YES! WE ARE LATINOS
Author: Alma Flor Ada
Copyright Date: 2013
Through first-person poems and descriptive prose, thirteen different Latino and Latina young people are introduced to readers. The histories of immigrants from various countries and in numerous situations are presented in a way that is both heartwarming and informational. Young Latino and Latina readers will find themselves in the text and non-Latino children can learn of the breadth and depth of the contributions made by Latinos to the U.S.
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 Each entry is followed with another short narrative that includes historical references to contextualize the “child’s” story.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.
School Library Journal