Video of the Week: Guadalupe Rivera Marín

Video of the Week: Art

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is ART. One of the Hispanic artists explored in our printables is Diego Rivera. While there are many wonderful books written about the artist, we’ve chosen to share this short video of his daughter Guadalupe Rivera Marín talking about her bilingual picture book My Papa Diego and Me / Mi papá Diego y yoIn it she shares personal memories of her father.

Literacy Craft Tutorial: ‘Frida’ Shrink Plastic Bookmark

Frida-bookmark


This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is ART. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Kathy Cano-Murillo who publishes the site, CraftyChica.com.

 

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is always a source of inspiration. Here’s a way to add her spirit to your books with the help of shrink plastic and markers.

Supplies:

  • Frosted shrink plastic (found at the craft store)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Thin black permanent marker
  • Assorted colored markers
  • Embossing gun or toaster oven

Directions:

DIY Frida Bookmark Steps 1-4

  1. Print out an image of Frida, keeping in mind that it will shrink 60%. I started with a piece of shrink plastic that was about 3” x 7” long.

  2. Frosted side up, set the shrink plastic on top of the image. Use a pencil to draw the image, tracing over her face, eyes, hair, neck and nose.

  3. Now go over the pencil marks with the black liner pen, this is your chance to fix any mistakes in the tracing process. Erase any pencil lines.

DIY Frida Bookmark Steps 4-7

  1. Use the colored markers to fill in all the areas. Bring her to life with color!

  2. Cut out around the shape and punch a hole at the top.

  3. Have an adult do this part: On a silicone mat, run the heat gun over the plastic until it curls and flattens out. You can also use a toaster oven and heat according to the shrink plastic package directions.

  4. Add a ribbon through the top of the hole. You’re done!
    'Frida' Shrink Plastic Bookmark

10 Latino Books for Teens

10 Latino Books for Teens

I first discovered Latino literature when I was a teenager in high school taking a multicultural lit class. The experience was life changing for me. Since then so many more books by and about Latinos have been written and published for young adults. Here are just a few of our favorite Latino literature titles for teens. What titles would you add to our list?

Psst! Any of these would be ideal reads for our YA Challenge!

(All the links below are affiliate links. When you click on one and make a purchase, we receive a small commission, which helps with the running of this website.)

My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults
by Pat Mora

a major selection of new and previously published poems chosen by Pat Mora herself with young-adult readers in mind. Using the cactus plant as her guiding metaphor for our existence, she presents more than sixty poems grouped variously into “Blooms,” “Thorns,” and “Roots.” Each section opens with a graceful line drawing from artist Anthony Accardo, and the whole is prefaced by a whimsical and intimate introduction, “Dear Fellow Writter.”

Names on a Map: A Novel
by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The Espejo family of El Paso, Texas, is like so many others in America in 1967, trying to make sense of a rapidly escalating war they feel does not concern them. But when the eldest son, Gustavo, a complex and errant rebel, receives a certified letter ordering him to report to basic training, he chooses to flee instead to Mexico. Retreating back to the land of his grandfather—a foreign country to which he is no longer culturally connected—Gustavo sets into motion a series of events that will have catastrophic consequences on the fragile bonds holding the family together.

My Name is Cool: 18 Stories from a Cuban-Irish-American Storyteller
by Antonio Sacre

Born in Boston to a Cuban father and an Irish-American mother, Antonio Sacre is one of the fewleprecanos on the national speaking circuit. Using his own personal history and telling the stories that audiences across the nation have found so captivating and wonderful, this  award-winning storyteller and author  weaves the Spanish language, Cuban and Mexican customs, and Irish humor into an unforgettable book of humor, inspiration, tradition, and family.

