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From North to South/Del Norte al Sur

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Jose loves helping Mama in the garden outside their home in California. But when Mama is sent back to Mexico for not having citizenship papers, Jose and his Papa face an uncertain future. What will it be like to visit Mama in Tijuana? When will she be able to come home? Award-winning children's book author Rene Colato Lainez tackles the difficult and timely subject of fami ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 17th 2010 by Children's Book Press
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Diana Garcia
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a boy named Jose who had to deal with the separation of his mother. Jose's mom was deported because she didn't have the right papers to work. Jose's dad, on the other hand, was a citizen and was able to take him to visit his mom. His mom had to stay on one side of the border while Jose lived on the other side. the story shows the bond between the family and the dreams children have of the reunion with their parents.

Like the author mentioned, many children deal with this wheth
Andrew Jongeneel
From North to South, written by Rene Colato Lainez and illustrated by Joe Cepeda, explains how many immigrant families in the United States suffer because of their status as citizens; it shows the challenges of the separation of families and how the hopes and dreams of children are stopped at the border with a fantasy genre. This story is of a family living in San Diego and the boy, Jose, is stripped of his mother who is deported back to Mexico during a raid at her factory job. Many weeks after ...more
Lizeth Matzir
In “From North to South”, a young boy named Jose faces separation from his mother after she is deported to Tijuana, Mexico. Jose’s mother had been working when men came to her job and asked her for documentation, which she didn’t have. Jose describes it as being hard for him to be without his mom and how he misses her. Luckily, Jose and his father have the opportunity to travel to visit his mom in Tijuana and are able to spend some time with her. Until his mother is able to gain appropriate docu ...more
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
From North to South is a multicultural book about a young boy, Jose, and his family. Jose's mother is sent back to Mexico for not having proper immigration papers. Jose and his father travel to Mexico where they visit his mother and the children that she works with in the garden she has there. His mother stays there and tells Jose that she will come home to California as soon as she gets her papers. This is a wonderful story that children can relate too and is a very realistic story.
This book co
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching-books
This book is a great introduction for children to the realities of family separation, and what a child experiences when a parent is deported. The book found a perfect balance between not being too scary for kids to listen to, and not hiding the fact that deportation is a scary thing. When I read this story to a group of pre-k/K/1 children, they were able to really grasp the situation, and we had a really productive conversation about immigration and what we can do to help others. I wish it had b ...more
Carina Spring
Good for higher elementary 3-5 grade, but also a good read aloud for all grades.

This book is about a son named José whose Mom was deported from the United States because she was no a registered resident. José and his father travel to Mexico from San Diego every weekend to see his mother. She is living in a refuge camp where she helps take care of the children whose parents had to leave them there. It is a story of reconciliation and strength.

This could be used in the classroom to make it known
3.5 stars.

This is a sweet story with cute illustrations that does a good job of addressing a serious problem that many children have to deal with. Immigration and deportation are complex and painful issues, and it can be difficult to find ways to address those issues with kids. This book leaves a real opening point without being too dire or overly optimistic.

I would recommend this for anyone looking for a picture book to explain these complex issues to children.
Dinora Sandoval
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This books gives a good example of a not so good real life situation. Jose and his father go to Tijuana, Mexico to visit Jose's mother who was deported from the United States and separated from them. I would read this book out loud to my students or do small groups with this book because it gives a good insight of what the reality is for some children. This may also help students who are currently going through this situation cope and not lose hope. ...more
Collin A
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
i loved the purpose of the book that he used money to give back and also the message being conveyed. yes some come here not the right way but they still want to be here. This must have been so hard for that family and not knowing when they would see her again. I think that the ELL books were very interesting overall and to learn about a different culture more in depth.
Angelica Bruschi
"From North to South" by Rene Colato Lainez was really enjoyable to read; despite the topic being about immigration--which is generally a bit heavy for discussion--this story was told in almost a playful way. In the realistic fiction story, a young boy and his father are taking a road trip to visit the boy's mother who had been deported to Mexico on account of not having the right documentation.
The story was rich, offering a lot of detail on the situation the little boy and his parents had been
Brianna Stahly-Hale
This book tells the story of young Jose and what he and his father do for his mother and the way that familial ties are so important. (assignment 5)
Kayla Angulo
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book demonstrates the struggles many immigrant families go through when their love ones is deported. It definitely brought me to tears and I hope to share this with my family and friends.
Carmen Moran
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story is truly a hard one for me to read. It talks about Jose and his family. His mother was deported from an ICE raid at her job. This story begins with Jose getting ready to see his mother in Mexico. He gets his dad's car keys and he is excited to be able to see his mom again. Once they go over the bridge he sees his mother he also sees the conditions she is living in, in Mexico. He tells his mom how much he misses her and how it isn't the same with just his dad. In the city, he met some ...more
Yvon Lu
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This realistic fiction dives into the topic of deportation, a topic that is usually not mentioned in children’s books. Jose is a young boy whose mother was deported and whose father is a citizen. The story follows Jose’s journey This book is a great way to introduce an important and serious topic to children: Immigration and deportation. More than one language was incorporated into the text, which can offer comfort for those who speak it and possibly teach a word or two to those who do not. The ...more
Olivia Evans
Plot Summary: This book is a touching story about Jose, a little boy who lives in California, who’s mother gets deported back to Mexico for not having proper documents. The story begins with Jose and his Papa traveling from north to south to see Mama for the first time. Jose is very eager to see his mom, but doesn’t fail to describe all the beautiful things he is seeing in Mexico. After spending some time with Mama in her new house, Jose asks his Mama when she can come home. Mama explains to Jos ...more
Ana Romero
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From North to South is a book about a young boy who's mother got deported back to Mexico while at work for not having proper documents. Jose is excited about driving with his father from San Diego to visit his mother in Tijuana, Mexico. The book explains that the mother is staying at the Madre Assunta Center which is a refugee in Tijuana for immigrant women and children who have recently been deported or who are trying to enter the United States. The boy and his father are able to settle in the ...more
Vamos a Leer
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From North to South/Del norte al sur by René Colato Laínez brings to light the tragic reality that many first- and second-generation immigrant children must deal with: family separation.

