En la Clase: Día de los Muertos and Halloween~A Roundup of Books

With Día de los Muertos and Halloween fast approaching, I thought I’d share some great fiction and non-fiction resources you can use in your classroom.  Below you’ll find titles of books on Día de los Muertos for all grade levels.  I’ve also come across three great Halloween themed posts that offer book ideas perfect for students with ghosts and goblins on the brain.  While there are lots of great blogs out there sharing Halloween books, these three caught my attention because they focus on diverse or Latino-themed books for children and young adults.

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Book review: Malín Alegría’s “Border Town: Crossing the Line”

We have our beach reads, so why shouldn’t our teens?

I was so excited to see this post from The Hispanic Reader on Malín Alegría’s new book.  While some may say a series modeled after the Sweet Valley High novels isn’t what we want our teens reading, I disagree.  While I never read much Sweet Valley High, I certainly tore through every single book in The Babysitters Club series.  To me, a teen reading is a teen reading–not facebooking, watching youtube, or gaming.  Not that I have anything against those things, but I’m always excited about a book that will get teens interested in reading as well.  It looks like this one may do just that.

Check out some of Malín Alegría’s other great books.  If you like her work, definitely check back later in the year–Our Vamos a Leer book group is highlighting another novel by Alegría, Estrella’s Quinceañera, this coming February, and we’ll be posting some great resources for using it in your classroom!

The Hispanic Reader

Malín Alegría provides something the book world badly needed – a great young adult novel depicting Latino life.

Border Town: Crossing the Line(Point/Scholastic) is the first in a series of books modeled after the popular 1980s series Sweet Valley High, which followed the lives of two high school sisters living in California. Border Town features Fabiola Garza and her sister, Alexis, as they attend high school in the small (and fictional) town of Dos Rios in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

Even though Alegría lives in California, she perfectly captures the Valley beyond the characters’ meals of menudo and pan dulce. Here’s a line when Fabiola runs into her old Sunday school teacher while she’s buying personal items: “This was exactly why she hated living in the Valley. You couldn’t do anything without running into someone you knew!” (I used to live in the Valley, and…

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In the news: New books, awards and news from Vargas Llosa, Díaz, Cisneros

Check out this recent post from The Hispanic Reader with information about some great new books–including ones for young adults!

The Hispanic Reader

It’s July! The month offers plenty of intriguing books to keep you cool during the hot summer days:

Just released: Choke by Diana López, editor of the Huizache literary magazine, features middle school students caught in a dangerous choking game so they can become “breath sisters.” The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir by Domingo Martinez examines the author’s childhood in the Rio Grande Valley. In the novel The Frost on His Shoulders by Spanish author Lorenzo Mediano, a teacher in 1930s looks back on a romance that ripped a small town in the Pyrenees Mountains.

July 10: Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Prisoner of Heaven, the third in his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, follows a newlywed couple who must go back in time to 1940s Barcelona to uncover a terrible secret.

July 17: Joy Castro’sHell or High…

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