En la Clase: An Interview with Lyn Miller-Lachmann

I have been eagerly awaiting sharing this post with you all! We’re very honored to have with us today Lyn Miller-Lachmann, the author of Gringolandia, our featured novel for Lyn Miller Lachmann 2August.  She was kind enough to agree to let us interview her for a post.  Her discussion touches on so many important themes that I hope this will just be the beginning of some great conversations here on the blog, in our classrooms, and in our monthly book group!

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Book Review: Gringolandia

"Gringolandia," Gringolandia
Written by Lyn Miller-Lachmann
Published by Curbstone Books, 2009
ISBN:   9781931896498
Age Level: Ages 14 and Up

Description (From GoodReads):

Daniel’s papá, Marcelo, used to play soccer, dance the cueca, and drive his kids to school in a beat-up green taxi—all while publishing an underground newspaper that exposed Chile’s military regime. After papá’s arrest in 1980, Daniel’s family fled to the United States. Now Daniel has a new life, playing guitar in a rock band and dating Courtney, a minister’s daughter. He hopes to become a US citizen as soon as he turns eighteen. When Daniel’s father is released and rejoins his family, they see what five years of prison and torture have done to him. Marcelo is partially paralyzed, haunted by nightmares, and bitter about being exiled to “Gringolandia.” Daniel worries that Courtney’s scheme to start a bilingual human rights newspaper will rake up papá’s past and drive him further into alcohol abuse and self-destruction. Daniel dreams of a real father-son relationship, but he may have to give up everything simply to save his papá’s life. This powerful coming-of-age story portrays an immigrant teen’s struggle to reach his tortured father and find his place in the world.

My thoughts:

Gringolandia isn’t a story easily forgotten, and it shouldn’t be.  As an adult with a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies, the practice of torturing and disappearing political dissidents as a means of social control during violent dictatorships wasn’t new to me. Yet I was still gripped by the novel, finding myself thinking about it days after I’d finished it.  For young adult readers I think Gringolandia would be an incredibly powerful and moving book.  Not only does it give voice to a historical period in a country not often taught about in the classroom, but I believe it also asks readers to think quite deeply about how we determine what is right or wrong and how we judge and make sense of the world around us. Continue reading

Our Next Good Read. . .Gringolandia

We have got a great semester planned with lots of exciting events!! Our first event of our new school year is August’s book group meeting!  We’ve got a great selection of books for this year’s Vamos Gringolandiaa Leer book group! To see our list of books for the year click here.

Join us August 5th at Bookworks from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss our next book.  We are reading Gringolandia   (Ages 14 and up) by Lyn Miller-Lachmann.

Here’s a sneak peek into the book: (from Goodreads) Continue reading

Book Giveaway!! Gringolandia

Gringolandia2We are so excited to be back!! What better way to start off a new year than with a giveaway?! We’re giving away a copy of Gringolandia written by Lyn Miller-Lachmann–our featured novel for August’s book group meeting!! Check out the following reviews: Continue reading