Land of the Cranes, written by Aida Salazar, published by Scholastic, is an Honor Book in the Books for Older Children Category.
Land of the Cranes is the emotionally compelling story in verse of Betita, a nine-year-old girl and her pregnant mother detained at the Mexican border after an attempt to visit Betiita’s father who has been recently deported by ICE. In poignant verse, Betita reveals the inhumane conditions of the family detention center, hunger, cold, humiliation, and separation. Yet in spite of these conditions, Betita finds strength in the ancestral stories from her papa, the resilience and strength of her mother, her fellow asylum seekers, and her own writing. By sharing her own voice in writing, Betita teaches other detainees to express their own suffering through picture poems. Betita’s perspective will invite readers to consider compassionately the complex issues of mass deportations and racism. In addition, the power of Betita’s writing and the activism of Betita and her fellow asylum seekers will inspire readers to consider their own response to inhumane policies.
Author: Aida Salazar
Award: 2021 Honor Book for Older Children