From the prolific author of The Moon Within comes the heart-wrenchingly beautiful story in verse of a young Latinx girl who learns
to hold on to hope and love even in the darkest of places: a family detention center for migrants and refugees.
Nine-year-old Betita knows she is a crane. Papi has told her the story, even before her family fled to Los Angeles to seek refuge
from cartel wars in Mexico. The Aztecs came from a place called Aztlan, what is now the Southwest US, called the land of the
cranes. They left Aztlan to establish their great city in the center of the universe—Tenochtitlan, modern-day Mexico City. It was
prophesized that their people would one day return to live among the cranes in their promised land. Papi tells Betita that they are
cranes that have come home.
Then one day, Betita's beloved father is arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and deported to Mexico. Betita and
her pregnant mother are left behind on their own, but soon they too are detained and must learn to survive in a family detention
camp outside of Los Angeles. Even in cruel and inhumane conditions, Betita finds heart in her own poetry and in the community
she and her mother find in the camp. The voices of her fellow asylum seekers fly above the hatred keeping them caged, but each
day threatens to tear them down lower than they ever thought they could be. Will Betita and her family ever be whole again?
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