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!

Alin Badillo

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



Reading Roundup: Loss and Resolution in Latinx YA Literature

Vamos a Leer | Loss and Resolution in Latinx YA LiteratureBuenos días a todas y todos,

Happy fall!  I hope this finds you each doing well and enjoying the changing of seasons.

Fall, my favorite time of year!  For me, it is characterized not only by the falling leaves, the crisp air, and the distinct scents that come with the changing temperature, but also with a gentle nostalgia, heightened reflection, and sense of calm.  In accordance with our theme for this month, we’re honoring this moment of reflection by pulling together a Reading Roundup that highlights strong protagonists who have experienced some form of loss and resolution in their lives. We hope that this will also be good preparation for teachers who are looking for resources that can help bring these difficult topics into the classroom.

Continue reading

¡Mira, Look!: Illegal

IllegalWe all know that the subject of immigration is deeper than it would appear on the surface. While many people immigrate for a better job or a better future for their families, there are many problems facing the typical immigrant. We see this on the news as people fight to “secure our borders,” while others fight for immigrant’s rights. But what about those who immigrate and their families? What is it like to be an immigrant? Not only does uncertainty face those who immigrate, but it faces the families of those who come to the North as well. This week’s book, Bettina Restrepo’s Illegal, puts immigration into this realistic context.

Illegal tells the story of Nora, a young girl whose father leaves Mexico in search of work in the North. Her father maintains constant contact with the family, sending letters and money to the family as frequently as possible. While Nora is sad that her father is gone, she remains hopeful that he will return and they will live a better life one day. However, when her father’s letters and money stop coming, Nora and her mother cross the border into Texas to look for him. Now, not only is Nora without her father, but she too is also an immigrant in this strange land forced to readjust. Continue reading

¡Mira, Look!: Francisco X. Stork

Photo courtesy of Francisco Stork's website

Photo courtesy of Francisco Stork’s website

As we have seen so far this year, there are many things that set Hispanic authors apart in the literary world. This week, we are going to see yet another way that an author who writes literature for young adults takes his experiences as a Mexican-American youth and creatively interprets them for young people.  We will be looking at the work of author Francisco X. Stork.

Stork was born in Mexico in the early 1950s to a single mother. As a child, his family moved from Mexico to El Paso, Texas because his step-father was in search of work. It was his step-father who gave him his first portable typewriter for his seventh birthday when Stork announced he wanted to be a writer. Continue reading