¡Hola a todos! We are already halfway through November! I cannot believe how fast this month is passing by. Here are this week’s resources.
— #IndigenousReads by Indigenous Writers: A Children’s Reading List. For centuries, Indigenous people have been represented in literature with stereotypes created and perpetuated by people not of an indigenous background. Now, Indigenous writers are taking it upon themselves and breaking into the publishing industry to share their own stories. ‘Most of what kids see in books today are best sellers & classics that stereotype & misrepresent Native people in history. There’s a lot of bias in them. The books that I recommend are ones that can counter that bias in several ways. One, they’re not stereotypical. Two, most of them are set in the present day, which is important in countering what we see in a lot of children’s & young adult literature, which says that we vanished, we didn’t make it to the present day, and of course we did.’ -Debbie Reese, Nambe Pueblo, of American Indians in Children’s Literature”
– The social movement and organization We Need Diverse Books has released a curated, book-finding app for librarians and teachers who want to find diverse books. The app is called Our Story. “An interactive quiz helps you find the perfect book.”
– Our friends at De Colores have highly recommended the bilingual book, 13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance/ 13 Colores de la Resistencia Hondureña, by Melissa Cardoza and translated by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle. The book includes 13 short bilingual stories and essays compiled in honor of Berta Cáceres Flores, a social and environmental activist in Honduras who was assassinated in March of 2016. “Originally written in beautiful, poetic Honduran vernacular Spanish by Melissa Cardoza and with a careful idiomatic English translation by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle—along with 13 black-and-white photos that visually highlight the diversity of the struggle—13 colores documents the resistance of all the abuelas, powerful sisters, and mamas who struggle to feed their children.”
– Find out which books to keep or toss with the help of the blog Booktoss. Their latest post (“Volume 3”) suggests skipping Skippyjohn Jones and treasuring La Princesa and the Pea. “Booktoss means we, the Literary Gatekeepers, need to be willing to see the problems with books and simply toss them aside. Yes. I said it. Toss the book aside. No burning or censoring (understand the difference between censoring and boycotting, please!). Just get rid of the racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist book and move on.”
– Congratulations to the 20 books that made it to the Premio Fundación Cuatro Gatos 2017. This year there were over one thousand publications representing 20 countries from which to choose!
– Lastly, Latinxs in Kid Lit shared a recent review in which Evangelina Takes Flight by Diana J. Noble is recommended for older young adults. The reviewer, Cris Rhods, a doctoral student at A&M University who focuses on the construction of identity in young adult literature, writes that “Diana J. Noble’s Evangelina Takes Flight is timely to a startling degree. As a work of historical fiction, Noble’s portrayal of upheaval in Mexico caused by the Mexican Revolution and Pancho Villa’s raids on farming villages remains relevant to this day. In confronting the racism and xenophobia rampant at the border, where shops display signs declaring ‘No Dogs! No Negroes! No Mexicans! No Perros! No Negros! No Mexicanos!’, Evangelina’s story parallels contemporary struggles for racial equality (92). As racial tensions build both in the text and in real life, Evangelina’s stand to keep her school desegregated feels remarkably current, and in its demonstration of child activism, Evangelina Takes Flight holds up a powerful example.”
Image: Holguin, Cuba. Reprinted from Flickr user Piviso under CC©.