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Islandborn by Junot Díaz and Leo Espinosa

CMS/W Professor Junot Díaz and illustrator Leo Espinosa publish Islandborn, a “joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking” children’s book on memory, place, and imagination.

For sale at Penguin Random House:

From New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz comes a debut picture book about the magic of memory and the infinite power of the imagination.

Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else. 
Hers was a school of faraway places.

So when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela’s words: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”

Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination’s boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves.

Junot Díaz
Written by
Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz is the author of Drown, This Is How You Lose Her, Islandborn, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. He is a MacArthur Fellow, and his non-fiction appears in The Boston Review and the New York Times. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Díaz is a graduate of Rutgers University and Cornell University. At CMS/W, he regularly teaches Critical Worldbuilding.

On leave in Fall 2024.

Written by
Leo Espinosa
Junot Díaz Written by Junot Díaz
Avatar Written by Leo Espinosa