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Vol. 1 - Belonging in America and Mexico - Green Card Voices
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A beautifully illustrated, bilingual graphic novel that explores what it means to belong in Mexico and in America, and doing what it takes to survive and thrive.

Born in the US, Daniel’s family moves back to Mexico when he is 9 years old. Despite looking like his peers, Daniel struggles with being accepted in his new environment.

Daniel’s story is presented in both English and Spanish, the two languages of Daniel’s youth.

 

Book Contents

  • 64 pages in full color
  • Discussion questions
  • Important concepts about Daniel’s story
  • Words to know from the story
  • Written in English and Spanish
  • Reading comprehension for ages 8+

About the Contributors of Belonging in America and Mexico

Daniel Zúñiga González

Storyteller of Belonging in America and Mexico

From: Mexico
Current: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Daniel was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was raised in the United States and Mexico. He studies at Edison High School in Minneapolis and will proudly graduate in June, 2022. Daniel is happy his story is presented in both English and Spanish because he will be able to send it to his mother in Mexico for her to read. Daniel looks forward to a prosperous future as an entrepreneur in both of his home countries.

sunshine gao

Cover artist and illustrator of Belonging in America and Mexico

Born: China
Current: Minneapolis, Minnesota

sunshine gao was born in China and raised in Indiana and Kentucky. Once, they studied moral philosophy and ecology; cooked noodles; and sold produce. Now, they draw stories about home—in all its forms, with all its complications. In spite of everything, they believe the world can be made a beautiful place.

www.sunshine-gao.com

About the Children’s Bilingual Graphic Novel Series, Our Stories Carried Us Here

Following the breakout success of the graphic novel anthology, Our Stories Carried Us Here, Green Card Voices presents the children’s graphic novel series of the same name. In this series, we explore the same challenging questions of identity, race, and discrimination, but written for an audience in grades 3-5. As our student population becomes increasingly BIPOC (52% of US school population in 2020), teachers and parents are searching for books that are reflective of who their students and children are, and which help them feel more at home in America. Through authentic narratives from immigrant storytellers and engaging full color visuals, developing and fluent readers access and explore a variety of distinctly American experiences. Each book features a single story presented in both English and the native language of the storyteller. Moreover, supporting pages provide background building content, thought provoking discussion questions, and a well curated list of additional resources for extension opportunities. 

 

Reading Level: 600L-1200L

Audience: All children, 3th -5th grade, 8-12 years old

Objectives:

  • Share cultures, stories of children immigrants, first and possibly second generation
  • Show how diverse each immigrant journey is
  • Focus on a diverse group of children immigrants coming from several different regions 
    • Vol 1.: Mexico (March 2022)
      • BELONGING TO AMERICA AND MEXICO
    • Vol 2.: Yemen (Sept 2022)
    • Vol 3.: Hmong (Feb 2023)
    • Vol 4: Rohingya
  • Provide detailed and authentic resources for other children immigrant to reference about their culture
  • Focus on the change/transition from the immigrant’s previous life in their birth country to America
  • Show the integration of their culture and America’s culture and how they could still be themselves and follow their culture while living in America

Book Details:

  • Estimated total count of pages: 32 pages in English, translated; TOTAL: 64 pages
  • Type of book: Children’s hardcover book
  • Bilingual flip book: one language on one side (front), another on the other side (back)
  • Dimensions of book: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

Book Design:

  • Use illustration by immigrant illustrator (preferably from the same region)
  • Book cover will be a illustrated with a color portrait (all volumes will follow the same structure)
  • Color palette: each volume has its own color palette

Praise and Reviews

Belonging In America and Mexico is a must-read for all students. It will provide students with an opportunity to learn from diverse voices and build connections through the transformative power of storytelling. These learning experiences are critically important for educating and inspiring the next generation of leaders.”

