Lunchtime Author Google Hangout with Author/Illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh

Award-winning author and illlustrator Duncan Tonatiuh completes our 2015 L4LL Lunchtime Author Google Hangout series. Duncan shows us his forthcoming book Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras which is being released by Abrams in September.

I have read every book Duncan has written and illustrated, in part because his books, while marketed as children’s literature, deal with tough topics such as immigration, social justice, and equality. When I asked him about delving head first into these hot topics, he reveals it has as much to do with his passion for these themes as his younger readers who deserve more credit as sophisticated readers. His unique choice of subject matter is also being rewarded in the form of awards such as the forthcoming 2015 Américas Award which he will be sharing with his colleague Margarita Engle. Click here to read the blog post and view our earlier Author Lunchtime Google Hangout with Margarita.  Duncan tells us that the recognition is important because it gives his books visibility with librarians, teachers, and book stores who are looking for additions which maximize the exposure to kids.

This point connects with how Duncan has always been published by Abrams, a mainstream publishing house. While an exception among writers from diverse backgrounds who often times publish in small presses or self-publish, Duncan has been able to navigate the tricky politics of publishing, his talent and uniqueness being rewarded with more book deals, prizes, which perhaps will create opportunities for other diverse authors.

Our “Lunchtime Author Google Hangout” series is part of our 2015 Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL) Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program.

Click on the video for food for thought and inspiration for any reader, writer, or student!

El autor/ilustrador galardonado Duncan Tonatiuh termina nuestra serie de conversaciones en Google Hangout con autores. Duncan compartió sus planes como un nuevo libro Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras que se publica en septiembre cuando también recibe un “Premio Américas” que comparte con su colega Margarita Engle. Detalla su relación de “vai-ven” con México donde nació y actualmente vive y los Estados Unidos donde hizo su carrera académica y profesional, además de su compromiso de seguir explorando temas candentes como la inmigración, la justicia social y la igualdad para su público de lectores jóvenes.

Nuestra serie de “Google Hangouts a la hora del almuerzo con autores” forma parte de nuestro L4LL Programa de lectura de verano para jóvenes latinos de 2015.

¡Lector, escritor o estudiante: click en el video para inspirarse con las palabras de Duncan!

Latinos over-index on YouTube. Rather than just search and play music or beauty videos, we hope Hispanics also turn to this outlet for educational purposes. Click to navigate to our Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL) YouTube channel where we’re curating a video library of Latino children’s literature, including book video trailers and our Google Hangouts with authors.

Lunchtime Author Google Hangout with René Colato Laínez

 

Award-winning author René Colato Laínez. Courtesy: Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL)

Award-winning author René Colato Laínez. Courtesy: Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL)

Award winner René Colato Laínez continues our L4LL Lunchtime Author Google Hangout series. René shares all kinds of chisme on his forthcoming book Vámonos/Let’s Go which is illustrated by his friend Joe Cepeda and is being released on July 30th. A winner of various awards, including recognitions by the American Library Association (ALA), he is most proud of receiving a Premio Actitud.

Premios what? René educated me by telling me that it’s an award presented by La Prensa de Los Ángeles to Salvadorans whose work is making a positive impact and helping to change the negative stereotypes of poverty, gangs, and violence of El Salvador.

René was both in this Central American nation and immigrated as a young child to America. This led to one more important conversation: immigration. Like his peers, his children’s literature books are universal. But René unapologetically declares his mission as writing about the immigration experience specifically for immigrant children.

Our “Lunchtime Author Google Hangout” series is part of our 2015 Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL) Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program.

Click on the video for food for thought and inspiration for any reader, writer, or student!

El autor galardonado René Colato Laínez continúa nuestra serie de conversaciones en Google Hangout con autores. René compartió sus planes: un nuevo libro Vámonos/Let’s Go ilustrado por su amigo Joe Cepeda que se publica el 30 de julio. Premiado por muchas organizaciones como la Asociación de Bibliotecas de América (ALA), se jacta de recibir el Premio Actitud por su trabajo para adelantar la comunidad y mejorar la imagen de los Salvadoreños. De niño Réne inmigró a los Estados Unidos. Por eso se ha comprometido a escribir del tema de la inmigración para un público de niños inmigrantes.

Nuestra serie de “Google Hangouts a la hora del almuerzo con autores” forma parte de nuestro L4LL Programa de lectura de verano para jóvenes latinos de 2015.

