International Day of Peace

UN-PeaceHappy Peace Day, folks!

Today, September 21, is recognized as the International Day of Peace by the United Nations. As the UN describes it, “Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.” It’s a moment to pause and reflect on peace or to literally cease firing at one another.

In 2018, #PeaceDay overlaps with the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The two being intertwined, it seems an apt opportunity to talk about how peace can only be achieved by bringing about a world in which human rights are upheld for all, and human rights can only be upheld if we start from a place of mutual understanding, respect, and empathy. UNHumanRights

If you’re to broach this conversation with students, books can help shape their understanding – as can just getting to know one another beyond tropes and stereotypes.

  • From Medium, a 2016 article on “Children’s Literature as a Vehicle for Peace” by Summer Edward, Editor-in-Chief of Anansesem.
    “…is there anything more important than creating a peaceful world for our children? If we are not here on earth to be vehicles for peace, to add our voice, our energy and our talents to the task of creating a better world, then what are we here for? Is social justice an elite tool to be wielded in the hands of a few acclaimed activists or is it a human imperative to which each individual is called? These are serious questions for each and every human being.” 
  • 50 Books About Peace and Social Justice” from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC).
  • Social Justice Books. Run by Teaching for Change, this website provides “more than 50 carefully selected lists of multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators.”
  • Picture Books with a Message” from the Teach Peace Now website. This is a long list of carefully selected books on topics such as Anti-War and Peace Education,  Activism and Social JusticeAnti-Racism/Anti-Bias Books, Anti-Bullying, and Conflict Resolution | Kindness & Caring | Cooperation, among others.
  • 30 Children’s Books About Diversity that Celebrate Our Differences” from Bookriot.
  • 2018 We’re the People Summer Reading List.” This may be last but is certainly not least. It’s a curated collection of books that celebrate “diversity and all its intersections” put together “by and about IPOC (Indigenous and People of Color), people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ| community. Chosen books are thoroughly discussed, vetted and given second reads.”

Let us know in the comments if there are other resources you turn to for discussing peace, change making, empathy, and human rights with your students, or other ways you frame these discussions.

~ Keira

 

 

 

May 4th | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I want to thank you all for sharing this wonderful space with me. Unfortunately, although also fortunately, this is my last post, as I will be graduating over the summer. I am grateful to have been able to share all of the resources with you, and hope that you enjoy these last ones! J

–  Check out this book review of Diary of a Reluctant Dreamer: Undocumented Vignettes from a Pre-American Life by Alberto Ledesma as reviewed by Latinxs in Kid Lit. According to the review, the vignettes “brings penetrating light into the liminal spaces occupied not only by Dreamers, but all undocumented immigrants, and makes a convincing case that their stories deserve a chapter in our national narrative.” After you read the review, you might also want to learn more about how Alberto Ledesma produced the Diary, and if you’re not sure about the book yet, check out De Colores’ review, too.

— Here is New Mexico Artist Agnes Chavez on the importance of art and science education. “Creativity and innovation are core skills that youth need to be ready to thrive in the 21st century,” and according to Chavez they can be attained through both science and art.

 – Feliz belated Día de los niños (April 30th)! If you’re not familiar with the day, learn more from acclaimed author Pat Mora, who has been a champion of the event for many years: the History of Día de los niños/Día del libro

— You can view the book review of nipêhon/Wait, by Caitlin Dale Nicholson and Leona Morin-Neilson, shared by American Indians in Children’s Literature. The reviewer expressed that the “inclusion of syllabics in this book is wonderful; it’s great for Native and non-Native kids to see. It’s also an important addition for young (and old!) Cree language learners.”

— In terms of incorporating music into teaching, check out these 10 Jazz Books to connect kids to music by our beloved friend PragmaticMom. I have personally read My name is Celia/ Me llamo Celia by Monica Brown and I loved the book. I hope you do, too!

–  Get to know America Reads Spanish Week’s List latest edition (covering April 29th, 2018). The list includes la vida de Selena, a Hispanic music icon, among others.

–For those interested in transnational Latinx social justice, you might want to view how the biggest general strike in American history revived the US working class on May Day.