Caminar
by Skila Brown

Carlos knows that when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it is time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mama tells him not yet — he’s still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbor is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist. Mama tells Carlos to run and hide, then try to find her. . . . Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos’s abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then? A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala’s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind
by Meg Medina

Sixteen-year-old Sonia Ocampo was born on the night of the worst storm Tres Montes had ever seen. And when the winds mercifully stopped, an unshakable belief in the girl’s protective powers began. All her life, Sonia has been asked to pray for sick mothers or missing sons, as worried parents and friends press silver milagros in her hands. Sonia knows she has no special powers, but how can she disappoint those who look to her for solace? Still, her conscience is heavy, so when she gets a chance to travel to the city and work in the home of a wealthy woman, she seizes it. At first, Sonia feels freedom in being treated like all the other girls. But when news arrives that her beloved brother has disappeared while looking for work, she learns to her sorrow that she can never truly leave the past or her family behind.

Under the Mesquite
by Guadalupe Garcia Mccall

Lupita, a budding actor and poet in a close-knit Mexican American immigrant family, comes of age as she struggles with adult responsibilities during her mother’s battle with cancer in this young adult novel in verse.

When Lupita learns Mami has cancer, she is terrified by the possibility of losing her mother, the anchor of her close-knit family. Suddenly, being a high school student, starring in a play, and dealing with friends who don’t always understand, become less important than doing whatever she can to save Mami’s life.

While her father cares for Mami at an out-of-town clinic, Lupita takes charge of her seven younger siblings. As Lupita struggles to keep the family afloat, she takes refuge in the shade of a mesquite tree, where she escapes the chaos at home to write. Forced to face her limitations in the midst of overwhelming changes and losses, Lupita rediscovers her voice and finds healing in the power of words.

Esperanza Rising
by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child
by Francisco Jiménez

“The Circuit,” the story of young Panchito and his trumpet, is one of the most widely anthologized stories in Chicano literature. At long last, Jimenez offers more about the wise, sensitive little boy who has grown into a role model for subsequent generations of immigrants.

These independent but intertwined stories follow the family through their circuit, from picking cotton and strawberries to topping carrots–and back agai–over a number of years. As it moves from one labor camp to the next, the little family of four grows into ten. Impermanence and poverty define their lives. But with faith, hope, and back-breaking work, the family endures.

Baseball in April and Other Stories
by Gary Soto

The Mexican American author Gary Soto draws on his own experience of growing up in California’s Central Valley in this finely crafted collection of eleven short stories that reveal big themes in the small events of daily life. Crooked teeth, ponytailed girls, embarrassing grandfathers, imposter Barbies, annoying brothers, Little League tryouts, and karate lessons weave the colorful fabric of Soto’s world. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us.

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal 
by Margarita Engle

One hundred years ago, the world celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, which connected the world’s two largest oceans and signaled America’s emergence as a global superpower. It was a miracle, this path of water where a mountain had stood—and creating a miracle is no easy thing. Thousands lost their lives, and those who survived worked under the harshest conditions for only a few silver coins a day.

From the young “silver people” whose back-breaking labor built the Canal to the denizens of the endangered rainforest itself, this is the story of one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, as only Newbery Honor-winning author Margarita Engle could tell it.

Video of the Week: Rafael López

Video-of-Week-Music

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is MUSIC. An intrinsic part of our culture, many Latino musicians have had a powerful impact on world music. Two of those – Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo and My Name is Celia/Me llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/la vida de Celia Cruz (aff) - have been featured in children’s books illustrated by artist Rafael López. His distinctive illustrations perfectly depict the movement, emotion, and vibrancy of the musicians and their music. So this week’s video features some of his children’s book illustrations and the community murals he creates with children.

Literacy Craft Tutorial: DIY Musical Magazine Holder

DIY-musical-magazine-holder

This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is MUSIC/MUSICA. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Dariela Cruz who publishes the site, MamiTalks.com.

Magazine holders are so useful. I never think of them for the kids’ room, but even if the kids don’t have any magazines, they always have coloring books, reading workbooks, math workbooks, or notebooks that can definitely be organized better inside a magazine rack.

