A Migrant FamilyA Migrant Family by Larry Dane Brimner
ISBN: 0822525542
Published by Lerner Publications on 1992
Genres: Juvenile Nonfiction, General
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover

This book incorporates many photographs portraying the life of a migrant family in a camp near San Diego, California. Houses in the camp are built of salvaged plywood with plastic sheets as roofs. Twelve-year-old Juan and his two younger brothers sleep on an old mattress atop a plywood platform. Juan's mother, stepfather, and younger sister sleep on a similar platform. The floor is dirt. Portable toilets are set up across the highway for migrants and their families. There are more than 200 such migrant camps in the San Diego area. Juan was born in Mexico, and has lived in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, where his stepfather worked on farms. For the last 3 years, Juan and his family have lived in California. The majority of migrant workers are Hispanic or Black, often speaking little or no English and lacking other job skills. In communities with large migrant populations, wealthy residents complain that migrants are dirty and lazy and don't fit in with the larger community. Juan and his family have grown accustomed to these social attitudes. Most migrants are honest hardworking people, yet they are commonly blamed for crimes that occur in an area where migrants live or gather. Migrant children face difficulties in succeeding in school as they often enter school unprepared and frequent moves put them behind. Nevertheless, Juan and his family realize that education is the way out of life in the camps. (LP)