Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yes! We Are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy


Yes! We Are Latinos

by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, illustrated by David Diaz
Charlesbridge ISBN: 978-1-58089-383-1 96p. $18.95(plb) 2013

Covering the breadth of what it means to be Latino in the US, Flor and Campoy start each chapter with a statement of who is telling his or her story told in verse.

My Name Is José Miguel--not Joe, not Mike. I am Cuban and Nicaraguan. I live in Tampa, Florida. I am Latino.  
My Name Is Mónica. I am from El Salvador. I live in Houston. I am Texan. I am Latina.

Interspersed with verse narratives are chapters that place the history, culture, accomplishments, and  challenges of that particular flavor of Latino in context. As a Latina who reads extensively, I was happily surprised to learn about the diversity of Latinos in the US. For the first time I was exposed to segments of the Latino population and their history that I knew nothing of. I did not know about the generations of Chinese and Japanese in Latin America or the Latino grandchildren of those who fled Spain during the time of Franco. All my life I’ve looked for books and stories about my Hispanic, Hispano,  Español, Native American roots and was so happy to see them presented in the last poem, 
Román’s story that illuminates the culture that has been in northern New Mexico for over 400 years. I was also thrilled to learn about the mural, Mundos de mestizaje: The Miracle Wall. It was created by an artist who shares the same last name as three of my great-grandparents and now I must go see it the next time I visit the primos in New Mexico. 


This is a fascinating and important book that belongs in every school library.


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