¡Lector, escritor o estudiante: click en el video para inspirarse con las palabras de René!

Latinos over-index on YouTube. Rather than just search and play music or beauty videos, we hope Hispanics also turn to this outlet for educational purposes. Click to navigate to our Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL) YouTube channel where we’re curating a video library of Latino children’s literature, including book video trailers and our Google Hangouts with authors.

Our Summer Reading Program on Univision’s Despierta América

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Anchor Satcha Pretto and Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D. Courtesy: Univision’s Despierta América

Familia, we are so excited to be on Univision’s top-rated national morning show Despierta América! I reported on an important issue facing our students–the so-called “summer slide” and how you can prevent it by reading and joining our free 2015 L4LL Latino Children’s Summer Reading ProgramClick here to watch the interview with Despierta América anchor Satcha Pretto.

¡Qué emoción cuando el top programa nacional matutino Despierta América en Univision nos entrevistó! Reporté sobre un problema agudo para nuestros estudiantes–la pérdida del verano–y cómo se puede contrarrestar leyendo e inscribiéndose a nuestro L4LL Programa de lectura de verano para jóvenes latinos. Haga click aquí para ver nuestra entrevista en Despierta América con la presentadora Satcha Pretto.

Lunchtime Author Google Hangout with Margarita Engle

Award winner Margarita Engle kicked off our L4LL Lunchtime Author Google Hangout series. Margarita shared all kinds of chisme on her forthcoming book Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings and receiving the Américas Award this September at the Library of Congress (another L4LL friend author Duncan Tonatiuh is also being honored with this award). Margarita also openly talked about her passion and commitment to tell the stories of the “underdog” and why her characters may feature Hispanics, but she writes for all children.

Our “Lunchtime Author Google Hangout” series is part of our 2015 Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL) Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program.

Click on the video for food for thought and inspiration for any reader, writer, or student!

La autora galardonada Margarita Engle comienza nuestra serie de conversaciones en Google Hangout con autores. Margarita compartió sus planes: un nuevo libro y premios, además de su compromiso de contar las historias de “los de abajo” con protagonistas hispanos pero escrito para un público universal.

Nuestra serie de “Google Hangouts a la hora del almuerzo con autores” forma parte de nuestro L4LL Programa de lectura de verano para jóvenes latinos de 2015.

¡Lector, escritor o estudiante: click en el video para inspirarse con las palabras de Margarita!

Latinos over-index on YouTube. Rather than just search and play music or beauty videos, we hope Hispanics also turn to this outlet for educational purposes. Click to navigate to our Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL) YouTube channel where we’re curating a video library of Latino children’s literature, including book video trailers and our Google Hangouts with authors.

L4LL Read for the Holidays on Google Play & Giveaway!

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We believe that the love and practice of reading can unlock unlimited doors of opportunity for education and life success. So it’s no surprise that we recommend books–lots of them–as holiday gifts as part of our month-long book-focused event L4LL Read for the Holidays. Learn more about the giveaway at the bottom of this post!

We would like to highlight a couple of options: purchasing the children’s and adult books and reading kits (book and learning worksheets) directly from our shop not only makes for a unique gift. But you’ll stand a little taller knowing a portion of your purchase goes to support our literacy programs that instill the love and practice of reading such as the L4LL Latino Children Summer Reading Program.

We are also thrilled to highlight these books by Latino authors and illustrators available on Google Play:

Holiday Themed Children’s Books on Google Play

 

Non-Holiday Themed Children’s Books on Google Play

The Day It Snowed Tortillas/El día que nevó tortilla: Folk Tales Retold, Joe Hayes

Butterflies on Carmen Street/Mariposas en la calle Carmen, Monica Brown

Esperando a Papá, René Colato Laínez

Growing up with Tamales/Los tamales de Ana, Gwendolyn Zepeda

Cochinito Fugitivo, James Luna

 

Books by Latino Authors for Adults on Google Play

Latino Americans: a 500 Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation, Ray Suarez

Love, Alma, Alma Flor Ada & Gabriel M. Zubizareta

Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhood & Fierce Friendships, Las Comadres Anthology

I Am My Father’s Daughter: Living a Life Without Secrets, María Elena Salinas (English) (Spanish)

Atravesando Fronteras: Un Periodista en Busca de Su Lugar en el Mundo, Jorge Ramos (Spanish) (English)

Latin American Great Books on Google Play

Gabriel García Márquez: More than 2 dozen titles in English and Spanish by the late Nobel laureate

Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges

Pantallas de Plata, Carlos Fuentes

The Giveaway

L4LL is giving away a Chromebook to 2 lucky L4LL followers so you can download eBooks or use it for school work.

