cover image Amelia's Road

Amelia's Road

Linda Jacobs Altman. Lee & Low Books, $17.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-880000-04-5

Amelia Luisa Martinez and her family, migrant farm workers, move from harvest to harvest, staying in labor camps for short periods of time. Amelia hates los caminos --the long, cheerless roads that the Martinezes travel in their rusty car--and resents the fact that she attends various schools so briefly that teachers don't always bother to learn her name. It seems unlikely that Amelia will get her wish to ``settle down, to belong.'' But during one apple harvest, she goes to a school where the teacher and children do learn her name, and she finds a special spot near an old tree that she claims as her own. Here, when it is time to move on, the girl buries a box filled with ``Amelia-things'' and promises to return one day. Altman's first picture book provides an affecting and ultimately hopeful look at a transient way of living that will be unfamiliar to most of her audience. Sanchez's (illustrator of Abuela's Weave ) richly textured acrylic on canvas paintings deftly portray the arduous daily routine of migrant workers as well as the wide range of Amelia's emotions. Ages 3-10. (Sept.)