–Lastly, with Cinco de Mayo happening this weekend, we recommend you read Rethinking School’s informative piece on Rethinking Cinco de Mayo.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Hand. Reprinted from Flickr user Mattias under CC©.

April 27th | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I hope everyone enjoys this week’s readings as much as I enjoyed gathering them. 😊

–  In case you wondered how important nature is in Latin America, check out these 6 Indigenous struggles that need to be talked about during earth day.

— When teaching about immigration, you might appreciate Beacon and Broadside’s reasons for Why Myths About Immigrants and Immigration Are Still with Us Today.

 – La Bloga shared great news! Lil’ Libros baby board books now have Latin American culture, historic figures, and more. These board books have figures like Cantiflas, Selena, and even popular short stories like “un elefante.”

— You can learn more about the importance of having stories available in Spanish via this Lee & Low interview with David Bowles and Guadalupe García Mccall as they discuss their experience translating Summer of the Mariposas.

– Remezcla shared 6 books Sandra Cisneros turns to during tough times. I have personally read An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and all I can say is that this book will definitely help you get through tough times!

— Continuing the theme of Earth Day, De Colores reviewed Arriba, Abajo y Alrededor / Up, Down, and Around and Nuestro Huerto: De la semilla a la cosecha en el huerto del colegio /It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garde. Both books are recommended, and both are great for themes about food, agriculture, culture, and nature.

–  Latinxs in Kid Lit recommend the book US, In Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos by Lulu Delacre– a Pura Belpré Award honoree author. According to the reviewer, the book “in the hands of kids is an exciting prospect. Individually, you could delve into each character’s story, reveling in the rich development of character, place, and voice.”

— Talking about identity and representation can be complex but here is a way to get out of the margins. The post stresses that “from the outside, it probably seems a self-evident choice when an author from a marginalized group chooses to write a protagonist that shares their lived experience. If ‘write what you know’ is sound advice, then choosing to speak from a personal and underrepresented point of view would seem obvious. But for me and many other ‘own voices’ writers, the decision was not obvious at all.”

–This is the reason why world book day is celebrated on April 23rd according to America Reads Spanish

–  From Gathering Books, here is more proof of how reading can impact one’s soul. Follow along on the writer’s exploration through her post on “My Literary Journey Has Taken Me to Uruguay’s Galeano.” She writes that “Reading Galeano was like being given this hearty meal of beef pochero complete with chorizo, after being fed a steady diet of cotton candy or french fries. This, right here, is simply the real deal. Given the current state of the world today, with so many lunatics in positions of power, Galeano’s words filled me, providing me with the energy, clarity, and sustenance required to continue fighting the good fight. Find him. Read him.”

— Finally, Jacqueline Woodson’s upcoming book is a moving letter to kids who feel alone. Woodson confesses that “My mom used to tell us there’d be moments when we walked into a room and no one there was like us. I’ve walked into those rooms many times during my childhood and beyond so I had the sense that this was true of most people and began writing the story.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Soccer Match. Reprinted from Flickr user Joint Task Force under CC©.

April 20th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! Here are this week’s resources. They are diverse and, like my mom says, “a todo dar.”

–  To start off, check out the Q&A and Cover Reveal with Author-Illustrator Tony Piedra shared by Latinxs in Kid Lit. The cover reveal is for the book The Greatest Adventure, which is going to be released September 11, 2018.

— Check out why it’s time to diversify and decolonise our schools’ reading lists. It was expressed in the post that “Indigenous and students of colour deserve to have the same privilege in education that white students have always had – the opportunity to examine and imagine the full extent of their humanity in literature.”

 – With the latest caravan of Central Americans fleeing their countries due to violence and political reasons, you might want to view Hip Latina’s post on how to talk to kids about violence, crime and war. According to the web, “These tips and conversation starters can help you talk to kids of different ages about the toughest topics.”

— Also from Hip Latina, you can view Zoe Saldana’s perspective on how being Afro-Latina hindered her from landing lead roles. This is a great article when talking about identity and what it means to be Afro-Latina in the U.S. and Latin America.

— La bloga shared the poems Liz González presented to the Autry audience and who will be published in July by Los Nietos Press.

–  Here are some tips for reading poetry aloud to children, courtesy of Lee and Low Books.