This magazine rack is made out of a cereal box, some scrapbooking paper and stickers. It is very easy to make and the kids can help, too. This one has a musical theme and can be very useful for storing sheet music and/or music notebooks. There are many wonderful designs of scrapbooking paper available for each kid’s preference. Guide them through this craft and they will love making something useful for their own room!


Supplies:

  • A cereal box wide enough to fit a magazine
  • 2 sheets of scrapbooking paper
  • Decoupage glue (matte or glossy is ok)
  • A brush to apply the glue
  • Scissors and/or a craft knife
  • A ruler
  • A permanent marker
  • Musical stickers

Instructions:

Grab the empty cereal box and place a magazine on top of it.

Make marks with the permanent marker on one side of the box a little bit higher than the magazine height, and on the other side make a mark a little bit lower than the half of the magazine’s total  height.

Musical-magazine-holder1

Musical-magazine-holder2
Draw a line joining both marks then continue on the other side with the help of a ruler.

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With scissors (or craft knife) carefully cut the box along the marked lines.

Musical-magazine-holder4

Musical-magazine-holder5
The structure of the magazine holder is done. Now to decorate it!

Use the first scrapbooking paper and lay the box on top of it. This paper will cover only two sides of the box. With a pencil, mark the paper leaving space for flaps on every side and the top and bottom. They don’t need to be precise, just make sure you have them all, then cut along your marks with scissors.

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Once the paper is cut, apply the glue with a brush to one entire side.

Musical-magazine-holder7
Glue the paper around the 2 sides of the box.

Musical-magazine-holder8
Mark, cut, and glue the second scrapbooking paper the same way as the first, but don’t leave flaps on two sides so that the border of the paper is exactly aligned with the border of the box.

Musical-magazine-holder9
Once the whole magazine holder is wrapped with paper apply the decoupage glue all over it and let it dry for a couple of hours.

Musical-magazine-holder12
Cut a small rectangle of scrapbooking paper and place it on the inside of the back of the magazine holder. This part will show even when the magazines are inside it.

Musical-magazine-holder13
Now it’s time for the fun part! Let the kids use the stickers and have fun decorating the magazine holder! Use them on the thin sides of the box, which are the ones that will show most often when it’s in use.

Musical-magazine-holder14

DIY-magazine-holder-from-cereal-box

DIY-musical-magazine-holder-from-cereal-box

DIY-magazine-holder

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Dariela_Cruz

 

Dariela is a Venezuelan mom and graphic designer currently living in San Diego, CA. She blogs at Mami Talks, where she shares the day-to-day as a mom of her 6 year-old son Adrian and 3 year-old daughter Maya. In her blog you can always find fresh ideas, crafts and inspirations filled with lots of photography. She is passionate about family, culture and anything art related. Connect with Dariela on twitter:  @darielacruz, Facebook, Google+ or her Design Blog.

10 Latino Books for Tweens

10-Latino-books-for-tweens

A few weeks ago, someone asked us to share more books for older children. So we’re happy to share just a few of our favorite titles for tweens that were written by or about Latinos. What titles would you add to our list?

(All the links below are affiliate links. When you click on one and make a purchase, we receive a small commission, which helps with the running of this website.)

Case of the Pen Gone Missing: A Mickey Rangel Mystery / El caso de La pluma perdida: Coleccion Mickey Rangel 
by Rene Saldana
The first book in The Mickey Rangel Mystery series for intermediate readers, author and educator Rene Saldana, Jr. has crafted another appealing book for kids, and his wise-cracking, smart protagonist will appeal to even the most reluctant readers.

 

Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller
by Xavier Garza
Margarito acts like any other eleven-year-old aficionado of lucha libre. He worships all the players. But in the summer just before sixth grade, he tumbles over the railing at a match in San Antonio and makes a connection to the world of Mexican wrestling that will ultimately connect him—maybe by blood!—to the greatest hero of all time: the Guardian Angel.

