decision, but also the terrible sadness of leaving home. We learn about how far and hard the trip is, but also about the kindness of those along the way.

Finally, once the caravan arrives in Tijuana, Misael and those around him are relieved. They think they have arrived at the goal of the trip — to enter the United States. But then tear gas, hateful demonstrations, force and fear descend on these vulnerable people. The border is closed. The book ends with Misael dreaming of El Salvador.

This beautiful and timely story is written in simple but poetic verse by Jorge Argueta, the award-winning author of Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds. Award-winning Mexican illustrator Manuel Monroy illuminates Misael’s journey. An author’s note is included, along with a map showing the caravan’s route.

Key Text Features
author’s note
map
illustrations

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

An urgent and eloquent account of a boy traveling in a caravan from his beloved homeland of El Salvador to the US border.

This novel in verse is a powerful first-person account of Misael Martínez, a Salvadoran boy whose family joins the caravan heading north to the United States. We learn all the different reasons why people feel the need to leave — the hope that lies behind their decision, but also the terrible sadness of leaving home. We learn about how far and hard the trip is, but also about the kindness of those along the way.

Finally, once the caravan arrives in Tijuana, Misael and those around him are relieved. They think they have arrived at the goal of the trip — to enter the United States. But then tear gas, hateful demonstrations, force and fear descend on these vulnerable people. The border is closed. The book ends with Misael dreaming of El Salvador.

This beautiful and timely story is written in simple but poetic verse by Jorge Argueta, the award-winning author of Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds. Award-winning Mexican illustrator Manuel Monroy illuminates Misael’s journey. An author’s note is included, along with a map showing the caravan’s route.

Key Text Features
author’s note
map
illustrations

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Oct 1, 2019
Specifications 112 pages | 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Supporting Resources
(select item to download)
Excerpt
Teacher's Guide
Written By

JORGE ARGUETA is an award-winning author of picture books and poetry for young children. He has won the International Latino Book Award, the Américas Book Award, the NAPPA Gold Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award for Multicultural Fiction for Juveniles. His books have also been named to the Américas Award Commended List, the USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor List, Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices. Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds, illustrated by Alfonso Ruano, won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, was a Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature honor book and an ALA Notable book, and received many other honors. A native Salvadoran and Pipil Nahua Indian, Jorge Argueta has returned to El Salvador and built a library in his backyard in San Salvador so that children can learn to love books.

Illustrated by Manuel Monroy is one of Mexico’s most accomplished, award-winning illustrators whose work has appeared in children’s books, in magazines, on posters, and most recently in animation projects. He has also exhibited his art in Mexico, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands. Manuel lives in Mexico City.
Audience ages 9 and up / grades 4 and up
Reading Levels Guided Reading X
Lexile 630L
Fountas & Pinnel Text Level X
Key Text Features author's note; map; illustrations
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3

Commended, USBBY Outstanding International Book, 2020

Commended, NCTE Notable Poetry Book and Verse Novel, 2020

Commended, Westchester Fiction Award Honourable Mention, 2020

Commended, Américas Award — Children’s and Young Adult Literature Commended Titles, 2020

Praise for author Jorge Argueta, illustrator Manuel Monroy and Caravan to the North:

Commended USBBY Outstanding International Books List, 2020

Commended NCTE Notable Poetry Book and Verse Novel, 2020

Commended Westchester Fiction Award Honourable Mention, 2020

Commended Américas Award — Children’s and Young Adult Literature Commended Titles, 2020


“The award-winning Salvadoran writer Argueta offers a brief but powerful novel in verse. … [His] spare text is given emotional potency through Misael’s observations of the members of the caravan …” — Booklist, starred review

“Deceptively simple black-and-white line drawings accompany this wrenching account of the humanitarian crisis taking place in Central America and at the U.S. border. … This moving work should help children understand the current national discussion.” — Kirkus Reviews

“[T]he understated, pared-down language and generous white space make Misael’s story accessible to younger and reluctant readers.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This book is impossible to put down. Argueta’s poetic form in storytelling allows the reader to connect and see themselves in the bravery of the characters … [a] must-read for all allies of the Central American caravan.” — El Tecolote


Praise for Jorge Argueta, Alfonso Ruano and Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds:

“With tenderness and humanity, this bilingual book describes the hopes, fears, and uncertainties of the thousands of displaced children that arrive every year at the southern border of the United States. … Poignant, heartbreaking, and, sadly, timely.” — Kirkus, starred review

“Argueta and Ruano present a unique and much-needed perspective on the reasons driving young people to immigrate to the U.S., in particular the desire to reunite with family.” — Booklist, starred review

“Argueta’s bilingual collection of poems gives voice to the many refugee children who emigrate from Central American countries to the United States in search of safety or better lives. … The poems, written in the first person, present the candid perspective of the children’s experiences.”  — Horn Book, starred review

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