April 20th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! Here are this week’s resources. They are diverse and, like my mom says, “a todo dar.”

–  To start off, check out the Q&A and Cover Reveal with Author-Illustrator Tony Piedra shared by Latinxs in Kid Lit. The cover reveal is for the book The Greatest Adventure, which is going to be released September 11, 2018.

— Check out why it’s time to diversify and decolonise our schools’ reading lists. It was expressed in the post that “Indigenous and students of colour deserve to have the same privilege in education that white students have always had – the opportunity to examine and imagine the full extent of their humanity in literature.”

 – With the latest caravan of Central Americans fleeing their countries due to violence and political reasons, you might want to view Hip Latina’s post on how to talk to kids about violence, crime and war. According to the web, “These tips and conversation starters can help you talk to kids of different ages about the toughest topics.”

— Also from Hip Latina, you can view Zoe Saldana’s perspective on how being Afro-Latina hindered her from landing lead roles. This is a great article when talking about identity and what it means to be Afro-Latina in the U.S. and Latin America.

— La bloga shared the poems Liz González presented to the Autry audience and who will be published in July by Los Nietos Press.

–  Here are some tips for reading poetry aloud to children, courtesy of Lee and Low Books.

— De Colores recommends Arriba, Abajo y Alrededor by Katherine Ayres and Nuestro Huerto: De la semilla a la cosecha en el huerto del colegio by George Ancona. According to the reviewer, Arriba, Abajo y Alrededor is “perfect for bilingual preschool classrooms” while Nuestro Huerto’s “gorgeous full-color photographs are laid out with lots of white space to accommodate his clear, accessible text and student art rendered in marker or crayon.”

— You can view the interview with Saraciea Fennell– an organizer of the Bronx Book Festival that is going to occur May 18-19. Fennell talks about the making of the festival and the reason why it arose.

–  Here are vignettes of women who weave words and who stood their ground in “Literary Witches” and “She Persisted” by Gathering Books.

– Deverian de ver como la fundación la Fuente celebra el día del libro con el festival Somos Lectores. Segun, “la Fuente han dado vida al primer Festival Somos Lectores, con actividades literarias, encuentros con autores, una campaña de donación de libros, descuentos y sorteos. Revisa nuestra programación y participa en esta fiesta de la lectura.”

— Finally, here is why the future is bilingual from TexasMonthly. Former state senator Leticia Van de Putte and Representative Diego Bernal “met at Jefferson High to talk about how to improve public education in San Antonio and the challenges of advocating for the city’s students at a state level.” When discussing how to improve education Representative Bernal emphasized that “the conversation we need to have is that dual language is the way to go. But that’s not the statewide attitude at all.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Santiago, Chile 2005. Reprinted from Flickr user Luxbao under CC©.

April 13th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! There were so many books shared this week, I hope you enjoy them!

– Junot Diaz is forefront in many minds this week following the New Yorker’s release of his essay, “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma.” We acknowledge and honor his willingness to speak openly about what so many people must endure in silence. Long pause.

–  Check out Latinxs in Kid Lit’s review of the children’s book Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal. This book “illuminates an essential connection to ancestors. Inspired by her own name, Juana reminds readers that our names are not just our own, but a reflection of our culture as well.”

– Also from Latinx in Kid Lit, a review of Margarita Engle’s All the Way to Havana. “Together, a boy and his parents drive to the city of Havana, Cuba, in their old family car. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets–neighbors talking, musicians performing, and beautiful, colorful cars putt-putting and bumpety-bumping along.”

 – When talking about U.S.-Latin America experiences and education, you might appreciate Hip Latina’s observations on how French Montana’s Dreamers Campaign Gives First Grant to Kansas City School. Inspired by French Montana’s campaign, We Are the Dream, “two educators at Alta Vista Charter High school created a scholarship program to aid the smartest graduating undocumented students get to college.”

