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Yes! We Are Latinos
Juanita lives in New York and is Mexican. Felipe lives in Chicago and is Panamanian, Venezuelan, and black. Michiko lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each of them is also Latino.
Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each youth provide specific stories and circumstances for the reader to better understand the Latino people’s quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the character’s background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people, such as the Spanish Civil War, immigration to the US, and the internment of Latinos with Japanese ancestry during World War II.
Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy’s informational yet heartwarming text provides a resource for young Latino readers to see themselves, while also encouraging non-Latino children to understand the breadth and depth of the contributions made by Latinos in the US. Caldecott Medalist David Diaz’s hand-cut illustrations are bold and striking, perfectly complementing the vibrant stories in the book.
Yes! We Are Latinos stands alone in its presentation of the broad spectrum of Latino culture and will appeal to readers of fiction and nonfiction.
This book is good for your brain because it provides:
informational text and descriptive prose; readers to various aspects of world history, and the history of migration and contributions of Latino peoples
Correlated to Common Core State Standards:
(College and Career Readiness) Reading Informational. Grades 6 to 12. Standards 1 to 10.
The authors of Tales Our Abuelitas Told shape fictional portraits of 13 young people living in the U.S., who have diverse experiences and backgrounds but share a Latino heritage. The first-person narrative poems range from reflective to free-spirited, methodical to free-association. A boy in Detroit dreams of opening a hospital in his family’s native Dominican Republic; a Puerto Rican girl wants her parents to support her dreams of attending college, rather than splurge on "an elaborate party—/ a quinceañera production"; and two friends—one Guatemalan, one Peruvian—are learning the native language of their Chinese and Japanese grandparents. In the most resounding monologue, a Hispanic Native American shares advice from his brother that crystallizes the book’s message: "Never forget who you are." Informative nonfictional interludes succinctly address relevant subjects, including immigration, the challenges migrant workers face, and Cuba-U.S. history. Diaz’s (Smoky Night) angular, hand-cut b&w illustrations are reminiscent of woodblock prints, balancing images from the past and present. An eye-opening and thoughtful celebration of cultural identity.
Each poem in this collection of 13 vignettes is a glimpse into the life of a Latino child living in the United States. Ada and Campoy do a commendable job of creating a nuanced, realistic reflection of the many-faceted Latino experience, including characters from a variety of ethnic, religious, language and racial backgrounds. It may be unclear to readers what rendering them in poetry adds to these tales, but they are nonetheless successful stories. An informational piece follows each poem that--while sometimes slightly didactic--expands on the social and historical context with honesty and depth. (One exception is "Deep African Roots," which, while an otherwise good piece, puzzlingly neglects to explore the unique history of blacks in Panama, though the preceding poem is about a black Panamanian boy.) Diaz's signature black-and-white cut-paper art decorates the collection and is especially noteworthy in its reflection of the themes in the informational pieces. Would that the authors had shared why they included Spaniards as Latinos when whether or not Spaniards consider themselves Latinos appears to be up for debate.
Still, with only minor flaws, it is a collection both interesting and educational, offering Latino children positive representations of themselves and teaching non-Latino children about the richness and breadth of the Latino experience.
A collection of narrative poems meant to represent young Latinos of diverse and multiple backgrounds. All of the selections start with the statement, "My name is...," followed by a bit about where the narrators live, how they came to the United States, and how their families' cultural identities are shaping their future. Each entry is followed with another short narrative that includes historical references to contextualize the "child's" story. It is refreshing to see a varied presentation that includes those from different ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds, in addition to representing some of the smaller Latin American countries and the islands in the Caribbean. The vignettes also help to illustrate the meaning of being mestizo--the blending of indigenous, African, and Spanish lineage--mentioned in the introduction and explored throughout. Another notable detail is the inclusion of Asians in Latin America, which is often overlooked in children's literature. The illustrations are interesting lino cutouts, black and white, reminiscent of Latino folk art, akin to wood carvings and papel picado. Teachers looking for a starting point to write personal narratives will find the book extremely useful as will those seeking to recognize and highlight this diverse population. A short list of Latino-inspired literature is appended.
- By authors: Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy Illustrated by: David Diaz
- ISBN: 978-1-58089-383-1
- Binding Information: Hardback
- Ages: 10 - 13