— De Colores recommends Arriba, Abajo y Alrededor by Katherine Ayres and Nuestro Huerto: De la semilla a la cosecha en el huerto del colegio by George Ancona. According to the reviewer, Arriba, Abajo y Alrededor is “perfect for bilingual preschool classrooms” while Nuestro Huerto’s “gorgeous full-color photographs are laid out with lots of white space to accommodate his clear, accessible text and student art rendered in marker or crayon.”

— You can view the interview with Saraciea Fennell– an organizer of the Bronx Book Festival that is going to occur May 18-19. Fennell talks about the making of the festival and the reason why it arose.

–  Here are vignettes of women who weave words and who stood their ground in “Literary Witches” and “She Persisted” by Gathering Books.

– Deverian de ver como la fundación la Fuente celebra el día del libro con el festival Somos Lectores. Segun, “la Fuente han dado vida al primer Festival Somos Lectores, con actividades literarias, encuentros con autores, una campaña de donación de libros, descuentos y sorteos. Revisa nuestra programación y participa en esta fiesta de la lectura.”

— Finally, here is why the future is bilingual from TexasMonthly. Former state senator Leticia Van de Putte and Representative Diego Bernal “met at Jefferson High to talk about how to improve public education in San Antonio and the challenges of advocating for the city’s students at a state level.” When discussing how to improve education Representative Bernal emphasized that “the conversation we need to have is that dual language is the way to go. But that’s not the statewide attitude at all.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Santiago, Chile 2005. Reprinted from Flickr user Luxbao under CC©.

April 13th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! There were so many books shared this week, I hope you enjoy them!

– Junot Diaz is forefront in many minds this week following the New Yorker’s release of his essay, “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma.” We acknowledge and honor his willingness to speak openly about what so many people must endure in silence. Long pause.

–  Check out Latinxs in Kid Lit’s review of the children’s book Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal. This book “illuminates an essential connection to ancestors. Inspired by her own name, Juana reminds readers that our names are not just our own, but a reflection of our culture as well.”

– Also from Latinx in Kid Lit, a review of Margarita Engle’s All the Way to Havana. “Together, a boy and his parents drive to the city of Havana, Cuba, in their old family car. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets–neighbors talking, musicians performing, and beautiful, colorful cars putt-putting and bumpety-bumping along.”

 – When talking about U.S.-Latin America experiences and education, you might appreciate Hip Latina’s observations on how French Montana’s Dreamers Campaign Gives First Grant to Kansas City School. Inspired by French Montana’s campaign, We Are the Dream, “two educators at Alta Vista Charter High school created a scholarship program to aid the smartest graduating undocumented students get to college.”

–Also, when highlighting the importance of language and tradition,  don’t miss La Bloga’s cultural reflection post, Yoeme Mask Carvers and Artists : La Familia Martinez by Antonio SolisGomez. Here, you can meet artista Feliciana and her “clay figures, depicting Yoeme figures, Deer Dancers, Pascola’s, Fariseos etc…” Yoeme are indigenous people whose ancestral homelands are found in Sonora, Mexico.

— Cynthia Leitich Smith, author behind the blog Cynsations, posted a video of Rudine Sims Bishop on Mirrors, Windows & Sliding Glass Doors. Dr. Bishop, professor emerita from Ohio State University, is the scholar behind the now well-known article from 1990 that coined the metaphors of windows, mirrors, and doors in children’s and YA literature. If you enjoy hearing Dr. Bishop speak, we also recommend you visit Reading While White’s reflection on the ongoing importance of her work, “Rudine Sims Bishop: In Appreciation.”

– Don’t miss the list of 2017 Middle Grade Novels about Finding One’s Voice and Identity by Gathering Books. If you find yourself interested in My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela and Neruda: Poet of the People, you might want to read more about them courtesy of our own Vamos bloggers.

— Great news! New Online Spanish-Language Bookstore Comes to U.S. April 15, 2018.Check out the new Libros in Español.

–Here is a video posted by Colorín Colorado on why positive body language matters when working with ELLs

-Lee and Low shared their culturally responsive approach to Earth Day. Parrots over Puerto Rico is featured in this post. You can learn more about the book by reading our own Vamos review!

– View the best books on immigration by Five Books.