–Also, when highlighting the importance of language and tradition,  don’t miss La Bloga’s cultural reflection post, Yoeme Mask Carvers and Artists : La Familia Martinez by Antonio SolisGomez. Here, you can meet artista Feliciana and her “clay figures, depicting Yoeme figures, Deer Dancers, Pascola’s, Fariseos etc…” Yoeme are indigenous people whose ancestral homelands are found in Sonora, Mexico.

— Cynthia Leitich Smith, author behind the blog Cynsations, posted a video of Rudine Sims Bishop on Mirrors, Windows & Sliding Glass Doors. Dr. Bishop, professor emerita from Ohio State University, is the scholar behind the now well-known article from 1990 that coined the metaphors of windows, mirrors, and doors in children’s and YA literature. If you enjoy hearing Dr. Bishop speak, we also recommend you visit Reading While White’s reflection on the ongoing importance of her work, “Rudine Sims Bishop: In Appreciation.”

– Don’t miss the list of 2017 Middle Grade Novels about Finding One’s Voice and Identity by Gathering Books. If you find yourself interested in My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela and Neruda: Poet of the People, you might want to read more about them courtesy of our own Vamos bloggers.

— Great news! New Online Spanish-Language Bookstore Comes to U.S. April 15, 2018.Check out the new Libros in Español.

–Here is a video posted by Colorín Colorado on why positive body language matters when working with ELLs

-Lee and Low shared their culturally responsive approach to Earth Day. Parrots over Puerto Rico is featured in this post. You can learn more about the book by reading our own Vamos review!

– View the best books on immigration by Five Books.

–Finally, here’s a compilation of the Top 5 Latinxs Poetry Picture Book List as shared by the wonderful Pragmatic Mom.  It’s a great list!

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Costa Rica 2012. Reprinted from Flickr user The Leaf Project under CC©.

March 30th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! This week we have a bunch of wonderful Q&A’s with authors and recommended books to read, enjoy!

– We recently came across Catalina and the King’s Wall by Patty Costello and published by Eifrig Publishing- a children’s book that might prompt children to think critically, albeit perhaps implicitly and without knowing the broader political context, about what it means when a country seeks to build an impenetrable wall to keep out another country. “When Catalina overhears the king planning to build a wall, she fears her family won’t ever be able to visit. Catalina tricks the king into building walls that droop, drip, swirl, and swoosh away. But now the king demands an impenetrable wall. Luckily, Catalina has the perfect ingredients to bake up a family reunion! Through beautiful illustrations and enjoyable prose, kids learn how to stand by their convictions of inclusivity and kindness even when powerful people tell them not to.”

 – De Colores recomends My Year in Middle by Lila Quintero Weaver. The book is recomended for 4-7th grade and is about the story of Luisa Olivera’s starting of middle school during the Vietnam war. The book is “a brilliant, fast-moving story that will resonate with middle-grade readers and could not have been published at a better time.”

–Check out this Q&A session with Latinx in Kid Lit and illustrator Jacuqueline Alcántara about her debut picture book, The Field.

– While discussing indigenous history, you might want to check out how Goni and El Zorro fall and $10 Million is awarded to Indigenous Bolivian survivors in landmark human rights case shared by Latin America News Dispatch. The case was “charged that the Bolivian military massacred more than 60 citizens in September and October of 2003 in the city of El Alto, which neighbors La Paz, in what is often referred to as the October Massacre, or Black or Red October.”

–Our friend, Pragmatic Mom, shared 10 diverse picture books on fine artists, one of which is our favorite Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos. If you want to know more, check out Latinx in Kid Lit’s  review of it here.

– Gathering Books shared their first part (out of two) of Biographies of Fantastically Great Women. Because every day is women’s day, they shared this 32-page book about over 13 international women who made a difference in the world.

