Carmela Full of Wishes
I LOVE this book. It sheds light on an important issue- the impact of family separation. Carmela spends the day with her brother doing chores when she stumbles on a dandelion and learns that she needs to make a wish. She only has one dandelion so she needs to be very thoughtful about her wish- should she wish for her mother's comfort? Should she wish for her father's immigration papers to be "fixed" so he can live with them in America? The study guide with this book (linked below) is so excellent and provides kid-friendly definitions for words that we as educators struggle to define in appropriate and inclusive ways (migrant, immigrant without documentation...).
Social Justice Activities:
I strongly suggest reading the Teacher's Guide below and studying pages 1-7. This is an excellent resource for teaching Social Justice.
Analyze Carmel's wishes. What do these wishes tells us about her? (She is loving, thinks about others, misses her father, generous
Analyze the brother's actions throughout the story. He seems to dislike his sister at the beginning but at the end he helps restore her wellness because he truly loves her.
Infer why Carmela takes her bracelets off at the end (she does this as an act of kindness to her brother).
Setting: Analyze the setting and highlight the beautiful diversity of communities.
Irony: Examine Carmela's comment, "It's a free country," against the reality facing her father.