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Yes! We Are Latinos
Cover of Yes! We Are Latinos
Yes! We Are Latinos
Poems and Prose About the Latino Experience
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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 Latino.Thirteen...
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 Latino.Thirteen...
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  • 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 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...

Excerpts-

  • From the book There are more than fifty million people in the United States who call themselves Latinos or Latinas—a population larger than that of many countries. Have you ever asked yourself what makes someone a Latino?
    Latinos and Latinas come from diverse backgrounds. Some are descendants of the first Europeans who settled in what is today the United States: Spaniards who created cities like Saint Augustine, Florida; Santa Fe, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; and Los Angeles, California. Many descend from families that lived in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado when the United States took those territories from Mexico as a war prize. Others immigrated to the United States at different times from Spanish-speaking countries.
    Did you know that Latinos and Latinas live in every state? They do, in both urban and rural areas. Some Latinos are highly educated professionals, doctors, scientists, and artists. Some are entrepreneurs, starting and running their own businesses. Others work in farms or factories, doing hard manual labor.
    Most Latinos and Latinas have mixed origins: they are mestizos, whether by blood or by culture. Their heritage includes roots from indigenous, African, and Spanish people, as well as the many others who have settled in Latin America over centuries.
    This book offers only a sample of what Latinos and Latinas may look like. If you have Latino ancestry, it may raise questions about your own rich heritage. If you do not have Latino ancestry, we hope it will interest you to learn more about Latinas and Latinos. May you find wonderful friends among them!
    Whatever your background, this book is an invitation to look inside yourself. What would your story tell us about you?

About the Author-

  • Alma Flor Ada is the celebrated author of hundreds of books for young readers and adults, including UNDER THE ROYAL PALMS (Atheneum, 1998) a Pura Belpré Award winner and TALES OUR ABUELITAS TOLD: A HISPANIC FOLKTALE COLLECTION with F. Isabel Campoy (Atheneum, 2006). She lives in the San Francisco Bay area in California.

    F. Isabel Campoy is the author of more than one hundred books of poetry, art, biography, and folklore for children incluing ROSA RAPOSA and ¡PÍO PEEP!, co-authored by Alma Flor Ada. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

    David Diaz is the acclaimed illustrator for dozens of books for young readers including his debut picture book Smoky Night, which was awarded the Caldecott Medal, and Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert, winner of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. He lives in Carlsbad, California.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 17, 2013
    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. Ages 10–13. Authors’ agent: Adriana Dominguez, Full Circle Literary.
    Illustrator’s agent: East West Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2013
    A poetic celebration of the diversity found among Latinos. 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. (acknowledgements, bibliography, additional resources, index) (Poetry. 10 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2013

    Gr 4-8-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.-Maricela Leon-Barrera, San Francisco Public Library

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2013
    Grades 3-6 This book celebrates the amazing and underappreciated diversity of the Latino community and makes great strides toward ameliorating one-dimensional stereotypes. Through 12 narrative poems, the authors explore the experiences of fictional men and women; Christians and Jews; immigrants, indigenous people, and second-generation Americans; professionals and farmers; all of whom identify themselves as Latinos. Each poem is followed by brief factual explanation of the major themes within, such as the Spanish Civil War, Asian influences in Latin America, and Cuba's relationship with the U.S. Black-and-white abstract art by Caldecott winner D-az elevates each individual's story by illustrating major themes. While the authors include a bibliography of source material, they also acknowledge a lengthy list of people who provided inspiration for the topics discussed in the book. Perhaps it is the use of these real-life figures that gives the fictional vignettes such an air of realism and relatability for both Latino and non-Latino readers alike.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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Poems and Prose About the Latino Experience
Alma Flor Ada
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