December 8th | Week in Review

¡Hola a todos! I wanted to let you all know that it has been my pleasure to gather resources for you. This will be my last post of the year, as we are approaching the holidays. I wish you all an unforgettable winter break full of love, harmony, and relaxation.

Latinxs in Kid Lit recommend the book North of Happy, a YA novel by Adi Alsaid, which offers a coming-of-age narrative focused on a young man whose life spans the US and Mexico, and who breaks norms to pursue his life’s passion: cooking. Reviewer Cecilia Cackley, a performing artist and children’s bookseller, states “It was…refreshing to read a book about a Mexican character that isn’t about immigration, drug wars, or poverty. My favorite parts of the book were the descriptions of Carlos cooking and his thought process as he selects ingredients or puts together a dish. ”

– Check out a new website dedicated to the late poet, Andrés Montoya, that was created by his brother, Maceo Montoya. Shared by La Bloga, the site commemorates the poet (1968-1999) and brings his work to new generations of readers. ““The late Andrés Montoya resided in Fresno, California. He had been a field hand, ditch digger, canner, and ice plant worker, and sometimes a teacher of writing.” – from the back cover of the iceworker sings and other poems.”

#DiverseKidLit has posted their December linkup! #DiverseKidLit is an amazing website dedicated to multicultural literature for children. It’s run by our lovely colleague, PragmaticMom. Each month, PragmaticMom proposes a new theme for the blogging community to explore, with all of the resources “designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.”

–Diario de Cultura explains why Los hispanohalantes ascienden ya a 572 millones, 5 millones más que hace un año.

— End-of-the-year booklists are popping up everywhere. Rich in Color is no exception. This is a blog dedicated to reading, reviewing, talking about, and otherwise promoting young adult books (fiction and non-fiction (starring or written by people of color or people from First/Native Nations. To be inspired in your YA reading, see their list, Audrey’s 2017 favorite books.

Goodreads recently shared their growing collection of Latino Book Lists. The lists range from themes like the “Immigrant Experience in Literature” to “Non-American Books that Every American Should.”

– Finally, from PopSugar, here are  50+ Books Every Latina Should Read in Her Lifetime. More than a few Vamos a Leer featured titles and authors appear on it, but there are many more titles to add to our TBR list! Enjoy!

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Purple Flower. Reprinted from Flickr Papa Pic under CC©.

 

December 1st | Week in Review

2017-11-28-image.png¡Hola a todos! It is super exciting that we are now in December, one of my favorite months. I hope you all enjoy this week’s resources.

– Latinxs in Kid Lit recommend the book Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown. In addition to the book review, they have shared a coloring activity sheet, book trailer, and discussion guide.

– When talking about media and identity in your class, you might want to share 20 Latina Superheroes and Villains by Hip Latina. Firebird or Bonita Juarez, born in Taos, New Mexico, is a woman who came into contact with radioactive meteorite fragments walking in the deserts around Albuquerque. She has appeared in West Coast Avengers and even in some Avengers storylines.

American Indians in Children’s Literature highly recommend the children’s book, The Water Walker, by Joanne Robertson. This is a story about a grandmother and her actions in saving water for future generations.

– Lastly, from the wonderful writer, Pat Mora, check out the book La Hermosa Señora: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe/ The Beautiful Lady: Our Lady of Guadalupe. With her birthday coming up (December 12), this is a great book to talk about religion and culture. She even shared activities to accompany it.

Abrazos,
Alin


Image: Familias productoras en el salvador. Reprinted from Flickr user Mesoamérica Sin Hambre FAO-AMEXCID under CC©.

November 17th | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! We are already halfway through November! I cannot believe how fast this month is passing by. Here are this week’s resources.

