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A Migrant Girl's Cross-Border Journey//El viaje de una joven migrante

by (author) Michelle Gerster

illustrated by Fiona Dunnett

Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
English Language Arts, Geography, History, Social Justice, Social Studies
Grade Levels
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

Where to buy it

Descriptive Review

This YA graphic memoir, tells the harrowing story of Gricelda, a 15-year-old Mexican girl who attempts to cross the border into the United States. Her story begins in Tijuana, where Gricelda and her family are transported from place to place by smugglers, forced to live in terrible conditions, and constantly fear for their lives. A mysterious smuggler, el Guero, promises to lead them into America. Gerster has first-hand experience with deportation and the struggles faced by migrants in the United States. This book offers teachers an opportunity to discuss the poignant social issue of the perils of undocumented migrant families in America. Written in both English and Spanish, this book is an excellent resource for ELL students.

Caution: Drugs, alcohol, and sexual assault.

62 pp., 7 × 10.5", colour illustrations

Source: Association of Book Publishers of BC - BC Books for Schools (2021-2022)

About the authors

Michelle Gerster is an American photojournalist, videographer, and ESL educator based in Oakland, California, after living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her work focuses on social justice in relation to immigration and deportation. Her photojournalism on deportation from the US to Mexico received the PROOF Emerging Photojournalist Award honourable mention. Travesia is her first book.

Michelle Gerster's profile page

Fiona Dunnett is a Canadian illustrator based in North Vancouver. She trained extensively as a visual artist and illustrator in BC and drew inspiration from living and working in Oaxaca, Mexico. She has done group and solo exhibitions around Mexico and BC, as well as illustration work for the City of Vancouver, the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC, and the Vancouver Mural Festival. Her illustrations have been published in Geist and SAD Mag. She was a semifinalist for the Adobe Design Achievement Awards in 2018. Travesia is her first book.

Fiona Dunnett's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Visually and emotionally engaging, Travesia is a call to action against our devastating immigration policies. Michelle Gerster and Fiona Dunnett beautifully convey a harrowing story that has been experienced directly by untold millions, with an intimacy that will grab your heart. -Peter Kuper, author of Diario de Oaxaca and Ruins

Travesia is a beautifully realized tale of migration, fortitude and resilience. Gerster and Dunnett tell this tale with an intimacy that draws you near, even through the most harrowing passages. Travesia is a powerful and important work in the canon of visual storytelling. -Johnnie Christmas, author of Tartarus and Crema

The experiences of young people are absolutely necessary parts of the dialogue about borders and migration. And in Travesia you will find an illustrated story focusing on one such protagonist that is original, tactile, and vividly rewarding. This is one voice that stands for so many, and that will enter your heart and fill it with insight and beauty. -Wayde Compton, author of The Blue Road

Gerster, who has personal experience of family deportation, makes a noble, precise effort to represent Gricelda's voice. Full of subdued blues, yellows, and oranges, Dunnett's artwork captures the hazy scrapbook feel of memories, honoring Gricelda's story and its nightmarish cadence. A confident chronicle from a young voice at the margins. -Kirkus Reviews