January 13th | Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I hope your holiday celebrations were blessed and unforgettable. As we start the New Year, I want to take this opportunity to share our excitement here at Vamos a Leer about the many recent and forthcoming titles by and about Latin@s. We’re adding lots of these titles to our TBR list and thought you might want to, too. Enjoy!

Remezcla shared on their page the Top 15 2016 Must Reads From Latin America and Latino Authors. “The list below is 15 of the best books published in the U.S. by Latinx writers this year — it includes books in translation (so many books in translation!) Latin-American writers, and a lot of debut authors.”

– Our Latinx in Kid Lit friends shared their 2016 Favorites List: Libros Latinxs. “This year’s releases offered picture books that we found irresistible, early reader/chapter books that charmed us to the core, and works of fiction and nonfiction sure to thrill middle-grade and YA readers.”

-Also, The Cooperative Children’s Book Center shared their Best 2016 Reading Choices. “CCBC Choices 2016 is a fully annotated listing of 259 books published in 2015 for birth through high school and recommended by the CCBC professional staff.”

— Spoiler, Latinx in Kid Lit shared a sneak preview of their 2017 Titles By/For/About Latinx Reading Review List.

– Lastly, please keep an eye out for future materials by the campaign Queen Girls- Stories of real women turned into fairy tales! Started by two women who weren’t pleased with their children’s reading options, the organization’s mission is “to reach as many kids as possible and distribute donated books [and to partner]with local and international organizations who are fighting illiteracy and empowering girls.” They’re not Latin@-focused, but their protagonists are all people of color and we applaud the organizers’ efforts to break apart the traditional canon of children’s literature!

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Ballet Folklorico Performers. Reprinted from Flickr user Natasha Collins under CC©.

 

Vamos a Leer: Spring 2017 Featured Titles

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Hello, all!

As 2016 wrapped up, Katrina and I turned our attention to which YA titles we’d feature in 2017. To help figure out what would be the most useful and interesting, we reached out to our local book group (thanks to all of you for sharing your ideas!). In the process we heard a range of ideas, including reading authors who come directly from Latin America, exploring books that will appeal to younger readers (middle school, rather than advanced high school), and interspersing different formats (like graphic novels) into the list.

From all of that, and more, we came up with the following featured titles and are looking forward to reading them with you!

January 9th | Tractor Brewing (Wells Park)
Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White by Lila Quintero Weaver | Ages 14 and up | United States (Alabama) and Argentina

February 13th | Tractor Brewing (Wells Park)
Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos | Ages 14 and up | United States (Wisconsin and Puerto Rico)

March 13th | Tractor Brewing (Wells Park)
Dancing in the Rain  by Lynn Joseph | Ages 12 and up | United States (New York) and Dominican Republic

April 10th | Tractor Brewing (Wells Park)
The Head of the Saint by Socorro Acioli and translated by Daniel Hahn| Ages 14 and up | Brazil

May 22nd | Tractor Brewing (Wells Park)
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan | Ages 12 and up | United States (Pennsylvania and California) and Germany

Best,
Keira

November 11th | Week in Review

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Hola a todos! This Week in Review is quite long, but I assure you it is full of resources and knowledge that needs to be shared.

ColorLines shared a recent snippet from the show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, inviting readers to “Watch John Oliver Break Down How School Resegregation Hurts Students.” “Black and Latino children are more likely to attend school with inexperienced teachers who are then less likely to offer a college prep curriculum… [and are] 6 times as likely to be in poverty schools.”

— Lee & Low’s blog, The Open Book, shared a post on “Books as Bricks: Building a Diverse Classroom Library and Beyond,” which offers a list of recommendations for teachers looking to diversify their class and school libraries.

– The Horn Book published an article on “Decolonizing Nostalgia: When Historical Fiction Betrays Readers of Color” by Sarah Hannah Gómez, in which she writes: “Omitting nonwhites from episodic historical fiction and the everyday history that informs our lives today says that the only contribution by people of color to society is conflict. Deleting them from the continuous line of history is a lie that perpetuates this insidious myth. And middle-grade historical fiction has a long way to go to acknowledge this betrayal to readers and attempt to overcome it.”

— The blog, Reading While White, shared a guest post with one of our favorite authors, Yuyi Morales, who discusses “Day of the Dead, Ghosts, and the Work We Do as Writers and Artists.” Morales offers a beautiful discussion of her personal practices related to Día de los Muertos and the implications of its distortion in the general media and children’s books.

– The Facebook page Raising Race Conscious Children shared the article,
Telling Poor, Smart Kids That All It Takes Is Hard Work to Be as Successful as Their Wealthy Peers is a Blatant Lie,” which explores how these students face systemic disadvantages even though they work hard.

— Also, Fundación Cuatrogatos recommends the book Corre que te pillo. Juegos y juguetes, which pulls together 27 games and toys that have existed since the early century in Latin America and other regions around the world

The Zinn Education Project just shared The #NoDAPL syllabus for high school and adults. This resource contextualizes how the current resistance in North Dakota is tied to a “broader historical, political, economic, and social context going back over 500 years to the first expeditions of Columbus” and features the practices of “Indigenous peoples around the world [who] have been on the frontlines of conflicts like Standing Rock for centuries.” “

— From We Need Diverse Books, we learned of the recent article, “The Case of the Missing Books/ 10 Years of Data,” written by children’s book author and artist Maya Gonzalez to highlight the lack of diversity in children’s literature over the last decade.d. “The graph below shows the children’s books that were missing by POC and Indigenous people in the children’s book industry over the last 10 years.”

