Voces Sin Fronteras

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. These adolescents are the Latino Youth Leadership Council of the Washington DC-based Latin American Youth Center, founded in 1968.

Although the authors here might not be the most adept cartoonists, they share their stories well. The sixteen tales in this book are powerful, showing great personal sacrifices, determination, and the drive to succeed. They show the lengths some families go through to find better lives, including many hardships, poverty, and absences that cause grief and pain. And given all of the obstacles they face, I was struck reading this book by just how positive these young leaders are. In times of great adversity, they strive to find light and hope.

One feature that many of these stories contain is a struggle learning English or getting by in new contexts. The tales honor both languages via a bilingual presentation, so a reader can read in either English or Spanish. Also accompanying each comic narrative is a two page text piece explaining more about the author and why they chose to focus on the story they told. This book is an excellent resource for exploring immigrant narratives and also personal journaling. 

I was not able to locate many reviews of this book, but the ones I found were very positive. Children's Book Council called it a "timely, ambitious, and a much-needed addition to current national discussions about who we are as a country." Emilio Solórzano was impressed with the reality of the stories and gave it "a perfect 5 out of 5." Frederick Luis Aldama wrote that the stories "stand as powerful testaments to the resilient power of today’s Latinx youth to grow, create, and transform in spite of it all."

Voces Sin Fronteras was published by Shout Mouse Press, and they offer more information about the book here.

-Stergios Botzakis, Graphic Novel Resources