Un tren llamado Esperanza / A Train Called Hope
This moving bilingual picture book depicts a young boy’s journey north in hopes of reuniting with his family.
by Mario Bencastro
Illustrations by Robert Casilla
Publication Date: May 31, 2021
Imprint: Piñata Books
In this poignant bilingual picture book, a boy remembers his first present, “a little train crossing / the mountain of my pillow / over a valley on my bed.” There’s even a girl who looks like his sister waving happily from the window!
Years later, after his parents have gone far away in search of work and a better future, the boy rides in a real train to join his family. This one is loaded with hundreds of children traveling alone, just like him. There are frightening strangers, others along the way who want to jump on and, scariest of all, a boy who almost falls off the roof because he can’t stay awake any longer.
When the train finally arrives at its destination, everyone jumps off and the boy begs “the moon to shine, / to light up the border” so he can cross and find his mother. This moving, poetic story by award-winning Salvadoran author Mario Bencastro touches on the difficult journey north many Central American children make in hopes of finding their parents and a better life.