–Finally, here’s a compilation of the Top 5 Latinxs Poetry Picture Book List as shared by the wonderful Pragmatic Mom.  It’s a great list!

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Costa Rica 2012. Reprinted from Flickr user The Leaf Project under CC©.

March 30th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! This week we have a bunch of wonderful Q&A’s with authors and recommended books to read, enjoy!

– We recently came across Catalina and the King’s Wall by Patty Costello and published by Eifrig Publishing- a children’s book that might prompt children to think critically, albeit perhaps implicitly and without knowing the broader political context, about what it means when a country seeks to build an impenetrable wall to keep out another country. “When Catalina overhears the king planning to build a wall, she fears her family won’t ever be able to visit. Catalina tricks the king into building walls that droop, drip, swirl, and swoosh away. But now the king demands an impenetrable wall. Luckily, Catalina has the perfect ingredients to bake up a family reunion! Through beautiful illustrations and enjoyable prose, kids learn how to stand by their convictions of inclusivity and kindness even when powerful people tell them not to.”

 – De Colores recomends My Year in Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver. The book is recomended for 4-7th grade and is about the story of Luisa Olivera’s starting of middle school during the Vietnam war. The book is “a brilliant, fast-moving story that will resonate with middle-grade readers and could not have been published at a better time.”

–Check out this Q&A session with Latinx in Kid Lit and illustrator Jacuqueline Alcántara about her debut picture book, The Field.

– While discussing indigenous history, you might want to check out how Goni and El Zorro fall and $10 Million is awarded to Indigenous Bolivian survivors in landmark human rights case shared by Latin America News Dispatch. The case was “charged that the Bolivian military massacred more than 60 citizens in September and October of 2003 in the city of El Alto, which neighbors La Paz, in what is often referred to as the October Massacre, or Black or Red October.”

–Our friend, Pragmatic Mom, shared 10 diverse picture books on fine artists, one of which is our favorite Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos. If you want to know more, check out Latinx in Kid Lit’s  review of it here.

– Gathering Books shared their first part (out of two) of Biographies of Fantastically Great Women. Because every day is women’s day, they shared this 32-page book about over 13 international women who made a difference in the world.

–When discussing about gender and sexuality in Latin America you might appreciate why GLAAD Is Calling For LGBTQ Representation In Latin Media With #InclusiveScreens by Hip Latina.  GLADD expresses that “it’s an issue with its #InclusiveScreens / #PantallaInclusivas campaign that seeks to increase Afro-Latinx, Indigenous and all LGBTQ characters of color in Latino media

–In honor of the 100th anniversary of Hernández’s birth, La bloga recommended Danza! Amalia Hernández and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet by Duncan Tonatiuh. Tonatiuh’s books have received many awards and accolades from Pural Belpré and “with Tonatiuh’s distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings that seem to leap off the page, Danza! will enthrall and inspire young readers with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer.” If you are interested but would like more insight, you might want to check Latinxs in Kid Lit and Vamos a Leer book reviews.

– If you were still wondering why diversity in science fiction and fantasy is so critical than you might appreciate the Q&A session with Sauantani Dasgupta shared by CBC Diversity. The author truly believes that “sci-fi and fantasy narratives help us imagine the futures we want, or don’t want. Diverse science fiction and fantasy – narratives in which indigenous characters and characters of color, LGBTQI+ characters, and characters with disabilities and other marginalized identities are central to the story and not just sidekicks – help write diversity into everybody’s future imaginings.”

–Here is an interview with Lee Francis IV on Native Publishing, Bookstores & Indigenous Comic Con. Mr. Lee Francis IV is the owner of Red Planet Comics and Books here in Albuquerque and founder of Native Realities. To Lee Francis IV, the company started “in 2015 and have published 10 titles to date. When we started, the idea was to fill the gap in Indigenous literature.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Costa Rica. Reprinted from Flickr user Pere Aleu Casanovas under CC©.

March 30th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I am glad for another interesting Women’s History Month. Though we think the focus on women should continue throughout the year, here are a few “last minute” resources you might add to the WHM list, along with some other tidbits we came across.