Lee & Low Books just released Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del arcoíris. The story is about a Mayan young girl named Ixchel and her quest to create a beautiful weaving from unusual materials.

— Lastly, Teaching Tolerance shared What We’re Reading This Week: November 4, a list of resources for critical and conscientious teaching in middle and high school classrooms.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Street Art. Reprinted from Flickr user ARNAUD_Z_VOYAGE under CC©.

Welcoming New Writers: Colleen

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My name is Colleen.  I am new to blogging and excited to be joining the Vamos a Leer community.  I will be posting the monthly Reading Roundup.  I look forward to sharing my thoughts and to hearing yours!

A little bit about me: I am a native New Mexican and UNM alumni.  I received my BA in Latin American Studies and Spanish in 2008.  After several years, I am returning to pursue a dual degree in Latin American Studies and Community and Regional Planning.  It feels great to be back in the academic environment!  My interest in Latin America developed early in my undergraduate studies.  It stemmed from learning a more profound history of New Mexico, particularly that of Spanish Colonial (and US) expansion and the impact that colonization has on people, land, language, identity, and culture.  Although New Mexico’s history is distinct from that of Latin America, there are significant and strong parallels.   I am continuously fascinated by the vínculos that exist between New Mexico and Latin America.  Equally, I am intrigued by the differences and divergence that has taken place.

I have worked in the field of youth and community development both locally and internationally for the last eight years. In this time I have developed a passion for working with community members – young people more specifically – on social and emotional life skills, focusing on sexual and reproductive health.  I believe these to be all-encompassing topics that with continued emphasis can greatly strengthen our communities.  I am thrilled to embark on this dual degree and intend to continue working towards positive youth and community development though culturally relevant planning, programming, and education.

Mis saludos,

Colleen

 

 

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Writers’ Words: Edwidge Danticat

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¡Buenos días!

I hope everyone is having a great Thursday! In celebration of this month’s featured book, Claire of the Sea Light, I’ve brought you a visual quote by Edwidge Danticat.

I hope you enjoy it!

¡Saludos!
Kalyn

WWW: Climate Change 101 and Impacts in Latin America

¡Feliz viernes a todos!

I’m feeling a bit under the weather this week so my post will be a little shorter than usual. This week, I will continue the discussion about our lovely planet! As I mentioned last week, Earth Day is important for many reasons, just one of which is to highlight the problems our environments are facing today as a result of our ever-changing climate. While “climate change” is a popular phrase in politics and media reports, I thought it may be nice to introduce a resource that explains the terms frequently used with climate change, and thus explains how climate change began. With both the option to watch a video (narrated by Bill Nye the Science Guy) or to review a slideshow of terms and definitions, we think this resource could help students understand what climate change means as a term and also what it means for the planet we call home.

The second resource is a video that illustrates environmental impacts of climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean. In conjunction with my post from last week, this could lead to discussion about why Earth Day is important, what will happen if we do not take action, alternative resources and energy, and even to discussion about recycling both in the classroom and at home.

The video above is best suited for older audiences, since it ties environmental issues into economic terminology.  However, we think younger students could benefit from the video with proper introduction to the key vocabulary. We hope these examples help illustrate that environmental problems impact everyone. If nothing else, we hope you can use these resources in the classroom to provide depth and real life scenarios to your environmental and energy source discussions in the coming weeks. At best, we hope these resources inspire your students to get involved this Earth Day and everyday!

With warmest wishes,

Charla

Sobre Octubre: Resources on Día de los Muertos, Remembering, and Celebrating

Sobre Octubre: Resources on Día de los Muertos, Remembering, and CelebratingHi, everyone,

I’m here to wrap up our September focus on “Resources to Honor and Understand Latin American Influences,” and introduce you to the themes we’ll be tackling in October: Día de los Muertos, remembering, and celebrating.

Before I talk about our upcoming month, I have to acknowledge that we’re still smack dab in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM), and here at Vamos a Leer remain caught in a love-hate relationship with it.  Even while HHM promotes the discussion about Latin@/Hispanic culture, it minimizes the conversation to stereotypes and relegates the information to one month out of the year, effectively communicating to students that Latin@/Hispanic heritage offers a “break” from the real curriculum; it’s apart from authenticate knowledge. There are many, many reasons why this is problematic. Katrina has discussed some of them on the blog, joining other educators such as Enid Lee and Deborah Menkart who advocate for a “beyond heroes and holidays” approach to education. In short, she’s advocated for a classroom where discussions of other cultures are not limited to one month out of the year, but instead are integrated meaningfully throughout the curriculum.

But we’re not suggesting dismissing HHM completely. Instead, much like readers who responded to a recent poll on “How do you feel about Hispanic Heritage Month? Tell us” organized by LatinoUSA, we suggest that HHM is “what you make of it.” Let’s use this an opportunity to start (or better, continue!) meaningful conversations about Latin@/Hispanic heritage, but conversations unfettered by the arbitrary dates of Sept. 15 – Oct. 15. Continue reading