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From North to South / Del Norte al Sur


By René Colato Laínez
Illustrated by Joe Cepeda

About This Title


Paperback: 9780892393046


Tejas Star Reading List
Texas Library Association (TLA)

Commended Lists – Américas Book Award
Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs

International Latino Book Award
Latino Literacy Now

Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades K – 3

Reading Level:

Grades 3 – 3


California, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Courage, Empathy/Compassion, Families, Fathers, Geography, Home, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Kindness/Caring, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Mexico, Mothers, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Overcoming Obstacles, People In Motion, Persistence/Grit, Realistic Fiction, Respect/Citizenship, Bilingual

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By René Colato Laínez
Illustrated by Joe Cepeda

Near the border, the cars began to move very slowly. “Papá, go fast. I want to see Mamá,” I said.

José loves helping Mamá in the garden outside their home in California. But when Mamá is sent back to Mexico for not having proper papers, José and his Papá face an uncertain future. What will it be like to visit Mamá in Tijuana? When will Mamá be able to come home?

Award-winning children’s book author René Colato Laínez tackles the difficult and timely subject of family separation with exquisite tenderness. René is donating a portion of his royalties to El Centro Madre Assunta, a refuge for women and children who are waiting to be reunited with their families up north. Joe Cepeda’s bright and engaging illustrations bring this story of hope to vivid life.

Discover more teaching ideas at the From North to South book website.

Check out culturally responsive teaching strategies using From North to South.

About the Creators

Thumb_rene_colato_lainezRené Colato Laínez – AuthorRené Colato Laínez was born in El Salvador. He is an award-winning author who holds an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Críticas has called René’s characters “immigrant heroes.” He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

Thumb_joe_cepedaJoe CepedaJoe Cepeda received his BFA in Illustration from California State University, Long Beach. A recipient of the Pura Belpré Honor Award, Joe has illustrated many books and book covers, and has also written for children. He lives in Southern California with his wife and son.


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