#IndigenousReads by Indigenous Writers: A Children’s Reading List. For centuries, Indigenous people have been represented in literature with stereotypes created and perpetuated by people not of an indigenous background. Now, Indigenous writers are taking it upon themselves and breaking into the publishing industry to share their own stories. ‘Most of what kids see in books today are best sellers & classics that stereotype & misrepresent Native people in history. There’s a lot of bias in them. The books that I recommend are ones that can counter that bias in several ways. One, they’re not stereotypical. Two, most of them are set in the present day, which is important in countering what we see in a lot of children’s & young adult literature, which says that we vanished, we didn’t make it to the present day, and of course we did.’ -Debbie Reese, Nambe Pueblo, of American Indians in Children’s Literature”

– The social movement and organization We Need Diverse Books has released a curated, book-finding app for librarians and teachers who want to find diverse books. The app is called Our Story. “An interactive quiz helps you find the perfect book.”

– Our friends at De Colores have highly recommended the bilingual book, 13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance/ 13 Colores de la Resistencia Hondureña, by Melissa Cardoza and translated by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle. The book includes 13 short bilingual stories and essays compiled in honor of Berta Cáceres Flores, a social and environmental activist in Honduras who was assassinated in March of 2016. “Originally written in beautiful, poetic Honduran vernacular Spanish by Melissa Cardoza and with a careful idiomatic English translation by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle—along with 13 black-and-white photos that visually highlight the diversity of the struggle—13 colores documents the resistance of all the abuelas, powerful sisters, and mamas who struggle to feed their children.”

– Find out which books to keep or toss with the help of the blog Booktoss. Their latest post (“Volume 3”) suggests skipping Skippyjohn Jones and treasuring La Princesa and the Pea. “Booktoss means we, the Literary Gatekeepers, need to be willing to see the problems with books and simply toss them aside. Yes. I said it. Toss the book aside. No burning or censoring (understand the difference between censoring and  boycotting, please!). Just get rid of the racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist book and move on.”

– Congratulations to the 20 books that made it to the Premio Fundación Cuatro Gatos 2017. This year there were over one thousand publications representing 20 countries from which to choose!

– Lastly, Latinxs in Kid Lit shared a recent review in which Evangelina Takes Flight by Diana J. Noble is recommended for older young adults. The reviewer, Cris Rhods, a doctoral student at A&M University who focuses on the construction of identity in young adult literature, writes that “Diana J. Noble’s Evangelina Takes Flight is timely to a startling degree. As a work of historical fiction, Noble’s portrayal of upheaval in Mexico caused by the Mexican Revolution and Pancho Villa’s raids on farming villages remains relevant to this day. In confronting the racism and xenophobia rampant at the border, where shops display signs declaring ‘No Dogs! No Negroes! No Mexicans! No Perros! No Negros! No Mexicanos!’, Evangelina’s story parallels contemporary struggles for racial equality (92). As racial tensions build both in the text and in real life, Evangelina’s stand to keep her school desegregated feels remarkably current, and in its demonstration of child activism, Evangelina Takes Flight holds up a powerful example.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Holguin, Cuba. Reprinted from Flickr user Piviso under CC©.

November 10th | Week in Review

¡Hola a todos! I am always delighted to assemble the resources for you!

— Here are the Premio Fundación Cuatrogatos 2017. Cuatrogatos is a nonprofit organizations that works to promote Spanish culture, language, and education, with a focus on children’s and young adult books. Its annual award was established to recognize high quality books created by Ibero-American writers and illustrators. This year’s list of award winners highlights 90 books written in Spanish.

Latinxs in Kid Lit shared the book reviews of Lola Levine Meets Jelly and Bean as well as The Rooster Would Not Be Quiet by reviewer Dora, a bilingual reading specialist for k-3. Dora includes great teaching tips in her review!

– If teaching kindergarten, you might want to check out The Latino Family Literacy Project’s short book trailer for the children’s book Fun with ABC’s – Loteria Style.

– For those teaching older grades, you might be interested in teaching about the Role of Women in Drug Cartels as represented in popular media. “In short, the reality is this—on screen, we’re accustomed to seeing the women of the drug cartels as mere background players. But on the ground, things couldn’t be more different. Now that the DEA has captured El Chapo, it is a “queenpin” from the Medellín cartel’s past—Maria Teresa Osorio de Serna—who remains one of the few figures left on their most wanted list.”

– You might already be familiar with “the 12-year-old-trailblazer fighting for equality in kids’ books,” but if not you should definitely read more about her story and be inspired for how you and your students can help change the world.