 

A Mummy in Her Backpack / Una momia en su mochila 
by James Luna
Flor and her best friend Lupita stare in astonishment as a cowboy hat, followed by a small man with dark yellow skin and thin, stringy hair, emerges from her backpack. He introduces himself as Rafa, a mummy from the famous museum in Guanajuato. Flor visited the museum and learned that some people buried there mummified naturally. She can’t believe that an actual mummy hitched a ride with her to the United States!

The Legend of Ponciano Gutiérrez and the Mountain Thieves 
by A. Gabriel Meléndez, The Paiz Family
Once upon a time in the Mora Valley of northern New Mexico there lived a farmer named Ponciano Gutiérrez. On a trip through the mountains he was taken captive by Vicente Silva and his gang of bank robbers. This tale of Ponciano’s quick-witted escape has been a bedtime story for generations in the Paiz family.

The Missing Chancleta and Other Top-Secret Cases / La chancleta perdida y otros casos secretos
by Alidis Vicente
Flaca’s chancleta, or flip flop, has gone missing! She prepares to investigate the theft: “Pencil and notepad: in hand. Straw hat for disguise: on. Magnifying glass: Check.” She interviews each of her family members, all of whom are suspects. Oddly, their stories check out, so Flaca will have to dig deeper to find the culprit.
Normally, Detective Flaca a pale, scrawny second grader doesn’t allow civilians to read her confidential case files. But young readers willing to sign the confidentiality agreement that appears before the three top-secret cases included in this bilingual collection are in luck!

Yes! We Are Latinos! 
by Alma Flor Ada
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.

Salsa Stories 
by Lulu Delacre
When Carmen Teresa receives a notebook as a holiday gift, the guests suggest she write down their own childhood stories, which they tell. But Carmen Teresa, who loves to cook, collects their family recipes instead!
With energy, sensitivity, and warmth, Lulu Delacre introduces readers to a symphony of colorful characters whose 9 stories dance through a year of Latin American holidays and customs. Countries include Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Guatamala and Peru. Seventeen delicious and authentic recipes are included.

The Wild Book 
by Ms. Margarita Engle
Fefa struggles with words. She has word blindness, or dyslexia, and the doctor says she will never read or write. Every time she tries, the letters jumble and spill off the page, leaping away like bullfrogs. How will she ever understand them?
But her mother has an idea. She gives Fefa a blank book filled with clean white pages. “Think of it as a garden,” she says. Soon Fefa starts to sprinkle words across the pages of her wild book. She lets her words sprout like seedlings, shaky at first, then growing stronger and surer with each new day. And when her family is threatened, it is what Fefa has learned from her wild book that saves them.

Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White 
by Lila Quintero Weaver
In 1961, when Lila was five, she and her family emigrated from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Marion, Alabama, in the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt. As educated, middle-class Latino immigrants in a region that was defined by segregation, the Quinteros occupied a privileged vantage from which to view the racially charged culture they inhabited. Weaver and her family were firsthand witnesses to key moments in the civil rights movement.  But Darkroom is her personal story as well: chronicling what it was like being a Latina girl in the Jim Crow South, struggling to understand both a foreign country and the horrors of our nation’s race relations. Weaver, who was neither black nor white, observed very early on the inequalities in the American culture, with its blonde and blue-eyed feminine ideal. Throughout her life, Lila has struggled to find her place in this society and fought against the discrimination around her.

Neighborhood Odes 
by Gary Soto
Award-winning poet Gary Soto and Caldecott winner David Diaz turn their eyes on the world of kids. From family pictures to pinatas, from the gato with a meow like a rusty latch to Fourth of July fireworks, the startling and often overlooked moments that define childhood are vividly brought to life by these two acclaimed talents.

L4LL’s 2014 Young Adult Challenge

2014 YA Challenge

One of the goals of the L4LL Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program is to use technology in a way to boost literacy skills among our youth and prepare them for college. That’s why we created the Young Adult Challenge, which combines technology with Latino literature.

