Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

In the Spirit of a Dream: 13 Stories of American Immigrants of Color

Rate this book
Celebratory, triumphant, and inspiring, In the Spirit of a Dream is a tribute to American immigrants of color, written in poems and illustrated by 13 first- and second-generation immigrant artists.

In the spirit of a dream, many immigrants of color set out across continents, oceans, and borders, travelling to the United States in pursuit of opportunity. This book is a celebration of 13 American immigrants of color, from world-famous to local heroes, politicians, surgeons, athletes, activists and more.

The biographies include engineer and astronaut Anousheh Ansari; Paralympic athlete and entrepreneur Alejandro Albor; surgeon Ayub Khan Ommaya; jazz musician Candido Camero; dancer Conceiçao Damasceno; Sriracha inventor and businessman David Tran; basketball player Dikembe Mutombo; author Edwidge Danticat; politician Ilhan Omar; comic artist Jim Lee; environmental activist Juana Guttierez; cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the Undocupoets, a group of undocumented poets.

These stories are told in poems by Aida Salazar and artwork by Alina Chau, Bianca Diaz, Dion MBD, Fahmida Azim, Gaby D'Alessandro, Jose Ramirez, Ken Daley, Nicole Xu, Paulo D. Campos, Rahele Jomepour Bell, Tracy Guiteau, Vanessa Flores, and Yasmin Imamura.

48 pages, Hardcover

First published December 7, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Aida Salazar

13 books152 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
39 (45%)
4 stars
32 (37%)
3 stars
13 (15%)
2 stars
1 (1%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Tia.
784 reviews261 followers
December 24, 2021
Sent an uncorrected proof from the publisher

Beautifully illustrated this book introduces the reader to thirteen American immigrants of color and their extraordinary contributions. This book is stunning with vibrant colors and design.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
9,813 reviews418 followers
September 17, 2022
Fits so many tags: #OwnVoices (for a variety of cultures and ethnic groups), Poetry, Immigration, Inspirational, etc. A must for every school library and recommended reading for all families and other educators.

I wanted a little more poetic flair, and some more dates. I guess for the latter, have the kids practice their research skills - not just when was this person born, but what else was going on in their country and in the US when they were kids.
Profile Image for Kiera Beddes.
926 reviews16 followers
August 1, 2022
This picture book features stories of 13 immigrants and their achievements. The title refers, of course, to the American Dream, but instead of the focus being on achieving wealth or status, the focus is on the power of possibility. It's written and illustrated by first- and second- generation immigrants of color.
Profile Image for Melanie Dulaney.
1,487 reviews72 followers
August 14, 2021
What a beautiful anthology of poetry written and illustrated by 1st or 2nd generation immigrants of color about 13 immigrants of color! Libraries seeking to represent the world we live in should put this book high on their consideration lists and get ready to learn about significant contributions in sports, politics, the arts and more made by people most have never heard of! (I had some knowledge of exactly one of those included.) The art is as diverse in style as the countries represented by these important Americans and after spending much time studying the illustrations will be watching for more by Haitian American Tracy Guinean and Rahele Jomepour Bell, an immigrant from Persia. Poems are all written by well-known author Aida Salazar. Excellent choice for those in grades 4 and up. Thanks for the print arc, Scholastic Press.
Profile Image for Stephanie Bange.
1,602 reviews13 followers
July 23, 2021
Reviewed from an ARC sent by the publisher.

This collective biography of immigrants has "winner" written all over it.

Herself an immigrant and POC, Aida Salazar was invited to write opening and closing poems for this book, as well as brief verse biographies about 12 diverse immigrants who came to the U.S. for various reasons and have made significant contributions in their fields of work since immigrating. Subjects include Alejandro Albor (Paralympic athlete), Anousheh Ansari (astronaut), Ayub Khan Ommaya (surgeon), Cándido Camero (percussionist), Conceição Damasceno (choreographer), David Tran (entepreneur), Dikemble Mutombo (basketball player), Edwidge Danticat (writer), Ilhan Omar (politician), Jim Lee (comic book artist), Juana Beatriz Gutierrez (community organizer), Yo-Yo Ma (cellist), and the Undocupoets (a group of undocumented immigrant poets). Each free verse poem has a unique feel to it, giving just enough information to whet readers' appetites for more.

Kudos to filmmaker, children's book illustrator, and immigrant/naturalized citizen Alina Chau for dreaming up this anthology of American POC immigrants written by Salazar, to be illustrated by multiple #OwnVoices illustrators. Chau illustrates several poems, including the opening and closing poems. Other illustrators include Bianca Diaz, Rahele Jomepour Bell, Nicole Xu, Ken Daley, Paulo D. Campos, Dion MBD, Tracy Guiteau, Fahmida Azim, Vanessa Flores, Jose Ramirez, Gaby D'Alessandro, and Yas Imamura.

Backmatter includes extended biographies for each of the subjects (a solid paragraph for each person), a brief bio of the creators, and an author's and anthologist's notes.

Beautifully executed! Include this in units on poetry, biographies, immigration, diversity, and careers.

Highly Recommended for grades 3-8.
906 reviews9 followers
February 21, 2022
I did not know that Sriracha was invented in the United States by David Tran. That profile was really fascinating for me. I learned about the different people in this book. There were only two names I recognize. The rest were unknown to me. There was one person that I was like "Really?," but this person does fit the criteria of the book. This person's policies I am not sure I can agree with based on what I have heard, but then I have not personally looked into this person, either.

Verdict: This was solid nonfiction book told in the form of poetry.
Profile Image for Paula.
Author 2 books220 followers
July 1, 2021
Really good. Great choices of people, some well known (Ilhan Omar), some not so much (the Undocupoets). And the illustrators! Like a who’s who of up and coming talent worthy of further recognition. Bonus: the last poem in the collection celebrates immigrant parents, who over the years have borne ridicule, resentment, discrimination and more and who just keep coming and keep working to provide their kids the best life they can.
7,500 reviews28 followers
November 29, 2021
Poems about thirteen people who emigrated to the United States. Vividly designed artwork accompanies each poem. Information about them is woven into the poem and included in a paragraph at the end of the book. Each poem is written by Salazar and illustrated by a different illustrator - again, bios are included at the end of the book.
Each person's story offers a glimpse and lets readers decide to explore further in other texts.
Profile Image for Mary Lee.
3,008 reviews55 followers
January 19, 2022
I didn't know most of the 13 immigrants featured in these poems, but now I do, and you should too. Their stories are inspirational, and foundational to the American Story.

From the lead poem:

"We come
as migrants, often unwanted,
to this country that will always belong
to the first nations to inhabit it,
was built largely by
those enslaved and forced here,
together with those
who are immigrants, like us."
Profile Image for Brenda Kahn.
3,697 reviews53 followers
July 20, 2021
Thought-provoking verse collective biography of 13 American immigrants of color who made significant contributions. Each subject got a double-page illustration by a different illustrator. Thumb-nail bios provide extra information about each subject as well as artist bios! Necessary addition to any library serving children and young adults.
Profile Image for Bonnie Grover.
805 reviews10 followers
October 17, 2021
This book is a celebration of 13 American immigrants of color, from world-famous to local heroes, surgeons, athletes, artists, and more. Each of these stories are told in poems and span a two-page spread that are beautifully illustrated.
Profile Image for Brittany Thurman.
Author 4 books33 followers
August 9, 2021
Incredibly powerful and moving. Aida’s words combined with each illustrators beautifully depicted illustrations make In the Spirit of a Dream a must have for every bookshelf.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
97 reviews
March 19, 2023
Beautiful stories told in verse accompanied by even more beautiful illustrations.
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.