Project Partner: Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)
As youth immigrants and activists, the Latino Youth Leadership Council of LAYC recognized the urgent need for youth-driven #OwnVoices stories to provided a human face to the current immigration debate. Few books reflected their reality, so they decided to do something about that: they wrote their own.
Now, through Voces Sin Fronteras: Our Stories, Our Truth, these teens are inspiring, motivating, and educating others by telling their own stories of immigration and transformation in comics form.
by the Latino Youth Leadership Council of LAYC
With a foreword by Newbery Medal-winning author Meg Medina
Winner of the 2019 'In the Margins' Top Nonfiction award.
“Spotlighting underrepresented voices, this work is highly recommended for all communities in their efforts to promote empathetic, inclusive discussions around immigration.” — Starred review in School Library Journal!
"Enlightening and inspiring #ownvoices accounts by young activists." – Kirkus Review.
During a time of heated immigration debate and unrest, this book is an opportunity to hear directly from youth who are often in the headlines but whose stories don’t get told in full. Sixteen young people from the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in Washington, D.C. came together to tell their own stories of immigration and transformation in comics form. The result is this side-by-side bilingual collection of graphic memoirs that not only builds connections across language, but also breaks down barriers and expands hope.
En tiempos de inquietud y acalorados debates sobre la inmigración, este libro representa una oportunidad para escuchar directamente a los jóvenes quienes suelen ocupar los titulares en la prensa, pero cuyas historias no se alcanzan a narrar por completo. Dieciséis jóvenes del Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) en Washington, D.C. se unieron para contar sus propias historias de inmigración y de transformación en formato de cómic. El resultado es esta colección de memorias gráficas bilingüe, que no sólo construye conexiones entre los idiomas, sino que también elimina barreras y abre un espacio a la esperanza.
During the summer of 2017, Shout Mouse Press held a month-long workshop with LAYC's Latino Youth Leadership Council (LYLC), a passionate group of young people dedicated to social justice in their community. The workshop, led by a team of teaching artists with experience devising and illustrating comic books, resulted in this graphic memoir collection by Latinx youth that inspires, motivates, and educates its readers, and that changes the narrative about America's immigrants.
The missions of LAYC and Shout Mouse Press converge in this project: we want all young people to feel empowered to speak their truth. This mission is especially important for those whose voices are too often silenced, or devalued. The determination of these authors to share their truest selves on the page is an act of courage. It inspires respect; it expands empathy. This book gives rise to not only their voices, but to the voices of all those living in shadows whose stories go untold.
The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) is a DC-based nonprofit organization that offers a variety of programming to low-income youth of all backgrounds. Their mission is to empower a diverse population of youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood, through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths’ social, academic, and career needs.
Since their founding in the late 1960s, LAYC has grown from a small grassroots recreation center to a nationally recognized agency serving all low-income youth. Each year, LAYC serves over 4,000 youth and families through youth centers, school-based sites, and public charter schools in the District of Columbia and Maryland’s Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties.
Really cool book written by some (clearly) incredible youth. Highly recommended.
Reflections from Latin American youth who have immigrated to the US. Their simple stories in graphic format are touching and reveal the truth behind the immigration rhetoric. Sad but hopeful.
Important collection of graphics & personal essays written by 16 Latinx immigrant teens now living in DC. Appreciated their hopefulness and vulnerability in writing and sharing their stories. Ordered a small set of these and can't wait to share them with ELA classes and see student responses!
There’s a lot being said about immigrant children. This book actually lets the children speak for themselves. An important read.
The compelling stories shared by these students, all members of the Latino Youth Leadership Council and active in the fight for social justice, signal their desire to serve as beacons or lifelines for other young immigrants. Their testimonies, as Newbery Medal winner Meg Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears, 2018, etc.) points out in her foreword, are ultimately about courage.
Sixteen Latinx teens who emigrated from Mexico and Central America tell their stories in this bilingual volume, the result of a collaboration between nonprofit press Shout Mouse and the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, DC. While the artwork is at times unpolished, the comics will reverberate with readers. Following each piece is a reflection by its contributor. This powerful compendium amplifies teens' understanding of the young immigrant experience—facing fears, overcoming sadness and the temptation to give up, learning a new language, and being left by parents who migrated first, then forgiving and reuniting with them decades later.
Immigration is not an easy topic to tackle with students. Regardless of your background, it is difficult to represent the experiences of others. It is especially hard to give students an understanding of the complex issues involved in immigration.
The best answer is for individuals to tell their own stories, and for teachers to add additional context. In Voces Sin Fronteras, sixteen young people share their stories of immigration in comics. In my opinion, this side-by-side bilingual collection of graphic memoirs belongs in every Spanish and English class in the country.
I read Voces Sin Fronteras and it makes me think how we here in America take for granted the little things in life like going to school and being able to be a child and not have to worry about working to help the family and how we are safer here than anywhere in the world and then we have our president here sending troops to the Mexico border to stop people that are not trying to come in illegally but walk into the border crossing and asking for asylum the legal way.
This has been a great book for my students (especially my ELL students and struggling readers) to help them better understand the reason children and others come to America
It is a good book to use when trying to help students understand or see the human/individual side of the current immigration debate.
Though immigration is a hotly discussed topic, it’s not often that we hear from the perspective of young immigrants. Fortunately, the Latin American Youth Center of D.C. (LAYC) and Shout Mouse Press have partnered to publish "Voces Sin Fronteras: Our Stories, Our Truth" a collection of young immigrants’ stories.
“Voces sin Fronteras” talks about the real experiences that people faced in their lives and the hardships they overcame, but at the same time it puts their stories into fun and readable style. These factors lead to my score of the book a perfect 5 out of 5. This book illustrates the levels of adversity people had to overcome. This country is built on people who fight through struggles to be successful and all around happy.
Issues about immigration and its impact on families have been prominent in the current US political scene, with a gross amount of injustice and racism cast toward many people seeking asylum. This book is an excellent entry into this political conversation, with sixteen true accounts from the lives of young people who have come over from Latin American countries to live and find a better life in the United States.
The other day I arrived home to find waiting in the mailbox a weighty, Voces Sin Fronteras: Our Stories Our Truth. It proved not only weighty to the hand, but once I began peeling its pages back, weighty to the soul. The 16 bilingual (side-by-side English then Spanish) comic book autobiographical vignettes that fill out Voces prove just how powerful word-drawn narratives can be, not just for us readers but for those telling their stories.