CBR15Passport due to father being born in another countryI have been surprised by several of the books I have read recently. I think it will be about one thing, or will go a particular way, but it tosses all assumptions to the side and reminds me why one should never assume they know anything about something they know nothing about. Something Happened to My Dad: A Story about Immigration and Family Separation fits that bill. I thought it would be about the death of a father, but it was about the deportation of father who was not born in this country, but Mexico. The story follows the worries, stresses, issues and the family and friends that help our narrator.
Ann Hazzard and Vivianne Aponte Rivera have story about a young girl named Carmen, who learns one day he father (her funny, beloved, magic making father) has vanished because he does not have papers. She does not understand, and she shows her mother how much paper they actually have so would that work. But of course, that is not the kind of papers her mother means. We watch in a realistic and accessible manner how a family maneuvers the issues that comes up when one of them is in the process of being deported.
Two parts that worked well for me is how it is not a “one size fits all” story (I have never seen a story exactly like this book) and it is believable (unlike a TV show where you figure out how to get the person being deported safe in 45 minutes and five commercial breaks). We see that it is a long process, that one needs to know people, and the family needs to have their community to help them. We view this story through the eyes of Carmen, by reading the illustrations of Gloria Felix. The artwork is modern, maybe a smidgen too polished for my personal tastes, but the bright colors and softness does counter the seriousness of the story itself. The details are nice and allows for some of the bumps in the flow of the text to be less jarring.