I Pledge Allegiance

I Pledge Allegiance by Pat Mora and Libby Martinez

Awards

  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center), 2015
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, NCSS/CBC, 2015
  • Denver Public Library’s Best & Brightest Children’s Books, 2014
  • Texas Institute of Letters Denton Record-Chronicle Award, 2015
  • Finalist, International Latino Book Award, 2015
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award Master List, 2016
Libby and photo of Lobo

Libby with Aunt Lobo.

More about Lobo from Pat. Video provided by
WETV’s ¡Colorín Colorado!.
Pat & Pledge illustrator Patrice Barton.

Pat & Pledge illustrator Patrice Barton.

Reading Rock Stars visit

Students at Ortega School in Austin Texas created self-portraits after studying the art in I Pledge Allegiance.

Pat and Libby

Pat and her daughter, Libby Martinez.

I Pledge Allegiance
By Pat Mora and Libby Martinez
Illustrated by Patrice Barton
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Download the Educator Guide, aligned with CCSS
Download a hi-res jpeg of the book jacket.
Available as an e-book:    For Kindle    For Nook
Read the press release

Libby’s great aunt, Lobo, is from Mexico, but the United States has been her home for many years, and she wants to become a U.S. citizen. At the end of the week, Lobo will say the Pledge of Allegiance at a special ceremony. Libby is also learning the Pledge this week, at school—at the end of the week, she will stand up in front of everyone and lead the class in the Pledge. Libby and Lobo practice together—asking questions and sharing stories and memories—until they both stand tall and proud, with their hands over their hearts.

Read a short interview with Pat and Libby about writing I Pledge Allegiance on the Random House blog.

Patrice Barton’s illustrations from the book have been chosen for Original Art, the Society of Illustrators’ annual juried exhibition celebrating the fine art of children’s book illustration.

Read a thoughtful opinion essay inspired by I Pledge Allegiance in The Monitor (Texas).

Highlighted Reviews
"Libby and her Great Aunt Lobo are learning the Pledge of Allegiance at the same time–but for different reasons…Sprinkled with Spanish words, this gentle book explores what it means to be an American from the perspective of both a child and new citizen."—School Library Journal
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"On Friday, Mom and I will go with…great-aunt [Lobo] to a special place…[where] she will say the Pledge of Allegiance and…become a citizen of the United States,” exclaims Libby, the young narrator of this family story. Libby vows to practice saying the pledge with Lobo in the week leading up to the ceremony, providing an easy opportunity for the authors to integrate both lines of the pledge and discussions of its meaning into the text."—Booklist
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"This book succeeds in not only explaining the Pledge of Allegiance but also the reasons that [Libby’s] great-aunt chose to immigrate to the U. S. This is an essential purchase."—School Library Journal
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"An intergenerational ode to a positive United States immigration experience. Libby is proud of her great-aunt Lobo (which means “wolf” in Spanish), who has just passed the United States citizenship test. On Thursday, Libby will lead her class in saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and on Friday, Lobo will recite the pledge to officially become a U.S. citizen…Intertextual historical facts make this book a shoo-in for social-studies units on the United States. "—Kirkus Reviews
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"Drawing from family history, Mora and her daughter Martinez tell the story of a girl named Libby, whose 80-year-old Mexican-born great-aunt, Lobo, becomes a U.S. citizen. Libby proudly announces to her class that Lobo passed her citizenship test and will soon recite the Pledge of Allegiance at her swearing-in ceremony…Libby and Lobo practice the pledge together…Barton’s art easily conveys Libby and Lobo’s loving rapport."—Publishers Weekly
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"Inspired by their own aunt’s immigration story (described in a note at the back), authors Mora and Martinez
craft a wonderful story that will encourage children to learn this pledge of patriotism and understand what it means to arrive from another country and become an American–like so many Americans have. This book is practical and inspirational."—NAEYC’s Young Children
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"A red, white and blue must-read."—emissourian.com
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"…shows the importance of patriotism and family bonds…this little book reminds parents and kids alike how fortunate we are to live in this country."—Booking Mama blog
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