–  Just as we are preparing to host Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña here at the University of New Mexico, Latinxs in Kid Lit has shared their review of Quintero’s and Peñas’s latest collaboration, a graphic novel on The Life of Graciela Iturbide. “It’s no small order to synthesize a lifetime of artistic growth and achievement, but this book delivers, thanks to the wonderful collaborative work of Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña, who are impressive artists in their own right, with rich futures in their respective fields.”

– Lee & Low shared their forthcoming Spring Paperbacks favorite titles, including one that made us super excited – a Spanish translation of our beloved book, Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. El verano de las mariposas is almost here!

 – Want a quick literary moment for your day? La Bloga shared an inspiring and hilarious story, “Cruising with Nayto,” that features Dr. Alvaro Huerta, an assistant professor of Urban and Regional Planning as well as Ethnic and Women’s Studies, at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

– Check out Padma’s Book blog piece on “I is for Inclusion,” where blogger and author Padma Venjatraman discusses how to create a “more inclusive and comfortable atmosphere before, during, and after author visits/events.”

– Other sources about Women’s History month that are at once outstanding, inspiring, and refreshing are pieces that highlight the original Pura Belpré, including how Afro-Latina Pura Belpré gave children the precious love of books and stories and how NYC’s First Puerto Rican Librarian Brought Spanish To The Shelves.

— For another lit moment, here are 10 Books by Latina Authors You Should Read During Women’s History Month.

— And here are five female writers and the women who inspired them.

– We offer our congrats to Jacqueline Woodson for winning the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award– the world’s prestigious and largest award for children’s writing. Outstanding!

– Our local libraries made the news here for recognizing the one and only Rudolfo Anaya. Our North Valley Library has been renamed as the  Rudolfo Anaya North Valley Library. Dean Smith-the director of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Public Library System emphasized that renaming the library is a tradition “where we honor authors who have made major contributions to the literary canon of New Mexico.” Truth be told, though, Anaya’s impact goes far beyond NM. He’s a legend no matter where you are or what you read!

– Finally, with Easter celebrations upon us, here is Hip Latinas’s list of Semana Santa Traditions from Spanish-Speaking Countries.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City. Reprinted from Flickr user Lul_piquee under CC©.

March 23rd | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! Below are this week’s resources. I hope you have as much fun reading them as I did in gathering them!

– Beacon Broadside shared “To Write is to Resist and to Raise Women’s Silenced Voices,” an interview with Jennifer Browdy about writing Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean. According to Browdy, she “learned so much through working with these writers to put together this anthology.” Both this short interview and the book itself would be great resources to share with older students if you wanted to engage in them in conversations about the importance of writing their stories and lifting their voices, or in discussions about important feminist writers of Latin America and the Caribbean.

–  Check out how Washington’s Yakima School District teachers are learning Spanish to better help their students. According to one of the instructors “these lessons allow the teachers to see the classroom from the kid’s perspective, which allows them to better present their subjects.”

– For those of you wondering where to find nursery rhymes in children’s books, De Colores compares two children’s books influenced by Latinx culture and the Spanish language. Read their full review to find out why they highly recommend one, but not the other.

– From NPR, a story on how “In Junot Díaz’s ‘Islandborn,’ A Curious Child Re-Createse Her Dominican Roots.” “‘She is an immigrant who came over so young, she has no memories of the land that she left behind,’ Díaz says. ‘And of course she is surrounded by a community that talks endlessly about the island.’ She’s about 6 years old, the age Díaz was when he and his family fled to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic, which was torn apart by the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Islandborn, illustrated by Leo Espinosa, follows Lola’s quest to find out about the mysterious nation.”

 – In their ongoing series about culturally responsive teaching for all grades, Lee and Low has put together their list of 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Middle School.

-You might want to check out Puerto Rico Strong, a “new comic book anthology that raises money for Puerto Rico by telling stories of history and fantasy” by Lion Forge. “All profits from Lion Forge’s just-released “Puerto Rico Strong” anthology, written and illustrated by some of the top Puerto Rican and Latino talent in the comic book industry, will go to the United Way of Puerto Rico. Lion Forge’s pledge will assist with nonprofit child-care facilities, community schools and health-care centers.” The book offers a “..deep dive into Puerto Rican culture. Stories range from Taino warriors taking a stand against colonization and Puerto Rico’s ugly history of forced sterilization to Puerto Rican pride and even space exploration.”

