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Groundwood Books


Written by Maxine Trottier • Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

For students in grades P - 2 | Published March 05, 2011 | ISBN 9780888999757
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emigration & Immigration

Cover of Migrant

Regular price $18.95 CAD

40 pages | 8.75 in × 9.5 in
Print Format

About this book


Maxine Trottier • Isabelle Arsenault

A New York Times Book Review choice as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2011, an Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award Honour Book, and finalist for the Governor General's Award: Children's Illustration and Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards: Picture Book

Each spring Anna leaves her home in Mexico and travels north with her family where they will work on farms. Sometimes she feels like a bird, flying north in the spring and south in the fall. Sometimes she feels like a jack rabbit living in an abandoned burrow, as her family moves into an empty house near the fields. But most of all she wonders what it would be like to stay in one place.

The Low German-speaking Mennonites from Mexico are a unique group of migrants who moved from Canada to Mexico in the 1920s and became an important part of the farming community there. But it has become increasingly difficult for them to earn a livelihood, and so they come back to Canada each year as migrant workers in order to survive. And while they currently have the right to work in Canada, that right may be challenged. Working conditions are difficult for all migrant workers, most of whom have to leave families far behind. And yet countries like Canada and the United States benefit greatly from their labor.

Beautifully written by Maxine Trottier and imaginatively illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, this book describes what it is like to be a child in a migrant family.

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

With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

About the Creators

Maxine Trottier

Maxine Trottier has written many award-winning children’s books, including The Tiny Kite of Eddie Wing (Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children), Claire’s Gift (Mr. Christie’s Book Award), Sister to the Wolf (Society of School Librarians International Honor Book) and Under a Shooting Star (Geoffrey Bilson Award Finalist). She was inspired to write Migrant after spending summers in Leamington, Ontario, where she encountered many Mennonites from Mexico.

Isabelle Arsenault

Isabelle Arsenault is an internationally renowned children’s book illustrator whose work has won many awards. Her books include Alpha, Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky, Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol and Migrant by Maxine Trottier.Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault first collaborated on the graphic novel Jane, the Fox and Me, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration (French) and the Joe Shuster Awards for Best Writer and Best Artist. It was also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book.

Awards and Praise

"New York Times Top 10 Book of the year, 2011." — The New York Times Book Review

"The words and images could stand alone as feats of artistic excellence. Together, they form a package that should become a staple for kids learning about Canada’s diverse population." — Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

  • Commended 2012 USBBY Outstanding International Book, 2012
  • Winner Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award Honour Book, 2012
  • Commended ALA Notable Chilren's Books List, 2012
  • Short-listed 6th Annual ReadBoston Best Read Aloud Book Award., 2012
  • Winner 2012 Notable Books for a Global Society Book Award, 2012
  • Commended New York Times Best Illustrated, 2011
  • Short-listed Ruth and Syliva Schwartz Children's Picture Book Award, 2012
  • Short-listed Governor General's Award: Illustration, 2011
Migrant Migrant Migrant