A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Some Spanish words and phrases, including some Spanish slang like "la troca." Sprinkled history lessons; "before all this was Mexico," Coahuiltecans lived on both riverbanks of the Rio Grande. Tastefully weaves in complexities of living on the border and introduces issues surrounding the presence of displaced people from the Caribbean and Central America -- families living in limbo on the border while waiting to be admitted into the United States.
Positive messages about helping others and caring for family and friends will resonate with all children, especially those who may have been touched by the current immigration crisis. Community, kindness, empathy, and helping others matters. Hope for a better future.
Positive Role Models
The boy is kind, caring, and thoughtful. He shows empathy and enjoys spending time with the people he loves and cares about. The beautifully illustrated sights, sounds, and smells of a border community, including refugees during a border crisis, are shared from the boy's whole-hearted and hopeful perspective.
This picture book candidly portrays everyday lives of brown-skinned families living along the border and uses a lens of humanity to shed light on what's happening to immigrants in border towns. Seen from the perspective of a child that feels connected with communities on both sides of the United States and Mexico border.
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Violence & Scariness
Armed border guards are tastefully illustrated; no visible weapons, but there's a sniffer dog, which may seem scary to some children.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Two Border Towns, written by David Bowles (They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems) and beautifully illustrated by Erika Meza, is the loving story of a father and son’s weekend ritual that includes traveling "al Otro Lado," or to the other side of the border from Texas into Mexico. It's inspired by Bowles' childhood experiences growing up in the Río Grande Valley of South Texas and regularly crossing the border with his own father to visit family and run errands, just like the main characters in the story. Growing up as part of a transitional community, like the protagonist in My Two Border Towns, Bowels gives us an insider's look into life in a border town. Meza's stunning watercolor illustrations add to the story and help to candidly portray the everyday lives of families who span the border, including refugees from the Caribbean and Central America, who are living in limbo on the border between the United States and Mexico. Spanish words and phrases are part of the story. An all-Spanish version of this book, titled Mis Dos Pueblos Fronterizos, was published simultaneously.
Is It Any Good?
This loving, sometimes nostalgic story about what it's like to grow up along the U.S.-Mexico border is told from the perspective of a young boy who belongs to communities on both sides. The poetic prose in My Two Border Towns tells a sweet story but also shares a timely message about the importance of sharing in the responsibility of community care, tactfully shedding light on the heart-wrenching scenes along border towns between the United States and Mexico. Lively watercolor illustrations take over each page, drawing readers into colorful scenes and beautiful sights, sounds, and smells of a border community.
This story is a beautiful tribute to the fluidity, complexity, and vibrancy of life along the border, and author David Bowles fearlessly introduces readers to some of the issues displaced people face as they live at the border and await entry into the United States. This is a must-have picture book for families looking to spark conversations with kids about community, kindness, empathy, helping others, and even immigration policies.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books with Latino Characters
Kids' Books About the Immigrant Experience
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