Vamos a Leer!! Booklist for the 2015-2016 School Year

2015-2016 Vamos a Leer Featured Titles: YA and Adult Literature About Latin America

After lots of research and input from book group members we’ve decided on the books for this year’s Vamos a Leer Book Group! Thanks so much to all of you who contributed ideas and conversed with us about so many wonderful options. We’re trying something a little different this year.  We’re going to alternate young adult and adult titles.  After 3 and a half years of reading solely young adult literature we thought we’d mix it up this year.  All the titles still focus on Latin America, the Caribbean, or the Latino/a experience in the United States.

I’m really excited about this new format! We’ve tried to balance our selections to include a variety of reading levels (with the YA books), themes, male/female protagonists and countries. We can’t wait to get started in September. We look forward to hearing your thoughts! Happy reading!

We’ll see you the first Monday of the month (there are a few exceptions for holidays, including September, so check dates below) from 5:00-7:00 pm at Bookworks, Tractor Brewery, or St. Clair Winery.  As you can see we’re also changing up our locations a little this year as well.  We’ll continue to meet at Bookworks every other month. Feel free to drop in for any of our meetings.  This is definitely not an all or nothing book group.  Even if you haven’t had time to read the book, but are interested in the discussion, you’re always welcome to join us. Continue reading

Vamos a Leer!! Booklist for the 2014-2015 School Year

After lots of research and input from readers we’ve decided on the books for this year’s Vamos a Leer Book Group! Thanks so much to all of you who contributed ideas and conversed with us about so many wonderful options.  I have absolutely loved getting to read so many excellent books while we were making our final list. I’m really excited about this year’s books! We’ve tried to balance our selections to include a variety of reading levels, themes, male/female protagonists and countries. We can’t wait to get started in September. We look forward to hearing your thoughts! Happy reading!

We’ll see you the first Monday of the month (there are a few exceptions for holidays, including September, so check dates below) at Bookworks from 5:00-7:00 pm!  If you can’t find us at Bookworks, it’s because we’ve wandered next door to Flying Star for coffee.  Feel free to drop in for any of our meetings.

Don’t forget–we’ll be raffling a copy of the next month’s featured novel at each monthly book group, so there’s extra incentive to join us!!

Click here for a pdf version of the dates and titles below.  Feel free to share it with anyone who may be interested.

Be sure to check out our Educator’s Guide tab each month to access the curriculum materials for the featured book. Continue reading

WWW: Latin@s in Kid Lit

Latinos in kid litLatin@s in Kid Lit is a unique new blog created by kid lit authors and dedicated to Latino/a children’s literature. The site was created to identify and promote books where youths can “see themselves in terms of race, culture, and lived experiences in the literature they read.”

The concept behind the site speaks to me personally, because I, like many other Latin@ kids, had a hard time engaging with books that revolved around characters who I could never relate to.  Ignoring cultural relevance when designing a reading list for the classroom is a well-documented barrier to literacy.

As the creators of Latin@s in Kid Lit explain, kids “connect with stories for varied reasons, including the simple one that something in the narrative is familiar.”

Continue reading

¡Mira Look!: Themed Book Lists: Immigration

???????????????????????????????????????To wrap up the end of the school year, Katrina, Adam and I will be compiling lists of books for you to check out for use in your classroom. These lists will be thematic and we’ll provide the links to Amazon. Because we are trying to give you a broad swath of the available literature, we won’t only be suggesting award winners, though we will denote which ones have won an award. This list is fairly short as our blog, through ¡Mira Look!, En la Clase, and Book Reviews, discusses numerous wonderful immigration/immigrant books (click on the links to be taken to our pages).  As always, we encourage your suggestions in the comments below. Continue reading

WWW: Día de los niños booklist!

Poster from American Library Association can be found at http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3357

Poster from American Library Association can be found at dia.ala.org

Tuesday, April 30, is El día de los niños.

El día was nearly three-quarters of a century old in Mexico, when, in 1996, it was appropriated in the United States and coupled with the name “El día de los libros” to promote the celebration of literacy.

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En la Clase: UPDATED My 2013 To Be Read List

Due to a great suggestion that I add more information for each book on my list (in order to make it more useful for teachers) I’ve added the appropriate age level as suggested by the publisher, and linked each book to its Amazon page (I’m sure there are local and/or indie book stores that carry these books, but the easiest way to link you to more information is to give you the Amazon page).  I’ve also added each of the books below to our Shelfari Bookcase, so you can check them out there too!

“Reading makes immigrants of us all.  It takes us away from home, but, most important, it finds home for us everywhere.”
Hazel Rochman ~ quoted by Anna Quindlen in How Reading Changed My Life

In a previous En la Clase post I shared my resolution to read more books by and about Latinos in light of the increased public discussion around diversity in children’s and young adult literature.  (We’ve discussed it a number of times here on Vamos a Leer, but if you’re new to this topic, check out the original NYT times article here).  Continue reading

Potential Book Titles for Vamos a Leer 2012-2013–Tell us what you think!!

Below we have a list of possible books for our 2012-2013 book group. Each title is linked to the amazon.com page for that book, so just click on the title to get more information! We’d love to hear your thoughts about the books and which ones look best to you! We’ve got to narrow our list down to just 10 books–so we’ve got a lot of work to do!

Click here for a PDF that includes the list below, along with cover images and editorial reviews of each title: Book Titles for Vamos a Leer 2012-2013

Estrella’s Quinceanera by Malin Alegrias
Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino
Leaving Glorytown: One Boy’s Struggle Under Castro
by Eduardo F. Calcines
Colibrí by Ann Cameron
An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck by Margarita Engle
Firefly Letters by Margarita Engle
90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
CrashBoomLove: A Novel in Verse by Juan Felipe Herrera
Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos
The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez / Breaking Through / Reaching Out
The Color of My Words by Joseph Lynn
Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida by Victor Martínez
The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina
Milagros: A Girl from Away by Meg Medina
Gringolandia by Lynn Miller-Lachmann
Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa
What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau
Red Glass by Laura Resau
The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango
The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan
Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Buried Onions by Gary Soto
Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White by Lila Quintero Weaver
Six Kinds of Sky  by Luis Alberto Urrea
Mr. Mendoza’s Paintbrush by Luis Alberto Urrea