September 15th | Week in Review

2017-09-15-WWW-01-01¡Hola a todos! I am very excited to start sharing resources again with you all.

Latinos in Kid Lit has just launched a new series called “Spotlight on Middle Grade Authors.” They’re kicking it off with a feature on Margarita Engle, the Young People’s Poet Laureate. Check it out to hear her describe the birth of her passion for writing.

Rethinking Education shares why Spanish Fluency in the U.S. decreases with each generation. “About 88 percent of Latinos ages 5 to 17 in 2014 said they either speak only English at home or speak English ‘very well,’ compared with 73 percent in 2000.”

–Rethinking Education also posted 9 Bilingual Children’s Books That Make Learning a New Language Easy, a list catered specifically to Spanish teachers.

–For those of you teaching middle or high school history, Rethinking Schools shared Justice for Dreamers- Punish the Authors of Forced Migration, an article that explains how foreign policies creates forced migration.“The perpetrators of the “crime” are those who wrote the trade treaties and the economic reforms that made forced migration the only means for families to survive

— Lastly, Remezcla featured Google latest initiative, which involved the launch of  One of the Largest Digital Collections of Latino Art and History. “The collection features more than 2,500 pieces of art through 90 exhibits.”

Alin Badillo


Author’s Corner: Oscar Hijuelos

HijuelosSaludos todos! This week we are taking the time to feature the renowned, Cuban-American author, Oscar Hijuelos, and his body of work. Like with our previous authors, we take this time to feature the breadth of the author’s collective oeuvre, as well as the more personal aspects of his life and legacy.

Oscar Hijuelos (1951-2013) is a Cuban-American author who wrote several adult and young adult books, mostly focusing on Latin American protagonists or themes. Hijuelos was the first Latino to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction when he was recognized for his 1989 novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, which was turned into a movie in 1992. Hijuelos also won the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature in 2000. Through his iconic work, Hijuelos endures as a prominent figure of Latino literature, describing the immigrant experience, questions of identity, and the many hurdles of communication, through witty and endearing prose.

Continue reading

¡Mira, Look!: Author’s Corner: Edwidge Danticat

edwidge danticatSaludos todos! As many of you know, once a month we like to take the time to give special attention to our featured authors and their writing.This week we are featuring Edwidge Danticat, the prolific, inspiring author of many children’s, young adult, and adult books, whom many of you may also recognize from several of my previous ¡Mira, Look! posts. Danticat is originally from Haiti and her books often deal with the culture of Haiti and the immigrant experience, providing a wealth of information on the country’s history, culture and current events.

Here is a short synopsis from Goodreads of Danticat’s life and her abundant accomplishments:

Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; and The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner. She is also the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the United States and The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Men and Women of All Colors and Cultures.

Continue reading

¡Mira, Look! Featured Author: Skila Brown

SkilaHello there readers! I’m back from winter break and I am delighted to introduce this month’s featured author, Skila Brown. Brown is the author of Caminar, this month’s selection for our monthly book group. The novel reflects some themes that we intend to address through the blog this month including human rights and immigration.

Her first completed novel, Brown worked on Caminar while she completed her MFA at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. The book is about the tragic experience of a young boy from Guatemala whose community is massacred. In an interview with S.L. Duncan, Brown said, “I was inspired to write this book after many trips to Guatemala and much reading about its history, specifically the conflict that occurred there just a few decades ago. What happened there was tragic, and I was upset that it was something I’d known nothing about…I wanted to make sure more people knew about what happened.”

Continue reading

¡Mira, Look! Featured Author: Matt de la Peña

Matt de la PenaMatt de la Peña is the author of five young adult fiction novels, a picture book, two books in Scholastic’s popular Infinity Ring Series, and numerous short fiction pieces and essays in various newspapers and literary journals. He received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. De la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he teaches creative writing.

Continue reading

¡Mira, Look! Featured Author: Viola Canales

Viola CanalesViola Canales is the author of the award-winning  The Tequila Worm, a young adult novel published in 2007 by Random House. The novel has received considerable acclaim for its positive portrayal of Mexican-American culture, including being designated a Notable Book by the American Library Association, winning the Pura Belpré Medal for Narrative, and receiving the PEN Center USA Award. In 2012, the Spanish language version, El Gusano de Tequila, was released by KingCake Press. Continue reading