¡Mira, Look!: Sonia Manzano

Photo is courtesy of the Library of Congress website

Photo is courtesy of the Library of Congress website

Hello, everyone! I know this is going to be a busy month with Halloween and Día de los muertos celebrations, but we wanted to take some time this week to examine prominent Latina writer and actress Sonia Manzano. Manzano, daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, grew up in the South Bronx. She developed an interest in the performing arts at a young age. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in New York City as well as Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Manzano gained acclaim as an actress in the 1970s when she joined the production of Godspell. Since that time, Manzano has performed in other on-stage productions. Manzano also portrayed the character of María on Sesame Street for ten years, and she would later go on to write for the show. For her work as a part of the writing staff at Sesame Street, Manzano has won fifteen Emmy awards. Continue reading

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Book Review: The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

The Revolution of Evelyn SerranoThe Revolution of Evelyn Serrano
Written by Sonia Manzano
Published by Scholastic Press, 2012
ISBN:   9780545325059
Age Level: Grades 5 and Up

Description (From GoodReads):

There are two secrets Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and stepfather. Her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who’s come from Puerto Rico to live with them.

Then, like an urgent ticking clock, events erupt that change everything. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, dump garbage in the street and set it on fire, igniting a powerful protest.

When Abuela steps in to take charge, Evelyn is thrust into the action. Tempers flare, loyalties are tested. Through it all, Evelyn learns important truths about her Latino heritage and the history makers who shaped a nation.

Infused with actual news accounts from the time period, Sonia Manzano has crafted a gripping work of fiction based on her own life growing up during a fiery, unforgettable time in America, when young Latinos took control of their destinies.

My thoughts:

This book accomplishes something that no other young adult book I know about does: it tells the story of the Puerto Rican Civil Rights Movement during the late 1960s in New York City, while contextualizing it within Puerto Rico’s own tumultuous history.  The majority of the time when we teach about the Civil Rights Movement, it’s limited to a few famous African-Americans.  While this certainly doesn’t do justice to the widespread social activism of the African-American community and its supporters, it also leaves out Latino/a involvement in this same social movement. Continue reading

Washington, D.C. Event: Exploring Latino and Latin American Literature for the K-12 Classroom

Americas Award Workshop email_FINALWe usually highlight our local Albuquerque, New Mexico events, but this opportunity in D.C. is so exciting that we had to share it in case any of our readers would be able to attend! We wish we could be there!!

Monday, September 23, 2013, is a day of activities dedicated to the Américas Award, with a workshop in the morning for teachers and librarians, and an afternoon award ceremony open to the public.  Below are details concerning both:  Continue reading

Our Next Good Read. . .The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

Join us October 7th at Bookworks from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss our next book.  We are The Revolution of Evelyn Serranoreading The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano (Grades 5 and up) by Sonia Manzano.

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

There are two secrets Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and stepfather. Her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who’s come from Puerto Rico to live with them. Continue reading

Book Giveway!! The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

Sonia-Manzano-ReadsWe’re giving away a copy of The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano written by Sonia Manzano–our featured novel for October’s book group meeting (and just in time for Hispanic Heritage month)!! Check out the following from Kirkus Review: Continue reading