By Lisa Lopez
Jane Medina’s “The Dream on Blanca’s Wall” is an outstanding bilingual collection of poems from Blanca’s point of view. Similarly to Medina’s previous notable book “My Name is Jorge”, this poetic collection presents the female perspective on the universal struggles to fit into a new society and country.
Blanca is a young and studious girl who is eager to be accepted and well-liked by her peers. She is honest in admitting her name means the opposite to her true skin color. She aspires to attend college upon graduation even though her family lacks understanding of her desire to outgrow the common battleground of being an immigrant.
The poetic prose presented in Medina’s work explicitly describes the sharing of the joys and sorrows of being a young Latina immigrant, experiencing puberty, and wishing for a festive “quinceanera” or a Sweet Sixteen.
Blanca shares her disappointment at being laughed at by her family and friends for having dreams, and celebrating her passing grades. The book contains the aspirations and hardships of a young Latina trying her heart out to be successful in a country that insists on marking cultural differences.
The book can easily be implemented in the bilingual classroom where students can be encouraged to compose free verse poetry. The moving collection is sure to meet the needs of young Latina readers everywhere. A great addition to any library!
Lisa Lopez is a school librarian and part of the Review ‘n Receive book review program.