– Por fin, tal vez les gusten los comentarios al libro ‘De segunda mano’ de Osiris Mosquea’ por Xánath Caraza. Segun el comentador, el libro “nos llena de imágenes contundentes a través de una prosa estructurada en microrrelatos y pigmeismos que, igual que la violencia, llega concentrada, a su máximo, de realidades desgarradoras y sin aviso.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Monarch Butterflies. Reprinted from Flickr user CNNF_CatwillowMonarchArea under CC©.

 

March 16, 2018 | Week in Review

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Saludos a todxs,

As the week draws to a close, we are pleased to share our findings from happenings related to Latinx narratives, children’s literature, and multicultural education, but first we acknowledge the humbling power and strength of the many students and teachers who marched, stood, or took a knee this week to protest shootings within schools. To be inspired by the students’ actions and to fit them within a larger history of social protest by youth, visit the Zinn Education Project on Twitter.

~ Keira

  • We start with a piece from the NYTimes: “Black Kids Don’t Want to Read About Harriet Tubman All the Time.” It’s an article that resonates with a lot of our internal conversations here at Vamos a Leer. The author, Denen Millner, acknowledges the advances in making children’s literature more inclusive, but critiques the industry’s ongoing tendency to focus on the mirror images of “degradation and endurance” of her people. She writes, “You can fill nearly half the bookshelves in the Schomburg with children’s books about the civil rights movement, slavery, basketball players and musicians, and various “firsts.” These stories consistently paint African-Americans as the aggrieved and the conquerors, the agitators and the superheroes who fought for their right to be recognized as full human beings…Meanwhile, stories about the everyday beauty of being a little human being of color are scarce.”
  • Following up on last week’s article we shared on  What Do the Allegations Against Sherman Alexie Mean for Native Literature?,  now we draw your attention to Booktoss’ analysis of “The Single Story of ‘Part-Time Indian'” and related resources for expanding your bookshelf’s collection of indigenous writers for young readers. p.s. if you haven’t already, definitely take a moment to watch the TED talk with Chimamanda Adichie!
  • Lee & Low’s blog, The Open Book, is offering an ongoing series exploring what culturally responsive teaching looks like at different grade levels, and offering concrete examples and resources to go along with that. This week, they focused on Grade 4: Studying Informational Text .
  • Also from The Open Book, an interview featuring Maya Christina Gonzalez on Honoring Francisco X. Alarcón and Family. “Released last fall from the Children’s Book Press imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS, Family Poems for Every Day of the Week/Poemas familiares para cada día de la semana is a celebratory collection of poems that highlights the daily life of children every day of the week while also honoring the experiences of Latino poet Francisco X. Alarcón, who passed away in January 2016. We interviewed illustrator Maya Christina Gonzalez about the important role that family and friends play in Family Poems for Every Day of the Week and what the creative process was like.”
  • From the amazing Jacqueline Woodson’s Twitter feed, we were tuned into this feature of Slam Poet Elizabeth Acevedo Debuts Novel, ‘The Poet X’.When asked what gave her the idea to write the novel, Acevedo responds with ” I was teaching eighth grade English Language Arts at a school with a high population of students of Latin American descent. One day, one of my students asked me why we never read books with students that looked like her and her classmates. I decided to write a book for her, and her classmates, and my younger self, and my best friend, for anyone who wants to read a story from a place that feels familiar.” Definitely a new #TBR for us here at Vamos a Leer!
  • Dwelling for a moment on Acevedo, here’s another review of the book and its impact for reclaiming heritage for young adult readers. “While struggles with faith, family, and self-acceptance are not unique teenage experiences, it is their presentation through the lens of Xiomara’s Afro-Latina heritage that makes her story a startling standout. “
  • Edi Rodríguez at CrazyQuiltEdit tackled the issues of #kidlitwomen in two recent posts titled Black Girls Economics in Young Adult Fiction and Black Girls Economics in Young Adult Fiction part 2 or This is What Marley Dias Was Talking About, a sobering reminder of how little representation and opportunities exist for authors of color. This series is part of her March effort to celebrate “Women’s History month with 31 days of posts focused on improving the climate for osical and gender equality in the children’s and teens’ industry.” She invites everyone to join the conversation on her blog or follow on Twitter via #kidlitwomen. She opens her post on Black Girls Economics with this poignant quote from Jacqueline Woodson, “What am I going to do about a time of my life in which the brilliance of Black girls had no mirror?”
  • Continuing with the theme of #KidLitWomen, Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children’s Literature is running a “campaign to lift Indigenous women who have written books for children and teens.” Visit her blog to be inspired, open your mind to new writers, and benefit from her hard work in compiling amazing titles from which you can choose. As she notes in the conclusion to her March 10th post on the topic: “I made an Indigenous #KidLitWomen pdf for you that has book titles on it, plus some gorgeous covers! Right after the book title is the name of the Native woman. In parenthesis is that woman’s nation, followed by the publisher and year the book was published. Here’s what it looks like (and beneath the image of it, you’ll see the book list), but hit that pdf link and print it out as many times as you want! Take it with you to the book store, to the library… to your next book club meeting!”
  • We’re a bit late catching wind of this resource, but still couldn’t resist sharing: 21 Books for an Inclusive Read Across America Day. It starts with Yo Soy Muslim, which we recently reviewed here, as well as many of our other favorite titles, such as Drum Dream Girl, Separate is Never Equal, Mama’s Nightingale, and more!
  • Similarly, we wish we’d found this sooner, but it maintains its power today, because every month should be Black History Month! From The Conscious Kid, Black Books Matter: Children’s Books Celebrating Black Boys. This is a “curated list of children’s books celebrating Black boys, in partnership with Moms of Black Boys United. These books center, reflect, and affirm Black boys, and were written and illustrated by Black authors and artists.
  • Finally, if you’re in the New York area in April, you might consider registering for The Color of Children’s Literature Conference organized by Kweli, an online magazine whose “mission is to nurture emerging writers of color and create opportunities for their voices to be recognized and valued….[their] vision is for a world where the narratives being told reflect the truth of our histories and the possibilities for our future.”

