The Book Review of “Voices from the Fields”

By M. Borrego

By S. Beth Atkins, 2000

I am a Mexican like the nine children depicted in this book Voices from the Field. So I found this book culturally relevant to me. I felt empathy for all the characters in this book. They all struggled in one way or another to overcome lives many challenges.  Despite, these obstacles these stories showed hope.  They left you wondering if they made it or not.  All the children in this book had one common factor they either work in the fields or have a family member who works in the fields.  Even with this common theme the stories range from gang involvement, acceptance, and instability.  As different as these children may be they all believe that there is nothing as important as family. Family unity is portrayed throughout the book. There are many photographs of the children and their families. The photographs intensify the emotions as you are reading and seeing actual pictures.  This book did a great job of portraying a minority culture that many people may have not been exposed to.  One story in particular the one of Miguel impacted me profoundly because he reminded me of my own students.  Being that I work at a border town school just like in the book.  As he was describing that his body ached and that he didn’t want to wake up my heart dropped. He also stated that he would rather be in school any day than work in the fields.   Even though I teach first grade I feel my students would enjoy hearing this story and they will be able to make many connections as the reading is taking place.   As a teacher it made me reflect on the struggles my students may have and the many obstacles they face before the school day begins.

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