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Luca's Bridge/El Puente de Luca
Luca's Bridge/El Puente de Luca

Luca's Bridge/El Puente de Luca

By Mariana Llanos, Illustrated by Anna López Real


40 Pages, 6.5 x 8.5

Formats: Hardcover Picture Book, PDF

Hardcover Picture Book, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $22.99)

Publication Date: April 2019

ISBN 9780998799957

Rights: WOR

Penny Candy Books (Apr 2019)

Price: $16.95


?Tejas Star Reading List, 2020-21?ALSC Notable Children's Book 2020Luca has never lived outside the U.S., but when his parents receive a letter in the mail, the family must pack up and leave home for a strange land.Together in their car, Luca, his brother Paco, and their parents head across the border to Mexico where his parents were born. Luca doesn't understand why he must leave the only home he's ever known, his friends, and his school. He struggles through lonely and disorienting times—reflected both in Real's delicate, symbolic illustrations and through Llanos' description of his dreams—and leans on music, memory, and familial love for support. Luca's Bridge / El puente de Luca is a story for everyone about immigration, deportation, home, and identity.


"This bilingual book illustrates how Mexican immigrant families risk everything when they cross the border into the United States in search of a better life. An essential addition to any bilingual collection."—School Library Journal

"Teachers, this is a wonderful book for summer camps, assigned for summer reading, or to be used next school year. It works well for studying and discussing themes of immigration, deportation, family separation, music, bridges (metaphorical), childhood, and more." —

"Together, the narrative and images offer hope for readers experiencing this difficult situation and empathy for those who aren't. Back matter includes an author's note further discussing deportation." —Booklist

"Told in alternating English and Spanish, El puente de Luca is the timely tale of a family's resiliency, strength, and devotion as they are voluntarily deported from the United States to Mexico. Emotions run high as Luca struggles to understand why he must leave his home and everything he's ever known. Surreal images in shades of gray with golden accents surround Luca as he finds solace in his dreams and the music of his trumpet." —Foreword Reviews

"Without didacticism, without polemic, Llanos' and López Real's intent in Luca's Bridge / El puente de Luca is to spark discussion among the youngest children about what it might be like to experience immigration and deportation, and that sometimes—only sometimes—there might be hope in what appears to be hopeless situations. It's highly recommended." —De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children

"This is a lovely story and belongs in classroom libraries throughout the US to help students gain empathy and understanding or have a space for personal reflection." —Raise Them Righteous

Author Biography

Born in Lima, Peru, to two journalists, Mariana Llanos developed an early passion for writing. She studied theater in the prestigious CuatroTablas school in Lima. She has lived in Oklahoma since 2002, where she worked as a teacher in a preschool center for several years. In 2013 Mariana self-published her first book, Tristan Wolf, which won a Finalist in the 2013 Readers' Favorite Book Award. Since then, she has published seven books independently in English and Spanish and through virtual technology has chatted with students from more than 150 schools around the world to promote literacy. In December 2017 she was recognized with a Human Rights Award by the United Nations Association of Oklahoma City and the Human Rights Alliance of Oklahoma for her work promoting literacy. She lives in Oklahoma City.Anna López Real is a freelance illustrator born in Guadalajara, Mexico. She spent her early years in a small town with a big lake, in a bilingual home full of books, movies, diverse music and art. She has a BD in Graphic Design from Universidad de Guadalajara. Since she was young, she has needed to feel colors, shadows, textures and shapes with her own hands, which inspired her to use traditional techniques. She is also the co-founder of a local stationary company. Her favorite place is the beach, and she loves to read and hang out with her family and her cats and dogs. She is passionate about human rights, animal rights and has a great love for nature. She lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.


Commended: Association for Library Service to Children Commended: Tejas Star Reading List, 2020