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Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds

Written by Jorge Argueta

Illustrated by Alfonso Ruano

Translated by Elisa Amado

  • 36 Pages
  • 9781554988495
  • 8.5" x 9.25"
  • from grade 2 to grade 7
  • JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / Hispanic & Latino
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Homelessness & Poverty

$13.27 $18.95


Publication Date October 01, 2016

Why are young people leaving their country to walk to the United States to seek a new, safe home? Over 100,000 such children have left Central America. This book of poetry helps us to understand why and what it is like to be them.

This powerful book by award-winning Salvadoran poet Jorge Argueta describes the terrible process that leads young people to undertake the extreme hardships and risks involved in the journey to what they hope will be a new life of safety and opportunity. A refugee from El Salvador’s war in the eighties, Argueta was born to explain the tragic choice confronting young Central Americans today who are saying goodbye to everything they know because they fear for their lives. This book brings home their situation and will help young people who are living in safety to understand those who are not.

Compelling, timely and eloquent, this book is beautifully illustrated by master artist Alfonso Ruano who also illustrated The Composition, considered one of the 100 Greatest Books for Kids by Scholastic’s Parent and Child Magazine.

Winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award 2017

Selected for the NCTE Notable Poetry List 2017

Selected for the SLJ's Top 10 Latinx 2016

Selected for the USBBY's Outstanding International Books List 2017

Selected for the ALA Notable Children's Books 2017

Selected for the Booklist Top 10 Diverse Nonfiction for Youth 2017

Selected for the Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices List 2017

Selected for the Américas Award 2017

Selected for the Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year 2017


Jorge Argueta

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. A native Salvadoran and Pipil Nahua Indian, Jorge spent much of his life in rural El Salvador. He now lives in San Francisco, California.

Alfonso Ruano

Alfonso Ruano is the illustrator of The Composition by Antonio Skármeta, winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the UNESCO Tolerance Award and an Américas Award Commended title, and Tricycle (El triciclo) by Elisa Amado, a USBBY Outstanding International Book. He has published dozens of other books, many of which have been translated into other languages and have won prestigious awards. After three decades as the art director for Grupo SM, the world’s largest publisher of Spanish-language children’s books, he has left to devote more time to illustration and painting.

Elisa Amado

Elisa Amado is a Guatemalan-born author and translator. She has written Barrilete: A Kite for the Day of the Dead / Un barrilete para el Día de los muertos, Cousins (Primas) and Tricycle (El triciclo), which is on the Américas Award Commended List and is a USBBY Outstanding International Book. She is also the author of Why Are You Doing That?. She lives in Toronto.


Star Review

"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

Star Review

"Argueta and Ruano present a unique and much-needed perspective on the reasons driving young people to immigrate to the U.S. … extremely vital." Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Star Review

"Ruano's lush paintings feature surreal flourishes … as well as haunting images of families crossing deserts and crowding onto trains. A sobering but hopeful collection." Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Star Review

"The poems … present the candid perspective of the children's experiences … Delicate illustrations include both realistic portrayals and surreal depictions that complement the textual imagery." Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW

"A much-needed jumping-off point for elementary classroom discussions of refugees and immigration." School Library Journal

"Delicately illustrated and painstakingly presented, Somos como las nubes/ We are Like the Clouds is highly recommended, compassionate reading." Midwest Book Review

"The poems are vivid and accessible, and Ruano’s earth-toned acrylic illustrations show people on the move who are both fragile and strong at the same time." Kirkus Reviews