March 9th | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! Here is the week’s latest in diverse literature for young readers!

– Latinxs in Kid Lit recommend the book Danza!: Amalia Hernandéz and El Ballet Folklórico de México by Dunan Tonatiuh. During their discussion, they explained that Tonatiuh’s biography introduces an important figure (Amalia) who’s barely talked about but who marked the beginning of an era in México. Their piece complements our own review from earlier this week!

–  With Women’s History Month upon us, now’s a good time to check out this Women’s Empowerment Book List for Grades PreK-8 by our friends at Lee & Low. It is expected that “the characters featured in these titles are role models that will engage all children.”

— Also in honor of Women’s History Month, the Zinn Education Project (jointly run by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change) has a slew of resources for putting women back into history. In particular, we want to call your attention to their resources on Berta Cáceres, the Honduran environmental activist who was assassinated in 2016. Cáceres was “one of the leading organizers for indigenous land rights in Central America, she co-founded the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH).”

– And for those of you wondering What Do the Allegations Against Sherman Alexie Mean for Native Literature? You might want to check out Electric Lit’s point of view that “This question highlights the gates that tend to surround Native lit, their complicity in maintaining them, and the consequences of their actions — actions which are akin to literary colonialism.”

 – Felicidades a los 20 libros ganadores del Premio Fundación Cuatrogatos 2018.

– Just in case you missed it, on March 6th Google Celebrates Colombian Author Gabriel García Márquez with a colorful Birthday Doodle. You can still view it along with comments (courtesy of People Magazine).

– The Pirate Tree highlighted The People Shall Continue, 40th Anniversary Special Edition, written by Simon J. Ortiz and illustrated by Sharol Graves. The book, “originally published in 1977, … honors the tenacity of Native Peoples while celebrating the wisdom, strength, and love of the land by both ancestors and present-day Natives who work to ensure that the People will always continue.”

– Lastly, you might appreciate knowing about Graphic Novels to Share: Bingo Love, published by Image Comics. This great post highlights an important coming-out story but also talks about the importance of graphic novels as a whole. This particular novel is the story of Hazel and Mari and their life in the closet before they share their orientation publicly. Not only that but it also encourages “shades, body types, ages, and sexual identities in one space enjoying life and celebrating love.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Nopales II. Reprinted from Flickr user Dom Paulo under CC©.