–When discussing about gender and sexuality in Latin America you might appreciate why GLAAD Is Calling For LGBTQ Representation In Latin Media With #InclusiveScreens by Hip Latina.  GLADD expresses that “it’s an issue with its #InclusiveScreens / #PantallaInclusivas campaign that seeks to increase Afro-Latinx, Indigenous and all LGBTQ characters of color in Latino media

–In honor of the 100th anniversary of Hernández’s birth, La bloga recommended Danza! Amalia Hernández and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet by Duncan Tonatiuh. Tonatiuh’s books have received many awards and accolades from Pural Belpré and “with Tonatiuh’s distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings that seem to leap off the page, Danza! will enthrall and inspire young readers with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer.” If you are interested but would like more insight, you might want to check Latinxs in Kid Lit and Vamos a Leer book reviews.

– If you were still wondering why diversity in science fiction and fantasy is so critical than you might appreciate the Q&A session with Sauantani Dasgupta shared by CBC Diversity. The author truly believes that “sci-fi and fantasy narratives help us imagine the futures we want, or don’t want. Diverse science fiction and fantasy – narratives in which indigenous characters and characters of color, LGBTQI+ characters, and characters with disabilities and other marginalized identities are central to the story and not just sidekicks – help write diversity into everybody’s future imaginings.”

–Here is an interview with Lee Francis IV on Native Publishing, Bookstores & Indigenous Comic Con. Mr. Lee Francis IV is the owner of Red Planet Comics and Books here in Albuquerque and founder of Native Realities. To Lee Francis IV, the company started “in 2015 and have published 10 titles to date. When we started, the idea was to fill the gap in Indigenous literature.”

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Costa Rica. Reprinted from Flickr user Pere Aleu Casanovas under CC©.

Reading Recomendaciones: February 15, 2018

Hello everyone!! I hope your year is off to a wonderful start! I’ve missed you all at Vamos a Leer and I’m so excited to be back! I finally finished my PhD over the summer and I’m back in the classroom teaching.  After six years away, it’s taken me awhile to get my teaching legs back under me, but I think I’ve (sort of) got things under control now.  I’m hoping to contribute here far more regularly again, along with Alin, Santiago, and Kalyn, the wonderful bloggers who’ve kept us going over the last year.

As you all know, as a project supported by the UNM Latin American and Iberian Institute, our focus here at Vamos a Leer is on sharing books and resources to help encourage a broader engagement with Latin America in classrooms.  At the same time, we’re always striving to encourage a greater depth in multicultural content across all area studies.  As a teacher myself, I’ve found that one of the greatest challenges in implementing curriculum that reflects the diversity of our world is simply in finding books and resources.  With this in mind, we’ll be starting a new thematic series of posts on “Reading Recomendaciones” that highlight various reading lists, thematic book compilations, or curated book suggestions from around the web.  Many of these lists will include suggestions that go beyond just Latin American or Latinx themes, so we will highlight those books that are specific to our blog focus.

One of the first resources I want to share is Mind/Shift’s 20 Books Featuring Diverse Characters to Inspire Connection and Empathy based on a list of recommended titles created by the San Francisco Public Library.  The list was first shared in 2016, but many of the books are just now gaining the popularity they deserve, making them more readily accessible on bookstore and library shelves.  I was really excited to see some of our favorite authors like Meg Medina, Matt de la Peña, Duncan Tonatiuh, Tracey Baptiste, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Edwidge Danticat on the list.  For those of you not familiar with Baptiste, her book The Jumbies came out in 2016, and she just recently released the sequel, The Rise of the Jumbies.  One of my third graders read The Jumbies earlier this year and is anxiously awaiting the sequel I ordered for her out of our most recent Scholastic book order. I’ll let you know what she thinks of it.

Another amazing resource is Gathering Books’ Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Bookshelf —a collection of multicultural/international picture book text-sets across the five SEL competencies.  This is quite an undertaking! Understandably, they are adding one competency at a time.  Currently, both the Self-Awareness and Self-Management sections are available.  I’ve added so many books to my classroom wish list as a result of this resource!

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to recommend that we all spend some time thinking about Angie Manfredi’s blog post “The Message of Your All White Booklist.” She makes some significant observations about access to diverse books even as the “We Need Diverse Books” movement gains more and more traction.  A New Mexico librarian, Manfredi’s discussion of the New Mexico Battle of the Books list hit close to home for me.  I also think her blog post offers a useful framework from which to move forward in our “Reading Recommendations.”

