Luca's Bridge/El Puente de Luca (Hardcover)
✭Tejas Star Reading List, 2020-21
✭ALSC Notable Children's Book 2020
Luca has never lived outside the U.S., but when his parents receive a letter in the mail, the family must pack up and leave home for a strange land.
Together in their car, Luca, his brother Paco, and their parents head across the border to Mexico where his parents were born. Luca doesn’t understand why he must leave the only home he’s ever known, his friends, and his school. He struggles through lonely and disorienting times—reflected both in Real’s delicate, symbolic illustrations and through Llanos’ description of his dreams—and leans on music, memory, and familial love for support. Luca’s Bridge / El puente de Luca is a story for everyone about immigration, deportation, home, and identity.
"This bilingual book illustrates how Mexican immigrant families risk everything when they cross the border into the United States in search of a better life. An essential addition to any bilingual collection."—School Library Journal
"Teachers, this is a wonderful book for summer camps, assigned for summer reading, or to be used next school year. It works well for studying and discussing themes of immigration, deportation, family separation, music, bridges (metaphorical), childhood, and more." —Mommymaestra.com
"Together, the narrative and images offer hope for readers experiencing this difficult situation and empathy for those who aren’t. Back matter includes an author’s note further discussing deportation." —Booklist
"Without didacticism, without polemic, Llanos’ and López Real’s intent in Luca’s Bridge / El puente de Luca is to spark discussion among the youngest children about what it might be like to experience immigration and deportation, and that sometimes—only sometimes—there might be hope in what appears to be hopeless situations. It’s highly recommended." —De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
"This is a lovely story and belongs in classroom libraries throughout the US to help students gain empathy and understanding or have a space for personal reflection." —Raise Them Righteous