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Waiting for Papa/Esperando a Papa
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Waiting for Papa/Esperando a Papa

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  11 reviews
As Beto looks at the eight candles on his birthday cake, he knows that his wish is always the same. Beto wishes that he could be with his father every chance he gets. It has been three years since he and Mama left El Salvador. Lurking in his mind are the memories of the losses they suffered before leaving: the bombing of a factory, the burning of the family home, the loss ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Arte Publico Press (first published October 31st 2004)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Lizeth Matzir
Waiting for Papa, written by Rene Colato Lainez, is an emotional story that showcases real issues that many immigrant families have to endure, such as separation of families. Beto and his mother had to flee from war in El Salvador, but sadly his father wasn't able to acquire a visa. Beto and his mother get help from an immigration lawyer in order to get his father the opportunity to come to the United States. During the wait, Beto decides to get his father something special in order to show how ...more
Emily Bruns
Beto misses his Papa a lot. He and his mother have immigrated to the United States, but his father had to stay behind because he was not granted a Visa. Beto sees a pair of pants that he wants to buy for his father, but his mother says that they are too expensive. In school, Beto makes a father's day letter and he is chosen to read his on the radio. After that Beto's class helps him collect cans and make the money to buy the pants for his father. At the end of the book, Beto's father moves to Am ...more
Hannah Atwood
This book tells a very realistic story of a young boy who has recently immigrated to the US with his mom but is waiting for his father to get a visa to be able to join them. This story and stories like it is true for many children and students and could be used in a classroom to not only educate on this topic but be relatable for students going through the same thing.
This book would be best for younger elementary schoolers.
Reilly Beaman
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is on my list because it is so intense and emotional. I love how it addresses real life issues that some students are facing. This book helped me understand a lot about a situation that I have never experienced and it gave me a new perspective.
Hanna Mammo
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an interesting narrative about an Hispanic mother and children that had to move to America without their father/husband. The mother and children were awarded visas but the father unfortunately wasn't awarded one and had to be left behind. The children and mother had to adjust to America without the support of their husband/father. As a teacher I don't feel like I would use this book in my instruction for literacy because their isn't a lot of phonics examples or rhyming or even repetition ...more
Ferdye Bamaca-forkel
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: text-set
This specific story mirrors the experiences of immigrant children, and reveals hardships as well as hope, separation and the resilience of love. When the family's home in El Salvador is burned down, five-year old Beto and his mother moved to the United States. Unfortunately his father was not able to get a visa and was left behind. Now three years later, Beto expresses his longing for his father as father's Day approaches. Although his mother works closely with an immigration lawyer to bring pap ...more
Jennifer Velez
Waiting for Papa is a book about the experience of Beto having to leave El Salvador because of the war, and only being able to go with his mom. They had to leave his dad behind because he didn’t get his visa. Beto was very sad and missed his dad a lot; he wondered when they were going to be able to reunite. After a lot of work Beto’s father was given his visa and was able to reunite with Beto and his wife. Beto had a very special present for his dad. He picked up cans and changed them for money ...more
Christian Espinoza
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"My heart broke in two pieces. One piece went to the United States and the other stayed with Papa." This bilingual book tells the story of a family who is separated when the parents become unemployed and a fire takes their home. They decide to move to the United States but the father is not granted a visa. The saddened child, Beto, takes it upon himself to reunite his family and bring his father home. This book uses language that children would easily be able to follow. The illustrations also ai ...more
Sasha Harriott
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This text is a great read to venture from the many immigrant stories that focus on immigrant children yearning to fit in the classroom. El Salvador native, Beto, moved to the United States and had to leave a family member behind. Unfortunately, Beto’s dad could not get his Visa and thus was unable to make the trip with Beto. This text focuses on a boy’s love for his father and his determination to get him into the United States. Students can begin to see the different wants and needs of immigran ...more
Maria Salazar
This story is about Beto who’s father is in El Salvador, but is working on reuniting his family. Beto misses his father so much he wants to do something special for him. This story explains how some families move to America due to terrible tragedies that occur in their homes. I really liked this book because it shows how immigration can affect children. Immigration cause families to be split apart and make their lives harder. This is a realistic fiction novel that contains realistic, convincing ...more
Jo Oehrlein
The Mama and Beto got visas for the US, but Papa didn't. He waits in El Salvador. Mama works and Beto goes to school. A letter he writes at school garners him an invitation to read it on the radio. That leads to help bringing Papa to the US.

The story is told in English and Spanish on every page.
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René Colato Laínez is the Salvadoran award winning author of I Am René, the Boy/ Soy René, el niño, Waiting for Papá/ Esperando a Papá, and Playing Lotería/ El juego de la lotería. His picture books have been honored by the Latino Book Award, the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, the California Collection for Elementary Readers, the Tejas Star Book Award Selection and the New Mexico Book ...more

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