Hear My Voice / Escucha mi voz

Hear My Voice / Escucha mi voz cover
Hear My Voice / Escucha mi voz compiled by Warren Binford. Illustrated by various artists.

The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States / Los testimonies de los jóvenes detinidos en al frontera sureña de los Estados Unidos

Compiled by Warren Binford
Illustrated by various artists
Workman, 2021
90 pages

Age 8 and older

“My sister and I came from Honduras.” “Our grandfather saw the gang kill our neighbor. They threatened to kill him so we all had to leave.” “There is not even enough room for the baby to crawl.” “I have been here without bathing for twenty-one days.” International children’s advocate Warren Binford has devoted her legal and medical career to inspecting conditions in immigrant detention camps. Still, she was appalled by the conditions at the Border Patrol Station in Clint, Texas, in 2019. Children from infants to older teens had been separated from their families and crowded into cages, held for weeks on end, cold, hungry, dirty, and exhausted. Many were sick and not receiving medical treatment. Each double-page spread in this dual-language (Spanish/English) edition includes several sentences from first-person testimonies Binford collected from the children, translated from Spanish, Mam, Portuguese, Urdu, K’iche’, and other languages. Each statement is illustrated by a different artist, some well-known here in the Unites States, such as Yuyi Morales and Raúl the Third, but most Mexican or Mexican American artists who will be new to American readers. This deeply emotional work ends with an author’s note, “Amplifying Children’s Voices,” providing historical background dating back to 1985. The author also provides questions for children to think about, and suggests ways children and their families can help, from writing to politicians to serving as a foster family. The children’s own testimonies end on a poignant note, completing statements that begin, “I want…,” “I wish…,” “I hope…”  ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center