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Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Why are young people leaving their country to walk to the United States to seek a new, safe home? Over 100,000 such children have left Central America. This book of poetry helps us to understand why and what it is like to be them.

This powerful book by award-winning Salvadoran poet Jorge Argueta describes the terrible process that leads young people to undertake the extreme
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published October 1st 2016 by Groundwood Books
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Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some poetry startles with its beauty, some with the sophistication of its technique, some with its unique perspective, or complex shades of emotion. This book of poetry is direct, and different. Jorge Argueta was in the first wave of refugees from Central America, fleeing the civil wars of the eighties, seeking refuge in a country that did so much to inflame those conflicts. These poems speak for the current wave of Central American children, making their slow, torturous way from the criminal ro ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This stunning book of poetry looks at the flood of children from Central America who are making their way to the United States. 100,000 of them have walked to our country, escaping to safety and what they hope is fresh opportunities. The book opens with a few poems that show the beauty of Central America and then swiftly moves to the problems and the gangs that are in control. Then begins the long march north, the trust placed in coyotes that lead them, the dangers they face, the rough condition ...more
Lauren Perlstein
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this book: Poetry

Copyright Date: 2016

Estimate of age level of interest: Grades 3-9

Estimate of reading level: Grade 4

Brief description: A series of poems that describe the journey of migrants fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your book:
Poetry creates sensory images of sight, touch, smell, or taste: The poetry in this book compares people to
Cherilyn Munoz
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martin Mireles
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
While some may read this because it was an Américas Award Commended Title (2017), I chose to read this book because of the recommendation of Yuyi Morales. It did not disappoint. An authentic story told by someone who has been made to make a similar decision is why this book breathes truth. Certain situations and feelings cannot be faked.

The illustrations add to the verses by illustrating the realities that some people live. It's a depressing picture book, but it's real. This book lends itself to
No matter what you believe on this topic, this collection of bi-lingual poetry shows and tells beautifully what the experience is like for children, and what forces them to leave their homes. Suggest pairing with The Journey by Francesca Sanna, My Two BlanketsMy Two Blankets by Irena Kobald, and I'm New Here by Anne Sibley O'Brien. ...more
Nikki Romano
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This book was chosen as my book of choice for poetry. I found this on the 2017 Notable Poetry books from NCTB site. This book is presented first in English and then in Spanish in free verse.

Jore Argueta takes us through his neighborhood of San Jacinto and what it is really like to live there. We see pages talking about the food, culture, people, animals and experiences we might encounter when in San Jacinto.

This is a great book to read aloud, although because the pages are lengthy in words, I
Patricia Brandys
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book "Somos Como Las Nubes/We Are Like the Clouds" was selcted by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children's Poetry in 2017. I found the book on Hoopla Digital though my public library and read it to myself.
The most interesting part about this book is that the poems are written in Spanish and in English. I think this is great for Spanish speaking students to see and also read in their classrooms. The book focuses on what young people go through as they are immigrating from countries in Cent
Cheriee Weichel
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
This collection of poems reveal the reasons so many young people leave their homes and everything they know to migrate to the USA. Their precarious journeys are full of danger. Some are these poems are heartbreaking. Others are hopeful.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, heart-wrenching, and full of hope - the measured, not the ignorant, kind.
Eddie Garcia
this bilingual book is a great way to educate your child on what it is like to leave your country and come to the US for a better life.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-harder-2017
Read Harder 2017: Translated poetry, topic other than love

I came across this book as a part of a series of recommendations on books about the refugee and immigrant experience. I loved the way the poems were printed in both Spanish and English. It let me read the poems in their original Spanish and then confirm the meaning in English.

The meaning of the title is best explained by the dedication: "To our children, because you are like the clouds, like dreams, you come and go."

The imagery of longin
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Somos como las nubes is a bilingual book written in Spanish and English. Its great translation allows a non Spanish speaker to follow along the meaningful poetry revealing stories that are very similar to those of thousands of children who have migrated from Central America. These poems uncover the tragic truth of what many have suffered to find refugee in the United States. The realistic illustrations and stunning details aid in bringing each verse to life. This book can be utilized for grades ...more
Sarah Bahn
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: international
Argueta describes the migrations of thousands of children from Central America to the United States through various poems. These poems are in both Spanish and English, with vocabulary words defined as needed. His descriptions are beautiful and real, making the reader feel as if they are with the children. Ruano's illustrations are detailed and support the poems, providing visuals for the poems. There are times that the poems use figurative language and the illustrations support that. This would ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, poetry, art
This book seemed to have so much promise, but I was disappointed. It is certainly not a good intro for young kids who don’t yet understand the situation. It’s all short poems, speaking FOR the children, but really TO adults. I think it's inappropriately classified as a children's book. Perhaps it would be better appreciated by somewhat older children, in class, with time to absorb and discuss in a group. It’s not a book I can imagine choosing to read over and over, which is my standard for buyin ...more
Christianna Woodling
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Title: Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds
Author: Jorge Argueta
Illustrator: Alfonso Ruano
Genre: Poetry
Theme(s): family, immigration, tragedy, family separation, new beginnings,

Opening line/sentence: "Elefantes, caballos, vacas, cuches, flores, ballenas, pericos. Somos como las nubes./ Elephants, horses, cows, pigs, flowers, whales, parakeets. We are like the clouds. "

Brief Book Summary : Jorge Argueta describes the risks and hardships that young Central American children undergo on
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
“He is the boss. He is the one who tells the gang, Hit this one, hit that one. I don’t want to be this one or that one.” This quote stood out to me while reading, Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds. I found it very telling as to how a child is feeling and how scary new places can be.

Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds is an English/Spanish poetry book, and was honored for the 2017 ALA Notable Books for Children award. This book has the poems in English and Spanish on each page.
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
We Are Like the Clouds is a wonderful collection of poems written by Jorge Argueta that describes the experience of the hundreds of thousands of people who immigrate to the United States from Central America. We Are Like the Clouds was a 2017 Notable Poetry Book selected by the NCTE Award For Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee. I read the book through a read-aloud video on YouTube. The YouTube video was by Yuyi Morales, a Latina author who wrote the picture book Dreamers, which was great ...more
Sara Lenahan
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book of poetry depicts the hard journey that young people take as they walk thousands of miles to the United States in search of a better life. These stories are for the people who risk everything and uproot from their homes, told in beautiful rhythms in Spanish and English.
A blend of Spanish and English text on the pages shows the beauty of both languages. This topic is full of such emotion that it could only be told in poems. The author is able to convey so much in such a short amount of
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This story is in English and Spanish. Right away it caught my eye because of that. I need more dual language books in my classroom. This book talks about immigration and the children that have left Central America. The poetry in this book helps the reader understand the hardships of people leaving their homes in search of a better life in America. This story puts a new perspective on the situation, and for those of us who have never gone through it, it helps us understand what others are going t ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Source: 2017 Notable Poetry Books selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee

We Are Like the Clouds is a collection of Spanish and English poems that provides the reader with the understanding and perspective of those that leave El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico to come to the United States in hopes of better opportunities and a better life. The poems detail the journey many children made—sleeping on the desert sand, running through the desert, and riding
Kaylee Rowlson
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Poetry
Unique feature of the book: The translations of the poems from Spanish to English
Grades: This book could be used for students in a variety of grades depending on the use. For students who are learning Spanish it could be used all the way to middle school or high school. In these higher grades this book could be utilized to compare Spanish and English translations and examine words in specific dialects (Central American/Salvadorian). It could also be utilized in grades 3-5 as well to
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This a collection of bilingual poems that describe the journey of immigrant coming from central America to the United States. It describes the odyssey these people have to go through when walking on the desert, and when trying to cross the border patrols. The illustrations are very vivid have realistic drawings where makes it easy to sense and understand that each face of the characters tells a story. I think the poem actually shows a real life situation we face nowadays in the U.S. To me as a ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
2017 Notable Poetry Books selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee

Downloaded and read via Hoopla

Somos como las nubes is a collection of poems that describe children's journeys as they leave Central American countries and travel to America to live. Each page has 1-3 poems and poems are printed in both English and Spanish. There are some useful footnotes with the vocabulary words as well.

The poems focus on what the children are feeling- homesickness, hope, fear- an
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a set of poems about children from (mostly) Central America coming to the US. The poems express a wide range of emotions -- fear, nervousness, excitement, hope -- beautifully, but they're also very grounded in physical details.

I'd recommend reading this in Spanish if you can. The English translations are faithful in terms of what they say (usually direct translations, but not always), but the flow of the poetry sometimes felt a little off.

I liked that Argueta used vocab in the poetry tha
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
really well done book about immigration. I loved that each poem and every aspect of the book was initially in Spanish with the English translation beside it. I really enjoyed the easy way the author depicted the internal struggle with leaving a homeland where a family member or more are left to go to another family member in America. It depicts situations in a safe way that open up the door to talk about immigration and why people would leave one place for another. well done and I really liked t ...more
Liz Exo
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is a bilingual (Spanish-English) collection of poems that detail the deep struggles of so many young, Central-American latinos who have made the heavy decision to seek refuge in the United States. Some of these poems are more abstract, while some are more concrete; however, the common threads that binds them all together are the struggles, the fears,the resiliency, the sense of hope that they will migrate to the US and find a better, safer life.

The illustrations evoke so much emotion and e
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book that helps to explain the plight of so many of our immigrants. I only wish is was more graphic and explicit in describing the horrific details of their home countries and their journeys so that people could really understand what this is all about. In the end there is always hope, which is so hard to understand when you look at the current state of our country. God bless our immigrants!!
Teresa Cabon
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Each thoughtfully written, this collection of poems details the emotions and hardship that comes with leaving their country to walk to the United States to seek a new, safe home. The powerful words within each poem allow for a deeper more fluid understanding of the tough decision many families make every day. A great book to use to teach students that poems can be used to tell a story that go far beyond words.
Emily Cooper
I read this book for my Children and Young Adult poetry class. I feel like there was enlightening information about life in Central America. The poetry discusses some difficult topics such as immigration, being separated from family, and gangs, but the author handles them in a way that does not delve too deeply and bring the tone of the poetry down too much. The art style was different than any I had seen before and it worked well with the poems.
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