Award-winning author Junot Díaz has amazed the world with his colorful and culturally relevant storytelling. But his new book, Islandborn will be speaking to a similar yet vastly different audience — the kids.
Islandborn is a 48-page picture book featuring a young girl named Lola who lives in New York City’s Washington Heights but was born in the Dominican Republic. She’s given a school assignment to draw a picture of where her parents are from, but she doesn’t remember anything about it. When she asks for family members for memories about the island, she collects as many joyful stories as she does heartbreaking ones. Ultimately, Lola realizes what her abuela told her was fitting: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”
Díaz told The New York Times that the book was written for his goddaughters, who yearned to see themselves represented. He said their request stemmed from this longing for books and stories that resonated for them and included them.
While the book doesn’t come out until March 2018, he’s already planning on a sequel.
“I do hope to write another one,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I need to take Lola to the island. A sequel of sorts.”