Enter to win by Sunday, December 21st. The winners will be selected & notified on the 22nd for delivery by January 6th, Día de los Reyes.

To enter, just use the Rafflecopter below.

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open Letter to The New York Times: Latino Children’s Authors & Illustrators Have Earned a Place on the Year-end List

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By: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D. and Monica Olivera, L4LL Co-founders

At the end of the year, “tastemakers” such as The New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), and the Washington Post publish their “best of” lists. Unlike previous years when their selections featured few, if any Hispanic authors, we were thrilled to see more titles, perhaps influenced by our L4LL Remarkable Latino Children’s Literature of 2014 published weeks earlier (which you can download and print by clicking here). Our annual “Best of the Best” children’s literature titles written by or about Latinos include award-winning authors such as Duncan Tonatiuh and publishers ranging from household name New York presses to community-focused, independent companies. NBC picked up our list and shared it with their readers.

Unfortunately, The New York Times released their list of this year’s Notable Children’s Books and once more, it does not feature a single U.S. Latino author or illustrator or a book featuring a Hispanic main character.

This glaring absence is rooted not in Hispanic authors’ lack of talent. Rather, their exclusion reflects the New York Time’s significant professional blind spots and institutional flaws which in 2014 continues to define diversity as black and white, and in a twist this year, British and Asian-Canadian. For the L4LL Remarkable Latino Children’s Literature of 2014, we featured seven titles. In the face of data that proves the so-called browning of America due to the influx and mixing between different races and ethnicities, including Latinos, it is high time that The New York Times remove its blinders to more fully represent America’s literary talent in its Best of Lists.

It is clear that this list is incomplete. Yet The New York Time’s judgement has a disproportional social impact: which authors are published and by whom? This, in turn, affects the books that libraries, schools, and bookstores order and children read.

As our country’s demographics quickly change, the L4LL Remarkable Latino Children’s Literature of 2014 list sparks an important conversation rooted in our common American values, empathy, and love of reading where Latino students see themselves reflected in literature and non-Hispanic kids learn about the experiences of a growing number of their peers in well-written stories that touch on universal themes.

The New York Times and other tastemakers becoming more inclusive and accurate is our secondary objective. Our list is meant to be a resource for families, libraries, and schools hungry for guidance on great stories that more accurately represent the American experience. May the New York Times be reminded–once more–of one of its core missions–a more accurate representation and reflection of our country.

Click here to hear an NPR interview and view the Remarkable Latino Children’s Literature of 2013 list.

L4LL Promotes Summer Reading on Univision’s Despierta America

We are very excited to collaborate this summer with Univision Educación in partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote the importance of summer reading and explain Common Core standards.

That includes a series of appearances on Univision’s highly-rated national morning show Despierta América. L4LL co-founder Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D. shares tips to help parents and students combat the so-called Summer Slide where students can lose up to 22% of what they learned during the school year during summer vacation.

L4LL Promotes Summer Reading on Univision's Despierta America

Despierta América host Satcha Pretto and L4LL co-founder Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D. discuss tips to prevent summer reading loss. Courtesy: Univisión

L4LL 5 Tips to Prevent Summer Reading Loss for All Readers

  1. Find ways to include activities and projects that boost literacy skills: Some examples include challenging your child to write letters (not email!), poetry, or creating a family history album with in-depth stories about family members.
  2. Educational apps: Look for those that develop reading and writing skills such as story builders.
  3. Embrace audiobooks: Did you know that listening to stories improves reading comprehension and teaches grammar and sentence structure?
  4. Keep your students engaged by varying the subject matter: Studies show that reading mysteries can improve reading comprehension and reading the Great Books improves empathy.
  5. Give them access to books: Take them to the library, the bookstore, give them eReaders, stock your tablet with eBooks!