Dr. Artika Tyner
Author, Law Professor, Leadership Scholar, Founder of literacy organization Planting People Growing, and Justice Leadership Institute

“Daniel’s story in Our Stories Carried Us Here: Belonging in America and Mexico speaks to the reality and hardships children face living in the duality of their identity and skin. Visualized through the dreamlike artwork of sunshine gao, Daniel takes the reader through an honest journey of what life between borders, languages, and opportunities looks like for youths like himself. Green Card Voices has once again presented a story all too familiar to many American immigrants, but done in a way that brings honesty and hope to the people they are uplifting in these pages.”

Danny Thien Le (Dandiggity)
Poet, Librarian, Community Engager

Belonging in America & Mexico is an excellent book to have in your classroom library and to include in your curriculum! Teachers who work with upper level elementary students and who teach social studies, ethnic studies and ELA in the secondary level would benefit greatly! The bilingual version is useful for new to country English learners and World Language classes! This is a good model text for students to understand the journey of their classmates who are navigating the push and pull between two countries, two identities, factors of home and school. It includes an awesome resource with concepts and vocabulary that helps teachers guide critical conversations on migration and family reunification. The young author, Daniel, tells a relatable story and the artwork, by sunshine gao, is fantastic! Incorporating this in your curriculum will motivate students to write and illustrate their own stories, and normalize what it means to feel safe, to be brave and to belong.”

Angelica Torralba-Olague
EL, Social Studies & Ethnic Studies Teacher, South High School MSP, Anthology Editor of Immigrant Stories: Stories of Home and Dreams for our Future, 826MSP Teacher Partner for the book Words Unburden Me

“This is a work of art that is long overdue! Belonging in America and Mexico tells the story of immigrant children right from the horse’s mouth! It transcends all other attempts to represent immigrants’ experiences, as it sheds an illuminating light on important concepts on children’s immigration. More importantly, it tells our stories in an inclusive manner, building a common understanding for not only immigrants but also Indigenous students’ experiences.  When we in education talk about wanting to “see” our students in the books that they read, this is what we are talking about. Without a doubt, this represents both the backgrounds and experiences of migrant and immigrant children within and beyond the Americas!”

Dr. Fatima T. Lawson
Principal of Highwood Hills Elementary School in the Saint Paul Public Schools, and Chair of the Board, Minnesota Africans United

“This bilingual book will make my students feel more included. The isolation that they often experience as English Language Learners is suffocating. This novel will provide them with a breath of fresh air that they deserve, and remind them that they are not alone!”

Andrea Bitner
Principal of Highwood Hills Elementary School in the Saint Paul Public Schools, and Chair of the Board, Minnesota Africans United

Belonging in America and Mexico creates a portal of hope for readers to see their own lives as part of a larger, more connected human experience. This is the power of story. Daniel Zúñiga González’s story of being an immigrant told through his words and sunshine gao’s illustrations transcends time, space, and place through the universal themes of hard work, sacrifice, coming of age, family, and love. Written in both Spanish and English, this page-turning graphic novel will affirm readers’ cultural and linguistic identities.”

Tamara Mouw
Director of Teaching and Learning at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and Assistant Coordinator of Language and Literacy and Teaching Faculty at Edgewood College

Belonging In America and Mexico has arrived just in time and deserves high praise. This rich, heartfelt narrative, woven together superbly with beautiful illustrations, provides a window into Daniel’s quest for cultural identity and an understanding of the issues surrounding present-day migration. As a classroom teacher during these unprecedented times, this resource is unrivaled in its power to connect to the emotional needs of students. The bridging of cultures from home to school and beyond, with the Story Stitch inquiry and discussion templates, is validation for my students; Daniel’s story is reassurance that they are not alone on their journeys. Non-immigrant students will be moved by this inspiring story and will see similarities in their own family themes reflected here, thus gaining an empathetic perspective on the lived experiences of so many others. Thank you Green Card Voices for this transformative classroom must-have! Bravo!”

Kathy Seipp
4th Grade Teacher Robbinsdale, MN; Human Rights Educator and Activist; Writer; Yogi; Photographer; Mom and Book Lover