On the last night Papi is home before being taken away, he and his daughter Maricela look at the full moon. Papi calls it a mango moon because its bright orange color reminds him of a slice of mango.
Now that Papi has been taken, Maricela watches the moon by herself as worries crowd her mind. Soon, life changes dramatically for Maricela’s family—Mama has to get another job, so Maricela and her younger brother, Manuel, are left alone after school; the family has to move in with relatives because they can’t afford the rent anymore; and Papi isn’t there to do all the things he used to do, such as coaching Maricela’s soccer team and pushing her on the swing.
As Maricela struggles to understand why Papi was sent away, Mama explains that he “just didn’t have papers.” Now, Maricela is really afraid. Will she be sent away, too? Mama explains that Maricela and Manuel were born in the United States, so they won’t be deported.
As Maricela deals with her sorrow, she finds comfort when Mama tells her, “Love is like the orange moon, that Papi and I feel it’s glow no matter where we are.”
Sue Cornelison’s emotionally engaging illustrations bring to life the pain that forced separation causes one child and her family. Many people living in the United States’ current political context also are facing this. Christian parents who read this book with their children will have an opportunity to talk to them about offering Christ’s love, compassion, and support to hurting people. (Albert Whitman & Company)