Hello all –
I am thrilled to be celebrating National Poetry Month with you! As with many of you, poetry holds a dear place in my heart. As a young person, I recall writing poem after poem and finding such liberation in exploring my voice, playing with syntax and line breaks, and testing out vocabulary that had yet to find a place in my daily life. Poetry allowed for a freedom and creativity that was unmatched in other mediums. And because of this, I believe that writing poetry enables us to develop our own voice, author our own truths, and honor our own experiences; all of which play an integral part in a young person’s social, emotional, and cognitive development.
¡Hola a todos! Here is the latest Week in Review:
– Our friends at Lee & Low Books posted on their blog an Alternative History Book List. The list is part of acknowledging Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day, for which, they write, “we are offering a series of blog posts that look at pieces of history that have been hidden, silenced, altered, or swept under the rug.”
— Teaching Tolerance shared on their Facebook page The Problem with Columbus ‘Discovering’ America. “The idea of a holiday to celebrate the people who lived in the Americas before Christopher Columbus ever set foot there got its start in the 1970s.”
– Teaching for Change recommended on their Facebook page the new children’s book “Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds.” By Jorge Terl Argueta and illustrated by Alfonso Ruano. The book “describes the challenges of leaving one’s homeland and the journey north.”
–Also, Lee & Low Books shared a piece by one of our favorite authors, Guadalupe García McCall, in which she discusses reasons why some History is Not on Text Books.
–Thanks to our friends at the Tulane University’s Stone Center, we discovered Google’s latest Arts and Culture initiative: the Latino Heritage and Cultures project, which offers a wide range of resources, “from ancient artifacts to contemporary street art, [to] explore the depth and diversity of Latino cultures.”
– Lastly, Rethinking Schools shares 9 Teaching Resources that Tell The Truth About Columbus. “States and cities are increasingly recognizing Indigenous Peoples, but appropriate and readily available lesson plans have fallen behind the trend.”
p.s. We’re sending this out just a bit ahead of time, as UNM is on Fall Break today and tomorrow! Enjoy the autumn weather!!
Image: Illustration, Somos como las nubes / We are like the clouds by Jorge Argueta and Alfonso Ruano.
Buenos 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.
This week I’m highlighting a feature that’s emerged in the era of online books and accompanying digital promotional campaigns: book trailers.
Book trailers, in case you haven’t heard of them, are video trailers for books. Pretty simple. They are videos meant to help potential readers become engaged and get excited. Book trailers are interesting in both a before and after sense. Before a reader ever picks up a book, the trailer may provide the impetus for him or her to actually open the cover and flip through the pages. After a reader has finished a book, the book trailer concept allows him or her another avenue to express and react – many book trailers come not from the big publisher behind the book, but rather from individual readers who post a video on a community video service like YouTube. Continue reading
Summer of the Mariposas
Written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Published by Tu Books (Lee and Low), 2012
Age Level: Grades 5 and Up
Description (From GoodReads):
When Odilia and her four sisters find a dead body in the swimming hole, they embark on a hero’s journey to return the dead man to his family in Mexico. But returning home to Texas turns into an odyssey that would rival Homer’s original tale.
With the supernatural aid of ghostly La Llorona via a magical earring, Odilia and her little sisters travel a road of tribulation to their long-lost grandmother’s house. Along the way, they must outsmart a witch and her Evil Trinity: a wily warlock, a coven of vicious half-human barn owls, and a bloodthirsty livestock-hunting chupacabras. Can these fantastic trials prepare Odilia and her sisters for what happens when they face their final test, returning home to the real world, where goddesses and ghosts can no longer help them?
Summer of the Mariposas is not just a magical Mexican American retelling of The Odyssey, it is a celebration of sisterhood and maternal love.
My thoughts: Continue reading
Thanks so much to all of you who joined us at book group last night. I really enjoyed discussing Gringolandia, as was made so clear through our conversation, it’s an important book for our classrooms, touching on so many relevant themes. And we’re not done with the conversation yet–we’ll be talking about the book throughout the month. We’re very excited to be sharing an interview with the author, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, tomorrow!! Be sure to check it out and add any of your own questions in the comments. If you couldn’t make it last night, feel free to share your thoughts about the book here on the blog. If you missed it earlier, we’ve posted our own review here.
Below you’ll find the announcement for next month’s book.
Join us September 9th at Bookworks from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss our next book. We are reading Summer of the Mariposas (Grades 5 and up) by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. Under the Mesquite was a favorite of our book group last year, so I’m excited to hear what everyone thinks about McCall’s latest book! Continue reading
We’re giving away a copy of Summer of the Mariposas written by Guadalupe Garcia Mcall–our featured novel for September’s book group meeting!! It would be a great book to use in your classroom as part of a unit on Día de los Muertos. Check out the following from School Library Journal:
“. . .Written in the style of magic realism, this is an enchanting look at Mexican mysticism, coupled with the realistic celebration of the true meaning of family. The sisters’ relationships are believably drawn, and the juxtaposition of modern realities and ancient Aztec mythology elucidates the importance of the spiritual side of life in Latin cultures. The plot is well paced, with the illicit nature of the girls’ entry into Mexico adding drama to their adventure. While some readers may find the interweaving of the magical elements somewhat unsettling at first, they are sure to be intrigued by both the unusual qualities of the mythical characters and the sense of adventure that lies behind every twist and turn of the girls’ revelatory journey. As with McCall’s Under the Mesquite (Lee & Low, 2011), this is a peek into Mexican American culture, but its ties to the supernatural add an interesting dimension.”–Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, The Naples Players, FL
It looks like another interesting read–a great addition to any personal or classroom library! To be entered in the giveaway, just comment on any post on the blog by September 1st. Everyone who comments between July 29th and September 1st will be entered in the drawing. If your name is chosen, we’ll email you ASAP about mailing the book to you.
Don’t forget, we also raffle off a copy of the following month’s featured novel at each book group meeting. So if you’re an Albuquerque local, join us for a chance to win!