Home At LastHome at Last
By Susan Middleton Elya
Illustrated by Felipe Davalos
Published by Lee and Low Books

“It’s a touching story that speaks to both immigrant and non-immigrant families without guise or pretension.” –Midwest Book Review

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Ana Patino is adjusting well to her new life in the United States, but her mother is having a difficult time because she doesn_t speak English. When Ana_s baby brother falls ill, Mama tries to get help, but no one can understand her. Now convinced of the need to learn the native language, Mama agrees to take English lessons. As her knowledge of the English language grows, so does her sense of confidence and belonging.

Reviews & Accolades
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

“A story about new beginnings…The characters’ growth and new experiences show how a family pulls together and makes its new surroundings ‘home.’” –Diane Milliken, School Library Journal

“…this highlights a problem many immigrant children must deal with–the inability or unwillingness of a parent to learn English. The sturdy illustrations, handsomely executed in oils, are most successful when depicting the expressions of the characters: fear, pleasure, and, eventually, hope.” –Ilene Cooper, Booklist

“Appealing illustrations in oil convey the warmth of Ana’s family…A well-told story of triumph and family solidarity.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Although the tale focuses on Mama, it plays out through Ana’s point of view, and the child’s frustration with Mama’s stubbornness and her own inability to help in any direct way are powerfully conveyed. Davalos captures much of Mama’s pain and dignity in her expressive doe eyes. The text…is smooth and well paced, and listeners who take communication for granted will readily sense the vulnerability of a newcomer who has left her language at home.” –Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books

Home at Last by Susan Middleton Elya is a touching story about a mother from Mexico who relies on her 8-year-old daughter to translate for her. Not until she’s cheated at the grocery store does she bend to her daughter’s wishes and begin to learn English. Colorful illustrations by Felipe Davalos of Sacramento capture every nuance of the family’s isolation and struggles to adapt to their new land.” –Sacramento Bee

Elya and Davalos have successfully put together a story that accurately depicts what life may be like for newcomers to the United States. Davalos’s double-page spread paintings are colorful and appealing.” –Bayviews, Association of Children’s Librarians

“With unsentimental grace, Home At Last tells a realistic, personal story of a Mexican family adjusting to new surroundings when they move to the United States. This picture book for older children is all the more moving when it reveals — through the eyes of their young daughter — the obstacles that adult non-English speaking immigrants face every day…It’s a touching story that speaks to both immigrant and non-immigrant families without guise or pretension.” –Midwest Book Review

Groups Represented
Mexican American

Immigration, learning English, family relationships

Urban United State

Author Research

Engagement Projects
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