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From New York Times Bestselling Author Mariame Kaba, a poignant, beautifully illustrated story of a little girl's worries when her Mama goes to jail, and the love that bridges the distance between them.

Even though I'm away,

My love is always here to stay.
See you soon, Queenie.
Love, Mama

Queenie loves living with Mama and Grandma Louise. Together, they go to the grocery store, eat ice cream, and play games in the park. Mama braids Queenie's hair and helps her with her homework.

Sometimes, when Mama is sick, she has to go away. One day, Queenie and Grandma ride the bus with Mama to the county jail.

Queenie is worried about what will happen when Mama goes to jail. She's afraid to ask questions, and overcome with feelings of worry and sadness. Does Mama have a warm bed to sleep in? When will Queenie see her again?

Soon after she and Grandma return home, Queenie opens a letter from Mama, and savors every word. She knows her Mama loves her, and looks forward to their upcoming visit.


Mariame Kaba is an educator and organizer based in New York City. She has been active in the anti-criminalization and anti-violence movements for over 30 years. Mariame is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a long-term vision to end youth incarceration. She is the author of Missing Daddy and the New York Times Bestseller We Do This 'Til We Free Us. Learn more at

Bianca Diaz is a Mexican American artist from Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. She is the illustrator of the children's books Starting Over in Sunset Park and The One Day House. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more at


  • Publisher: Haymarket Books (March 1, 2022)
  • Language: English
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1642597635
  • ISBN-13: 9781642597639
  • Reading age: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile measure: AD480L
  • Grade level: 1 - 2
  • Item Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 11 x 0.5 x 9 inches
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