It's not easy moving time and again, but Tomás and his family are migrant workers who travel from state to state, helping farmers harvest their crops. When they arrive in Iowa for the summer, Tomás finds an escape from the scorching heat at the town library. And once inside, he also discovers a surprising world filled with dinosaurs, tigers, and a great new friend.
"A gentle text and innovative artwork depict a pivotal summer in a boy's life when he and his family leave their Texas home for farm work in Iowa. One morning, while his parents pick corn, Tomás visits the imposing town library and meets a kindly librarian who gently coaxes him inside. Throughout the hot days thereafter, she offers Tomás cool drinks of water and adventurous escapes into books; on slow days he teaches her Spanish until it's time to return home to Texas: 'I have a sad word to teach you today. The word is adios. It means good-bye.' . . . While young readers and future librarians will find this an inspiring tale, the end note gives it a real kick: the story is based on an actual migrant worker [Tomás Rivera] who became chancellor of a university — where the library now bears his name." — Publishers Weekly