March 30th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I am glad for another interesting Women’s History Month. Though we think the focus on women should continue throughout the year, here are a few “last minute” resources you might add to the WHM list, along with some other tidbits we came across.

–  Just as we are preparing to host Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña here at the University of New Mexico, Latinxs in Kid Lit has shared their review of Quintero’s and Peñas’s latest collaboration, a graphic novel on The Life of Graciela Iturbide. “It’s no small order to synthesize a lifetime of artistic growth and achievement, but this book delivers, thanks to the wonderful collaborative work of Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña, who are impressive artists in their own right, with rich futures in their respective fields.”

– Lee & Low shared their forthcoming Spring Paperbacks favorite titles, including one that made us super excited – a Spanish translation of our beloved book, Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. El verano de las mariposas is almost here!

 – Want a quick literary moment for your day? La Bloga shared an inspiring and hilarious story, “Cruising with Nayto,” that features Dr. Alvaro Huerta, an assistant professor of Urban and Regional Planning as well as Ethnic and Women’s Studies, at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

– Check out Padma’s Book blog piece on “I is for Inclusion,” where blogger and author Padma Venjatraman discusses how to create a “more inclusive and comfortable atmosphere before, during, and after author visits/events.”

– Other sources about Women’s History month that are at once outstanding, inspiring, and refreshing are pieces that highlight the original Pura Belpré, including how Afro-Latina Pura Belpré gave children the precious love of books and stories and how NYC’s First Puerto Rican Librarian Brought Spanish To The Shelves.

— For another lit moment, here are 10 Books by Latina Authors You Should Read During Women’s History Month.

— And here are five female writers and the women who inspired them.

– We offer our congrats to Jacqueline Woodson for winning the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award– the world’s prestigious and largest award for children’s writing. Outstanding!

– Our local libraries made the news here for recognizing the one and only Rudolfo Anaya. Our North Valley Library has been renamed as the  Rudolfo Anaya North Valley Library. Dean Smith-the director of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Public Library System emphasized that renaming the library is a tradition “where we honor authors who have made major contributions to the literary canon of New Mexico.” Truth be told, though, Anaya’s impact goes far beyond NM. He’s a legend no matter where you are or what you read!

– Finally, with Easter celebrations upon us, here is Hip Latinas’s list of Semana Santa Traditions from Spanish-Speaking Countries.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City. Reprinted from Flickr user Lul_piquee under CC©.

Mira, Look: Photographic, The Life of Graciela Iturbide

photographicSaludos a todxs,

Today’s post will highlight a recently-released graphic novel about which we are very excited: Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, written by Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña. We’re thrilled to see this book released from Getty Publications, but we have yet to hold it in our hands. So, our full review is pending. Instead, we’re offering this preview inspired by the author’s and illustrator’s upcoming visit to Albuquerque! If you’re in town, save the date for April 10th, when they’ll be speaking at Hodgin Hall on UNM’s campus!!!

This beautiful graphic novel is available as the English edition (linked above) and as a full, Spanish-language edition called Iguana Lady: La vida de Graciela Iturbide. The novel documents the life and work of the Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide.

Direct from the publisher, here is a summary of the book:

“Graciela Iturbide was born in Mexico City in 1942, the oldest of thirteen children. When tragedy strikes Graciela as a young mother, she turns to photography for solace and understanding. From then on Graciela embarks on a photographic journey that takes her throughout her native Mexico, from the Sonora Desert to Juchitán to Frida Kahlo’s bathroom, to the United States, India, and beyond. Photographic is a symbolic, poetic, and deeply personal graphic biography of this iconic photographer. Graciela’s journey will excite young readers and budding photographers who will be inspired by her resolve, talent, and curiosity.”

The J. Paul Getty Museum’s website has videos that document Iturbide’s work as a photographer, the process for how Quintero and Peña put together this beautiful graphic novel, and also classroom resources to help share the book with students. The website also provides a thoughtful, extensive digital preview of the text as part of the educator resources.photographic_preview (1)_Page_04

In addition, Getty has also put together:

Our copies are already on the way, so we’ll be back in the near future to share a full review with you.