Kids ages 9 to 18 are still challenged to read 8 books this summer, BUT we want them to also present a video book report on a piece of Latino (children’s) literature that they’ve read. This book may be one of the 8 books they’ve read for the program, and may or may not be found on our reading list for young adults. The video should be two minutes or less and simply tell us about the book and whether or not your child recommends it to other kids.

The families of participants in this age range who submit a list of the 8 books they’ve read over the summer, as well as a video book report about a piece of Latino (children’s) lit that they’ve read, will be entered to win one of 20 Samsung Chromebooks and Google Play gift cards donated by our underwriter, Google.

The video book report will be archived in the L4LL YouTube channel. Click here for a complete description of the YA Challenge Rules and to download your parental consent form.

Below is an awesome example from last year by then 9-year-old Marianna. If you’d like to see the other videos submitted by kids ages 9  to 18, check out our Book Reports Playlist on our YouTube channel.

Literacy Craft Tutorial: Favorite Words Placemat

Favorite Words Placemat

This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is FOOD/COMIDA. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Dariela Cruz who publishes the site, MamiTalks.com.

In our home we have tons of placemats because I love to make new ones for any occasion. Some of them get used daily and some of them for holidays only because they have a specific theme.

In this case, the theme is “words.” Making collages is a craft that kids of all ages enjoy because looking for what you need and creating that big, final mixed-art piece will be very personal – it will feel special. I told the kids to sort through the magazines and cut their favorite words. They could also include images, which was important for my little girl who is only 4 years old. She included more images and I helped her with the words.

After the placemat is done, they use it. They look at the words and images they cut and arranged themselves with a sense of pride. Plus they are constantly reading what they chose!

Here is how to make a Favorite Words Placemat:

Supplies:

-1 white poster board 11 x 17”
-Magazines to cut
-Construction paper and/or patterned paper
-Decoupage glue (matte or glossy is ok)
-Wide paintbrush
-Clear sealer spray
-Scissors and craft knife
-Craft glue

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut
Start by letting the kids sort through the magazines and cut as many words and images as they want.

Literacy Craft: Step 2

Meanwhile, cut some color paper or patterned paper in rectangles and glue them on the poster board, leave some white spaces as well. This is done to give the placemat some color instead of it being just all white.

Literacy Craft: Step 3

Let the kids cut out the letters of their names and glue them on a special block of color on the top of the placemat. You may need to help the little ones by doing this part for them.

Literacy Craft: Step 4

Time to glue all the cut-outs to the placemat!

Literacy Craft: Step 5

After the placemat is done, apply several layers decoupage glue with a brush. Make sure each layer dries before applying the next. Do at least 3 layers on the front and then 2 on the back.Wait until it dries for at least 4 hours so it can be used. (Option2: Instead of decoupaging the placemat, laminate it.)

Literacy Craft: Step 6

Keep in mind that this placemat can’t be submerged in water and it should be cleaned with a slightly dampened cloth.

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favorite-words-placemat8

While using the placemats ask the kids which is their most favorite word and why. If they are learning how to spell, ask them to spell the word aloud!

Favorite Words Placemat

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Dariela_Cruz

Dariela is a Venezuelan mom and graphic designer currently living in San Diego, CA. She blogs at Mami Talks, where she shares the day-to-day as a mom of her 6 year-old son Adrian and 3 year-old daughter Maya. In her blog you can always find fresh ideas, crafts and inspirations filled with lots of photography. She is passionate about family, culture and anything art related. Connect with Dariela on twitter: @darielacruz, Facebook, Google+ or her Design Blog.

Latino Children’s Titles…for BOYS

20-books-Latino-boys

Latino boys are at greatest risk when it comes to literacy achievement. How do we engage them and raise them to be avid readers? One way is through books that interest them or that reflect their reality. Below is a list of books for boys of all ages.

(All the links below are affiliate links. When you click on one and make a purchase, we receive a small commission, which helps with the running of this website.)