– Still looking for more inspiration? How about reading “How YA Literature is Leading the Queer Disabled Media Revolution”? “When you’re marginalized, it’s hard to find yourself reflected in media. When you’re marginalized in multiple ways, that difficulty is multiplied tenfold…”

– We hate to break it to you, but Dr. Seuss’ work is “complicated.” Read more about how “Dr. Seuss Draws Fresh Scrutiny.” “Seuss, like any other author, was a product of his time,” Martin said. “Fortunately, some authors grow and figure out that maybe some of the things they wrote early on were harmful and they try to make amends. Seuss did that.”

– We were excited to read that “A New Database Catalogues 1,300 Children’s Books About People of Color.” And they’re cataloging the books with nuanced search terms, which means that we can both find diverse literature and analyze how stereotypes can be reproduced even within the so-called diverse book world. “So far Aronson and her team have read and processed 1,300 books, with around 200 backlogged books left. The database can be searched with combinations of tags, like ‘Vietnamese,’ ‘Muslim,’ and ‘beautiful life’ to find books appropriate for different occasions, lessons, and readers. The database also reveals patterns in the ways kids are taught about people of color: Of the 10 books starring a Brazilian kid currently published in the US, half are about soccer. Half the books about Asian or Asian American characters are about culture, like The year of the sheep, about Chinese Zodiac signs, and a quarter are about folklore, like The ghost catcher, a retelling of a myth about a Bengali barber. About 2% of these have characters categorized by the database as ‘oppressed.’” Check out the Diverse Book Finder to explore its catalog.

– Finally, we have to share a recent post from The Open Book blog run by the wonderful folks at Lee & Low Books: Celebrate Native American Heritage Month + Poster Giveaway.  “Historically, Native people have been silenced and their stories set aside, hidden, or drowned out. The #NoDAPL movement and the fight against racist portrayals for sports mascots  brought Native American voices to the forefront of the news last year, but the issues that the community still have to deal with shouldn’t be brushed aside. This is why it’s especially important to continue to read stories about Native characters, by Native voices which brings us to some exciting news: last month, we brought back to print a special 40th Anniversary  edition of Simon J. Ortiz’s beloved children’s book The People Shall Continue, which traces the history of Native and Indigenous people in North America. It includes updated illustrations by Sharol Graves and a new afterword by the author. It’s also available in a Spanish translation which you can purchase here.”  Visit their blog to learn more and request a free poster for your classroom!

 

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Valparaiso, Chile. Reprinted from Flickr user Paula Soler-Moya under CC©.

November 3rd | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I cannot believe we are already in November! Time is going by fast. I hope you enjoy the compiled resources; I always enjoy gathering them.

– Puerto Rico is still very much in our hearts and minds here at The University of New Mexico, but apparently it’s not in most US classrooms. Courtesy of Teaching for Change, here is a list of “Puerto Rican Children’s Literature for Social Justice: A Bibliography for Educators” by Marilisa Jimenez Garcia, PhD. “Recent national news reflects the public’s lack of knowledge of the U.S. as a country in possession of colonies, such as Guam and Puerto Rico. In a 2016 poll, many Americans were unaware that Puerto Ricans born on the island were U.S. citizens. Moreover, Puerto Ricans remain one of the largest Latinx populations in the U.S. with a continuous migration and diaspora resulting from over a century and half of U.S. interventions and economic upheaval.”

– Latinx in Kid Lit continue with their excellent reviews of recent books by Latinx authors. Among their more recent reviews are Marta Big and Small and The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra, as jointly reviewed by Ruby Jones. Ms. Jones has worked in public libraries since 2007.

– De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children always brings us sharply focused reviews of Latinx children’s books – many not by Latinx authors. In one of their latest features, they share some of the reasons why Home at Last by Susan Middleton Elya is not recommended “…But this unrealistic and didactic story serves only to reinforce the stereotype of Mexican women…”

– La Bloga recently shared an interview with Hector Luis Alamo, an editor and publisher for Enclave as well as a guest columnist for Chile’s Prensa Irreverente. In this interview, this Latino artivist shares his experience of how he became passionate about reading, his favorite poems, and how he came to find his career path.

