I Wish You Knew

by Jackie Azúa Kramer (Author) Magdalena Mora (Illustrator)

I Wish You Knew
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
When Estrella's father has to leave because he wasn't born here, like her, She misses him. And she wishes people knew the way it affects her. At home. At school. Always. But a school wrapped around a hundred-year-old oak tree is the perfect place to share and listen. Some kids miss family, Some kids are hungry, Some kids live in shelters. But nobody is alone. A story about deportation, divided families, and the importance of community in the midst of uncertainty.

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School Library Journal

K-Gr 3--Kramer's latest tells the story of Estrella, a young girl whose father was not born in the United States as she was. During the school year, he has to return to his home country and Estrella is left to deal with his absence. With a hardworking mother and a scared brother, Estrella is stressed out and wishes that others at her school understood what she was going through. Her teacher sets up sessions that allow her students to share "what I wish you knew" with her and their classmates, either anonymously or aloud. This gentle story embodies the social media movement #IWishMyTeacherKnew that has helped build community and strong school relationships across the country. An author's note describes her childhood, and the inspiration for this true story. Mora's soft watercolor illustrations depict a diverse student population. Estrella's memories of her father and experiences with her brother and mother after her father leaves are duller grays, conveying a sadder mood. VERDICT Estrella and her classmates' experiences are all too common and children will relate, if not for themselves, for others, to this compassionate recommended purchase.--Sara Thomas, New Castle P.L., DE

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Jackie Azúa Kramer
Jackie Azúa Kramer is the author of The Green Umbrella and If You Want to Fall Asleep. She was previously an actress, singer, and school counselor. Jackie Azúa Kramer lives with her family in Long Island, New York.

Cindy Derby is the author-illustrator of How to Walk an Ant and the illustrator of the poetry collection Climbing Shadows by Shannon Bramer. Before she was an illustrator, she went to theater school and performed all over the world as a puppeteer. Cindy Derby lives in San Francisco.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
May 20, 2021
Age Range
4 - 7 years

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