The Dreamer
by Pam Munoz Ryan
From the time he is a young boy, Neftalí hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftalí knows he cannot ignore the call. Under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, he listens and he follows.

Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin
by Duncan Tonatiuh
The story of two cousins, one in America and one in Mexico, and how their daily lives are different yet similar. Charlie takes the subway to school; Carlitos rides his bike. Charlie plays in fallen leaves; Carlitos plays among the local cacti. Dear Primocovers the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of two very different childhoods, while also emphasizing how alike Charlie and Carlitos are at heart.

Diego: Bigger Than Life 
by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand’s inspiring free verse and David Diaz’s vivid paintings capture the defining moments and emotions of Rivera’s tumultuous life, including his stormy relationship with artist Frida Kahlo and his passion for his art. Rivera’s energy, physique, love for women, and work were all “bigger than life.”

Reaching Out 
by Francisco Jiménez
During his college years, the very family solidarity that allowed Francisco to survive as a child is tested. Not only must he leave his family behind when he goes to Santa Clara University, but while Francisco is there, his father abandons the family and returns to Mexico. This is the story of how Francisco coped with poverty, with his guilt over leaving his family financially strapped, with his self-doubt about succeeding academically, and with separation.

Papa and Me
by Arthur Dorros
A young boy and his papa may speak both Spanish and English, but the most important language they speak is the language of love. In this beautiful bilingual picture book, Arthur Dorros portrays the close bond between father and son, with lush paintings by Rudy Gutierrez.

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan 
by Margarita Engle
Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty.

My Name is Gabito / Me llamo Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
by Monica Brown
Can you imagine a shipwrecked sailor living on air and seaweed for eight days? Can you imagine a trail of yellow butterflies fluttering their wings to songs of love? Once, there was a little boy named Gabito who could. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is perhaps one of the most brilliant writers of our time. He is a tremendous figure, enormously talented, and unabashedly admired. This is his story, lovingly told, for children to enjoy.

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez 
by Kathleen Krull
Cesar Chavez is known as one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders. When he led a 340-mile peaceful protest march through California, he ignited a cause and improved the lives of thousands of migrant farmworkers. But Cesar wasn’t always a leader. As a boy, he was shy and teased at school. His family slaved in the fields for barely enough money to survive.
Cesar knew things had to change, and he thought that–maybe–he could help change them. So he took charge. He spoke up. And an entire country listened.

The Pot That Juan Built
By Nancy Andrews-Goebel
Quezada creates stunning pots in the traditional style of the Casas Grandes people, including using human hair to make brushes and cow dung to feed the fire. This real-life story is written in the form of “The House That Jack Built,” and relays how Juan’s pioneering work has changed a poor village into a prosperous community of world-class artists.

First Day in Grapes
By L. King Perez
All year long, Chico’s family moves up and down the state of California to pick fruits and vegetables. Every September, Chico starts at a new school. Often, the other kids pick on him — maybe because he’s always new, or maybe because he speaks Spanish sometimes. But third grade promises to be different. He likes his teacher, and she recognizes his excellent abilities in math — he may even get to go to the math fair! When some fourth-grade bullies tease him, he surprises them with strengths of his own.

 

Spirits of the High Mesa
By Floyd Martinez
In this moving coming-of-age novel set in rural New Mexico, the young protagonist, Flavio, is torn between the seductiveness of progress and new technology and his loyalty to village traditions so steadfastly preserved by his grandfather, El Grande.

Baseball in April and Other Stories
By Gary Soto
The Mexican American author Gary Soto draws on his own experience of growing up in California’s Central Valley in this finely crafted collection of eleven short stories that reveal big themes in the small events of daily life. Crooked teeth, ponytailed girls, embarrassing grandfathers, imposter Barbies, annoying brothers, Little League tryouts, and karate lessons weave the colorful fabric of Soto’s world. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us.

Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask
by Xavier Garza
In Xavier Garza’s bilingual kids’ book, young Carlitos attends his first lucha librematch in Mexico City. At ringside, Carlitos sees the famous luchador—the Man in the Silver Mask, a man whose eyes look terribly familiar. The masked wrestlereven smiles at Carlitos! He is mesmerized as the Man in the Silver Mask is pitted against the terrible forces of evil—los rudos, the bad guys of lucha libre. They make the audience boo and hiss! In the end, though, the Man in the Silver Mask triumphs and, in the process, gains a lifelong fan.

A Movie in My Pillow/Una pelicula en mi almohada
by Jorge Argueta
A young boy with two homelands and a delightful sense of wonder comes to life in Jorge Argueta’s first collection of poems for children. Young Jorgito lives in San Francisco’s Mission District, but he hasn’t forgotten his native El Salvador. He recalls the volcanoes, the tasty cornmeal pupusas, and his grandmother’s stories. As he changes from timid newcomer to seasoned city dweller, Jorgito’s memories and new adventures form a patchwork of dreams — the movie in his pillow — that is perfectly suited to his new bicultural identity.

The Gold Coin
By Alma Flor Ada
Juan has been a thief for many, many years. So many, in fact, that he can’t even remember what it’s like to be anything else.
When he tries to steal Doña Josefa’s gold, something strange begins to happen to Juan. His skin becomes tan instead of pale, his body straight instead of bent, and his mouth smiles instead of scowls. Juan also begins to remember things. He remembers eating good, home-cooked food, being among friends, and laughing.
When the opportunity arrives for him to take Doña Josefa’s gold, another strange thing happens. Juan realizes he can’t. Maybe he isn’t a thief anymore. Set against a Central American background, this is a story of love and faith in the human spirit.

La Mariposa
by Francisco Jimenez
In his first year of school, Francisco understands little of what his teacher says. But he is drawn to the silent, slow-moving caterpillar in the jar next to his desk. He knows caterpillars turn into butterflies, but just how do they do it? To find out, he studies the words in a butterfly book so many times that he can close his eyes and see the black letters, but he still can’t understand their meaning. Illustrated with paintings as deep and rich as the wings of a butterfly, this honest, unsentimental account of a schoolchild’s struggle to learn language reveals that our imaginations powerfully sustain us.

Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del futbol
by Monica Brown
Turn the pages of this book to read the true life story of Pelé, King of Soccer, the first man in the history of the sport to score a thousand goals and become a living legend.

Calling the Doves/El canto de las palomas
By Juan Felipe Herrera
Now available in paperback, poet Juan Felipe Herrera s bilingual memoir paints a vivid picture of his migrant farmworker childhood. His rich, evocative prose re-creates the joy of eating under the open sky, celebrating at a fiesta with other farm families, and listening to his mother singing Mexican songs and his father calling the doves.

The Upside Down Boy/El nino de cabeza
by Juan Felipe Herrera
Fresh from the country, Juanito is bewildered by his new school. Everything he does feels upside down: he eats lunch when it’s recess and goes out to play when it’s time for lunch, and his tongue feels like a rock when he tries to speak English. But a sensitive teacher and his loving family help Juanito find his voice through poetry, art, and music.

Best Mariachi In The World:El mejor mariachi del mundo 
by J. D. Smith
Everyone in Gustavo s family is in a mariachi band. Everyone except Gustavo, that is. They all play violins, trompetas and guitarrones. They all make wonderful music in restaurants and at wedding parties. Gustavo would love to join the band, but he can’t play any of the instruments. What’s a wannabe mariachi to do?

Video of the Week: From North to South

Video-of-Week-Immigration

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is IMMIGRATION & HERITAGE. With so many families being separated by deportations, we thought it appropriate to share author René Colato-Laínez’s book trailer for From North to South (affiliate link). Illustrated by Joe Cepeda, it is a book about a situation more and more children are experiencing. René frequently writes about the situation of immigration and its impact on children. We encourage you to look into his wonderful books.