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Feel free to share in the comments below.  I’m really looking forward to being a regular around here again!

Until next week!

Katrina

Our Next Good Read. . .The Only Road

Join us on Monday, March 12th at Red Door Brewing (400 Gold Ave SW #105) from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss our next book.  We are reading The Only Road (Grades 3-7) by Alexandra Diaz.

Here’s a sneak peek into this award-winning book: (from Goodreads)

Twelve-year-old Jaime makes the treacherous and life-changing journey from his home in Guatemala to live with his older brother in the United States in this gripping and realistic middle grade novel.

Jaime is sitting on his bed drawing when he hears a scream. Instantly, he knows: Miguel, his cousin and best friend, is dead.

Everyone in Jaime’s small town in Guatemala knows someone who has been killed by the Alphas, a powerful gang that’s known for violence and drug trafficking. Anyone who refuses to work for them is hurt or killed—like Miguel. With Miguel gone, Jaime fears that he is next. There’s only one choice: accompanied by his cousin Ángela, Jaime must flee his home to live with his older brother in New Mexico.

Inspired by true events, The Only Road is an individual story of a boy who feels that leaving his home and risking everything is his only chance for a better life. It is a story of fear and bravery, love and loss, strangers becoming family, and one boy’s treacherous and life-changing journey.

We hope to see you there!

We’ll also be raffling off a copy of April’s featured book, How I Became a Nun by César Aira.  Join us that evening to be entered!

 

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Global Read Webinar Series

2018-02-08-Global-Webinar-SeriesHello, everyone!

We’re pleased to pass along the information concerning a new Global Read Webinar Series which is co-sponsored by an organization with which we work closely, the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP).

This new webinar series is FREE and open to all, and will emphasize reading across cultures and diverse social justice books for 7-12th grade classrooms.

The first webinar is happening tomorrow, February 8, at 6:00 -7:15 PM CST. Margarita Engle, one of our beloved authors here at the LAII and the current national Young People’s Poet Laureate, will discuss her book Lion Island.
February 8, 2018 Webinar Description:
The Américas Award explores the diversity of Latin America by focusing on Cuba with award winning author, Margarita Engle. Engle, the national Young People’s Poet Laureate will discuss her book Lion Island and share teaching and discussion ideas to explore the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who becomes a champion for civil rights. Discuss the historical context and learn more with the author and Associate Director of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee’s Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies and founder of the Américas Award, Julie Kline. This webinar is sponsored by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (of which the LAII is a member) with additional support from Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American StudiesFlorida International University and The University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies.
Series Description:
Once a month, the World Area Book Awards will sponsor a 60 minute webinar on a book recognized by one of the awards and facilitate a discussion with the author on how to incorporate the book into the classroom. The spring webinar series focuses on social justice. We encourage you to read the books with your colleagues, students, and community, and then join us to hear more from the author. The books are appropriate for students in grades 7-12. If participating in all four webinar sessions, participants will receive a certificate of completion. Be sure to join the conversation with our webinar hashtag #2018ReadingAcrossCultures. All sessions are free and open to the public. All times listed refer to Central Standard Time (CST). Sponsored by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, the South Asia National Outreach Consortium, the Middle East Outreach Council, and African Studies Access Council.
To learn more and to register, visit the Global Read Webinar Series website.

Our Next Good Read. . .The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Join us on Monday, February 12th at Red Door Brewing (400 Gold Ave SW #105) from The Inexplicable Logic of My Life | Vamos a Leer | Benjamin Alire Saenz5:00-7:00 pm to discuss our next book.  We are reading The Inexplicable Logic of my Life (Grades 7 and up ) by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

We hope to see you there!

We’ll also be raffling off a copy of March’s featured book, The Only Road (Grades 3-7). Join us that evening to be entered!

 

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