In the meantime, we’ll dwell for a moment on Quintero and Peña as the creators behind this fascinating publication.

Here on our blog we have highlighted Isabel Quintero as a Featured Author. We have also reviewed and created an educator’s guide for her first YA novel, Gabi: A Girl in Pieces. It is one of the absolute favorites among our local book group! She’s also written the recently-released Ugly Cat and Pablo for younger readers, among other essays and poems. Her work is always incredible, be it lighthearted or gritty, as you can read more about in this article, “Author Visit REHASH: Isabel Quintero, YA, and Children’s Writer (and Poet!)” from this blog on children’s literature run by English & Comparative Lit department at SDSU.

 

Pages from photographic_previewZeke Peña likewise holds a place in our hearts. He is the illustrator behind Photographic and also the illustrator behind the hand-drawn sketches and collages in Gabi. Peña, a cartoonist and painter from El Paso, Texas, writes on his website that, “Most of my work is inspired by living on the border and remixes historical narratives with what’s going on today. I use comics to subvert American history and reclaim stories that were burned by colonialism; resistencia one cartoon at a time.” You can learn more about how identity is forefront in his work in this article by Remezcla, “The river holds our history: Artist Zeke Peña Traces the Rio Grande’s Place in Fronterizo Identity.

We hope that this post inspires you to explore this work of art more thoroughly; we know we are excited to read it!

Saludos,
Kalyn & Keira

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!: Featured Author: Isabel Quintero

Vamos a Leer | ¡Mira, Look! Featured Author: Isabel QuinteroIsabel Quintero is the author behind the now relatively well-known Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. If you haven’t heard of it yet, just check out some of the award lists from the School Library Journal, the Tomás Rivera Book Award, YALSA, Booklist Best Books, and the Américas Award, among others.

Despite being a new author to the publishing world writ large, Quintero is not new to the field of writing. As she describes on her blog, she has been dedicated to writing poetry and fiction throughout her life. Writing is, in her words, “not a luxury. It is a necessity for my being, for my happiness. It makes me whole.” Not surprisingly, this fascination and dedication to the writing process seems to have permeated Quintero’s professional life. Cinco Puntos Press explains in her biography that she is
“an elementary school library technician and loves sharing her passion for the written word with students. She also teaches community college part time and works as a freelance writer for the Arts Connection of San Bernardino. Quintero works as events coordinator for Orange Monkey Publishing and assistant editor for Tin Cannon, a literary journal.”  Certainly a literary theme seems to run throughout her various roles in life. Continue reading

Writers’ Words: Isabel Quintero

Writers' Words: Isabel Quintero | Vamos a Leer¡Buenos días!

Each week I’ll be bringing you visually rich content from the authors and books that capture our attention on the blog. To begin, I’m featuring a quote from Isabel Quintero’s book Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, which Katrina recently reviewed.

We hope you’re as inspired by these writers as we are! Please feel free to share.

Saludos,
Kalyn

Book Review: Gabi, A Girl in Pieces

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces
Written by Isabel Quintero
Published by Cinco Puntos Press 2014
ISBN:  1935955950
Age Level: 14 and up

Book Summary:

Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

July 24

My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, “Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.” Eyes open, legs closed. That’s as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White.

My Thoughts:

Over the last six months rave reviews of Isabel Quintero’s Gabi, A Girl in Pieces were popping up everywhere. As excited as I was to finally read it, I was also a little hesitant. I didn’t want to be disappointed by expectations that were set too high. I had nothing to worry about. Told from Gabi’s point of view, the book is honest, authentic, endearing, and funny. I enjoyed the book so much that I was sad to see it end. I’m fairly certain that my neighbors may think I’m crazy now, as I sat on my porch cackling out loud as I read it. Continue reading

Our Next Good Read. . .Gabi, A Girl in Pieces

We are so excited to announce our first book group meeting of the new school year! I absolutely LOVED this book and I can’t wait to talk about it with all of you!

Join us September 14th at Bookworks from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss our next Gabi_Coverbook.  We are reading Gabi, A Girl in Pieces (14 and up)  by Isabel Quintero.

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

Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity. Continue reading