– In our offline conversations, we talk frequently about how books can serve as windows, mirrors, and doors. Lee & Low Books focused on the “mirrors: possibilities in their latest post on their blog, The Open Book, where they emphasized the importance of “Mirror Books” in the classroom.

– Lastly, as Día de los Muertos takes this week, we thought it important to share Teaching Tolerance’s recent post on Let Día de los Muertos Stand on Its Own. “This holiday, which is distinctly different from Halloween, presents a wonderful opportunity to foster empathy among students.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Monumento al Nazareno, Venezuela. Reprinted from Flickr user Wilmer Osarlo under CC©.

October 27h | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and enjoys this week’s resources.

La Bloga posted a new book spotlight: “Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer: Undocumented Vignettes from a Pre-American Life” by Alberto Ledesma. “In this hybrid memoir, Alberto Ledesma wonders, ‘At what point does a long-time undocumented immigrant become an American in the making?’”

– Our American Indians in Children’s Literature friends still do not recommend: The Secret Project by Jonah and Jeanette Winter. Some people suggested that the original evaluation of the book was not clear and short so they went back to do an in-depth analysis, at which point they still expressed strong reservations.

— Also, Beacon Broadside shared a Q & A with editor Jennifer Browdy – a Latin American and Caribbean professor at Simon’s Rock College in Massachusetts. She speaks about her involvement in the book Women in Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and Caribbean, offering a behind-the-scenes take on what inspired it and why it’s important.

–Check out why the blog De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children recommends the short story collection, Cuentos de SanTana/SanTana’s Fairy Tales, is recommended.

Children’s Book Council posted the latest Q & A with Author Anna-Marie McLemore and her latest book Wild Beauty. “Writing inclusive stories was a matter of letting the truth I already know have a place in my work.”

– Lastly, from America Reads Spanish, check out the upcoming release (31st of this October) of the book Las Aventuras de Batgirl en Super Hero High by Lisa Yee. In this book, award-winning author Yee follows DC comics’ female superheroes and villains, creating mystery, thrills, and laughs for her readers.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Teotihuacan Aztec Ruins, Mexico City. Reprinted from Flickr user Chrisinphylly5448 under CC©.

October 20th | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I hope you enjoy this week’s resources.

– Check out Rethinking School’s New way of teaching Columbus: Putting him on trial for murder. “‘It begins on the premise that there’s this monstrous crime in the years after 1492 when perhaps as many as 3 million or more Taínos on the island of Hispaniola lost their lives,’ says Bill Bigelow, the curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools and the co-director of the Zinn Education Project. ‘It asks students to wrestle with the responsibility in this.’

— Also from Rethinking Schools: there’s a second edition of one of our favorite books: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up by Linda Christensen. To learn more about what prompted this re-release and its importance for education today, read this interview with Christensen “on the second edition…what role the classroom played in revision, and what needs to change in how we teach.”

– Thanks to an interesting initiative in Washington, DC, we can gain a quick glimpse into how third graders are coping with and processing current issues around the world. Check out how The World According to Washington’s Third-Graders to hear how the students “were generous, thoughtful and eager to talk about everything under the sun: personal experiences with racism, environmental policy, whether it’s a good idea to clone dinosaurs.” It’s a good reminder that young children think deeply about the same issues as adults.

–If you get a chance, you should read why when students are traumatized, teachers are too. One teacher expresses, “When you’re learning to be a teacher, you think it’s just about lesson plans, curriculum, and seating charts. I was blindsided by the emotional aspect of teaching—I didn’t know how to handle it.”

— There is a soft bigotry of having to change your name. “… There’s a difference between a name you can choose for yourself and a name that’s given to you because other people can’t be bothered with pronouncing it, even if the same sounds exist in the English tongue.”

-Lastly, here is a list of books to help kids understand the fight for racial equality, with an emphasis on the history of the US. Thanks to Penguin House for putting together these “resources to help us move beyond tokens and icons to a deeper understanding of our history and its legacy, toward our own marches for liberty and justice for all.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: A Splash of Color. Reprinted from Flickr username Tanguy Domenge under CC©.