I had the pleasure of reading My Journey Home: Mi Camino A Casa by author Ruby Ortiz. The story begins with a young girl who is going to spend the summer in Mexico after moving to El Paso Texas. The protagonist shares the difficulty of moving to a new home away from her family and friends and dealing with the feeling of homesickness. She shares her excitement to return to Mexico with the readers.
About immigration Struggles
Leaving the place that you’ve called home is difficult for children. My Journey Home shines a light on a child’s experience when immigrating to another country and adapting to a new reality. When relocating, it is very common for families to separate and go for extended periods without seeing each other. Many times, young children leave behind their homes, loved ones, and everything familiar to them. Without fully processing what is happening, they are quickly expected to adapt and thrive in a new environment. They have to make new friends, learn a new language, get good grades in a new school, and overall be okay with this change in their life.
“Nevertheless, this book also welcomes the idea of having different family structures that includes belonging to more than one home. Even if one’s home is countries away or if you have to travel thousands of miles to see your loved ones and use letters or phone calls to stay in touch, it is still home.”
Ortiz tells her readers, “Our roots shape our home. Home can be in multiple places. Sometimes you leave a home behind to make a new one. Home is like a puzzle. Some pieces may be odd or different. However, every puzzle piece is important to make the complete picture.”
Why do I Recommend this book?
I’d recommend that people read this book to their kids, nieces/nephews, cousins, or students. The part that made me sympathize with the main character was when she discusses how difficult it was to fit in at school. If adults read young readers this story and encourage them to befriend the new kid at school and make them feel included it will make the transition easier for the new student. I can relate to the way that protagonist feels on a small level. When I was seven, I moved to a new town and was very nervous about making new friends. It took a few weeks until I became friends with a group of kids that I had throughout high school.
About the Author
Ruby was born in El Paso, Texas. For the first six years of her life, her family lived in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. In 1995, her parents made the decision of relocating to San Jose, California. Like many other children in the United States who come from immigrant parents, Ruby was forced to adjust to a new world. Settling down was a very difficult experience for her and her family. They knew no one, didn’t know their way around and did not understand the language which made it worse. Looking back, Ruby acknowledges the sacrifice and the strength that it took to adapt to a new world. She is grateful to so many kind people along the way who were able to guide her family toward the right direction.
Over time Ruby was able to maintain a relationship with her family who lives in Mexico. Those memories and connections built with letters and spending summers among family are unforgettable and priceless. Ruby has lived in Sunnyvale, California, for most of her life. She attended Bishop Elementary School, Lakewood Elementary School, Columbia Middle School, and Fremont High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State East Bay and a master’s degree in science in clinical psychology from Notre Dame de Namur University.