May 2015 Intermediate Title Offers Engaging, Accessible Look at Diversity!May 1st, 2015 | Posted by in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2014-2015 | May
Yes! We Are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. Illustrated by David Diaz. Charlesbridge, 2013.
An introduction titled “Our Indigenous Roots” discussing the native peoples of Mexico and Central and South America is the entryway into a celebration of diversity within Latino culture in the United States. Thirteen fictional children then tell about their lives in verse narratives that are followed by short informational essays providing background on the cultural history the child represents. Each verse begins with the child stating who they are: “My name is Juanita. I am Mexican. I live in New York. I am Latina … My name is Santiago. I am Dominican. I live in Detroit. I am Latino … My name is Felipe. I am Panamanian and Venezuelan. I am black. I live in Chicago. I am Latino … My name is Lili. I am Guatemalan. I am Chinese. I live in Los Angeles. I am Latina …” The verse narratives are poems grounded in details of family and memories and desires. The essays provide facts about the history of the child’s country/culture of origin and migration to the United States. In truth, no single book can capture the incredible diversity within Latino culture in America. What this book does do is offer a sense of the breadth and depth of the culture and history, along with hopes and dreams, that can be represented by individual lives. Numerous resources for continuing to explore the topic of Latino diversity are suggested at book’s end. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Extend reading and learning experiences with these discussion questions:
1. The book begins with the introduction, “What makes someone Latino?” After reading this book, how would you answer this question?
2. Many stories are told in this book. Is there a story with which you identify or connect? Why? What makes you identify or connect with the story?
3. If you wanted a friend to read this book, how would you describe it?
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