This book is bilingual and also includes a nice introduction in which the author explains that his work is inspired by the immigrant experiences of himself and of his elementary school students. The story is also unique in that it features a real-life refuge center that Jose’s mom stays at, El Centro Madre Assuna
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-latino-latina
"From North to South"/"Del Norte al Sur" is the heartbreaking story of a young boy separated from his mother. The story is told from the boy's point of view. The boy was born in the United States, his father has legal status, but his mother was deported for being an undocumented immigrant. Now, he and his father visit his mother in Tijuana every weekend. The author, Rene Colato Lainez, is a teacher whose students know the hardship of families broken up by deportation. Young Jose visits his mothe ...more
Celeste Lopez Mendez
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bilingual Students
Genre: Fantasy
As all of Rene Colato Lainez's books, the illustrations and details are amazing! They have a variety of different skin tones with in the Spanish-speaking community. This book is written in English and Spanish, which makes it a must for my bilingual shelf! This book has a thick plot and the way it allows children to use as a window is amazing! I believe there are more than a handful of students that can use this as a mirror. It also speaks about immigration (a very important issue
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: family, ell-support
This is a bilingual book, with both English and Spanish on each page. This is beneficial in particular for Spanish-speaking ELLs who are able to read Spanish because they can then make the connection to the English. The teacher could have the student read the book in Spanish, and then the teacher could read it aloud to them or help them read it in English. The book can also benefit Spanish-speaking students who do not read yet because the teacher should be able to read and at least approximate t ...more
Ann Cox
Jose and his father live in San Diego and anxiously await the day that Jose’s mother can join them from Mexico as a resident alien. While they are waiting, they go visit Jose’s mother every weekend in Tijuana. While there, Jose gets to know other Mexicans going through the same experiences as his family. Written in English and Spanish. This book has too cartoonish of illustrations to match it's subject matter, but I think it is a worthwhile book to share with young children (preschool and early ...more
Stacy Countee
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
The story is about a family experiencing grief because the mom has been picked up from her job and deported to Mexico for not having her immigration papers. This novel tells of a family's love and support for one another and shows how they make it through this difficult time, until the mom can return home. The book is written is Spanish and English which is for helpful in helping Spanish speaking students understand unfamiliar words. The illustrations are bright and colorful and captures authent ...more
Maria Salazar
This book is about a boy named Jose who lives in California. In the story, Jose's mother was deported back to Mexico, and he must prepare for an uncertain future. When his mother was deported, he stayed with his father and throughout the story he talked about the things he missed doing with her. His mother was in a safe place where she had to wait to receive the right papers.
This book relates to my topic because it explains a real life situation that can happen. Many families have split apart d
Diego Garcia
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From North to South, tell the story of a young boy whose mother is deported to Mexico. The story focuses on the feelings of uncertainty, loss, and love that the boy feels. The boy is able to go visit his mother in Tijuana and they work in the garden together. This book is bilingual with parallel English and Spanish text. The story is very timely because many students are worried that their families could be separated after the new president takes office. From North to South offers a way to talk ...more
Briere Lohnes
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: t-l-307
This 2010 Realistic fiction book has a lot to offer. Told through the perspective of a young boy living in California with his father, it touches on the subject of immigration. However, this book also was a lesson in the Spanish language and a bit of Mexican Culture. The illustrations were well done, colorful, and heart-warming as it displayed a mother-son reunion, based on real-life occurrences. Overall, I appreciated the authentic message this book told, and it would be wonderful for young stu ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
A bilingual book which is good for ESL learners. It's about a boy who gets to go visit his mother whom he has missed dearly. When visiting his mother he hangs out with other children who have been taken from the states and had to go back to Mexico. During his visit he planted flowers with the other children and spent some alone time with his mother. It is a good book especially for students who are immagrants and have to deal with being seperated from their families. Very nice pictures. ...more
Daytime immigration raids a few years ago nearby in New Bedford, Massachusetts, landed quite a few kids in the foster care system when they thought they were coming home from just another ordinary school day. Terrifying for everyone! As difficult as the family's separation is in the book, they can visit on weekends and the case is portrayed as surprisingly likely to end in a U.S. reunion in the not too distant future, which may not be realistic for many readers' families.
Love the artwork!
Jul 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ted-8650
Rene Coato Lainez is an immigrant from El Salvador and uses his experiences to address topics that are not usually found in children’s literature: deportation and family separation. The book North to South gives a glimpse into this fear and shows how a young girl remains hopeful while waiting for her mother’s immigration process to be complete.
Mary Ann
When Jose’s mother is suddenly deported by US immigration officials, his father takes him across the border to Tijuana to visit her. I especially appreciated this tender story for the way it portrays the anxiety as Jose and his family wait for the official residency paperwork to go through. The bilingual text focuses on the child’s experience during this uncertain time.
Edward Sullivan
Wonderfully written bilingual story about a painful reality facing many immigrant families. One thing that bothers me about Cepeda's illustrations is that the faces of all his characters look the same. ...more
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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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