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Groundwood Books

Caravan to the North

Misael’s Long Walk

Written by Jorge Argueta • Illustrated by Manuel Monroy • Translated by Elizabeth Bell

For students in grades 4 | Published October 01, 2019 | ISBN 9781773063294

Cover of Caravan to the North

Regular price $16.95 CAD

112 pages | 8.5 in × 5.5 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Caravan to the North

Misael’s Long Walk

Jorge Argueta • Manuel Monroy • Elizabeth Bell

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

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

Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

About the Creators

Jorge Argueta

Jorge Argueta is a native Salvadoran and Pipil Nahua Indian. He is an award-winning author of picture books and poetry for young children. Jorge lives in San Francisco, California. Visit Jorge Argueta's website: j

Manuel Monroy

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.

Elizabeth Bell

Awards and Praise

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

  • Commended NCTE Notable Poetry Book and Verse Novel, 2020
  • Commended Américas Award — Children’s and Young Adult Literature Commended Titles, 2020
  • Commended USBBY Outstanding International Book, 2020
  • Commended Westchester Fiction Award Honourable Mention, 2020