I Pledge Allegiance by Pat Mora and Libby Martinez
I Pledge Allegiance Spanish Edition


  • Texas Institute of Letters Denton Record-Chronicle Award, 2015
  • International Latino Book Award, Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book, 2015
  • CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children’s Book Center), 2015
  • Denver Public Library’s Best & Brightest Children’s Books, 2014
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, NCSS/CBC, 2015
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award Master List, 2016
  • Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee, Picture Book, 2016
  • Maine State Library Cream of the Crop for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, 2015
  • Greenburgh NY Public Library, Best Picture Books list, 2014


Teachers & Librarians
Find curriculum activities for
I Pledge Allegiance.

Download the Educator Guide from the publisher, Random House. Aligned with CCSS.

If you have an activity or activities to share, please email these along with your name and school or library name.

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.

5th anniversary 2019I 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

A Spanish edition, Yo prometo lealtad, is now available.

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.

Patrice Barton’s illustrations from the book were 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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Authors’ Note
Our aunt Ygnacia Delgado was a very special lady. A young woman during the Mexican Revolution of 1910, she came to El Paso, Texas, with her sisters and father, who had been a circuit judge in northern Mexico. She never married and often lived with our family. When she’d arrive in the evening after work, she’d call out, “¿Dónde están mis lobitos?” (“Where are my little wolves?”) We all began calling her Lobo and not tia, which means “aunt” in Spanish.

Lobo learned English when she arrived in the United States. She liked books and read encyclopedias, newspapers, and prayer books in Spanish and English. Lobo always wore dresses. She was very devout, very proper.

Lobo became a U.S. citizen in her late seventies and did give the wonderful answer about why she became a citizen that we refer to in the book. Although she had studied hard for her citizenship test, the judge only asked her one question. “Miss Delgado, who is the president of the United States?”

Lobo was everything a citizen should be–hardworking, honest, brave, respectful, responsible. And even in her nineties, Lobo was fun. She read to us and played games with us. We all remember her smile.

This book is our first collaboration. It’s an honor to share the story of our intelligent and loving aunt.
–Pat Mora and Libby Martinez

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