“Mama’s Nightingale: A Story Of Immigration And Separation” By Edwidge Danticat

A touching tale of parent-child separation and immigration, from a National Book Award finalist.

After Saya’s mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother’s warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she’s in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother’s tales and her father’s attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own—one that just might bring her mother home for good.

With stirring illustrations, this tender tale shows the human side of immigration and imprisonment—and shows how every child has the power to make a difference.

Description from Amazon.com

About the Author

Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the author of several books including: Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist.

Danticat earneda degree in French Literature from Barnard College, where she won the 1995 Woman of Achievement Award, and later an MFA from Brown University. She lives in Miami with her husband and daughters. Source: goodreads.com.

Read Aloud Tips

  • Talk about the title, author, and illustrator.
  • Discuss the ideas of immigration.
  • Discuss notions of separation.
  • Predict from the title and illustration what the story might be about.
  • Research the Haitian culture and folklore.
  • Take time to discuss the sensitive topics in the story.
  • Make connections to social justice.

Visit literacyworldwide.org for ideas on classroom use.

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