L4LL 5 Tips to Prevent Summer Reading Loss for Older Students

  1. Incorporate technology: Instead of game central, turn your tablet into educational central with access to eBooks and eMagazines.
  2. Use incentives smartly: Don’t pay your kid to read. Do recognize her hard work and efforts at the end of the summer with something she’ll enjoy. L4LL is giving away up to 20 Chromebooks and Google Play gift cards to tweens and teens who complete our summer reading program.
  3. Start a book club: Reading can be more fun when you read together. Invite your child’s friends to participate in a book club over the summer and meet every week or every other week to discuss or share books.​
  4. Create a Reading Space: Let your child create her own reading nook in the house and encourage her to personalize the area.​
  5. Avoid boring books!: Teens want stories that capture their emotions and to which they can relate. Check out our specially curated L4LL recommended summer reading lists of U.S. Latino children’s authors and illustrators.

Click here to read the article and tips in Spanish, as well as watch the Despierta América interview in Spanish with host Satcha Pretto and L4LL co-founder Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D. This broadcast aired on June 18, 2014.

 

L4LL 2014 Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program Press Release

2014 SRP module SU

For Immediate Release
Contact: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D
June 2, 2014

LATINAS FOR LATINO LIT (L4LL) LAUNCH THE SECOND ANNUAL LATINO CHILDREN’S SUMMER READING PROGRAM, POWERED BY GOOGLE

NEW “DO IT YOURSELF” (DIY) SUMMER READING CAMP FOR GROUPS IS DESIGNED TO EDUCATION STANDARDS, CULTURALLY RELEVANT, AND FUN TO REACH AND TEACH LATINO STUDENTS

WHAT: The nation’s first Summer Reading Program specifically designed for Latino children returns this summer using interactive web-based programs, apps, and social media to help bridge the literacy gap because we recognize today’s students, especially Hispanics, are natives to technology.

This year, 6- to 12-year-old children will be able to participate in our L4LL “Do It Yourself” (DIY) Summer Reading Camp, featuring more than 100 culturally relevant, fun, and Common Core aligned literacy-focused activity worksheets. In partnership with Qlovi, a free K-12 eReading and writing platform, Premium subscribers will also have access to free digital eBooks and can even challenge themselves with online quizzes. A modest subscription fee to the DIY Summer Reading Camp is available for families and groups such as schools and libraries.

Like last year, our free basic registration allows families, educators, and students to access bilingual literacy materials such as our L4LL Summer Reading List with titles by U.S. Latino children’s authors and illustrators divided by age, reading pledges, reading logs, and certificates of achievement, all at no cost.

The families of participating students who complete the program will qualify to enter our reading incentives giveaway–perfect for heading back to school. Our giveaway includes:

  • Basic school supplies for 60 families
  • Google Play gift cards to help parents and students find eBooks online
  • Google Chromebooks for students and schools

Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL) designed this innovative program with the goal of helping students reach and exceed literacy goals while having fun thanks to the support of Delta DentalBoden PR, Social Lens Research, KNP CommunicationsThe Wise Latina Club, Mommy Maestra, and is powered by Google.

WHO: Newborns to children eighteen years of age. To maximize success, L4LL Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program also welcomes adult stakeholders to reinforce, model, and help students exceed literacy skills such as parents, teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators, computer programmers, and celebrities.

WHEN/WHERE: The L4LL Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program is an online 10-week session beginning June 1 until August 10, 2014 that participants can individualize according to their learning and scheduling needs. Updates and additional information will be posted on our website blog, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

HOW: After registering on our website, participants can download the premium DIY Summer Reading Camp and/or the freemium L4LL Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program package. Throughout the summer, students and parents will be tracking the time spent reading and completing the curriculum while staying engaged through interactive events including literacy and family-focused crafts, YouTube videos, Google+ Hangouts on Air, and at the end of the summer qualify to enter for great reading incentives such as Google Chromebooks.

For summer reading program underwriting opportunities and media interviews, please contact Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D. by filling out our contact form.

Cinco de Mayo Summer Reading Program Donation

Cinco de Mayo is a minor commemoration, but one that the marketing departments of alcoholic beverages companies have blown up to rake in the dólares.

We decided to turn this sad fact into a positive mission: L4LL is hosting a Cinco de Mayo fundraiser–our first live event–with 100% of the suggested $10 donation cover going to gift our L4LL Group Latino Children Summer Reading Program to a library, community group, summer camp, or school.

Location: Diego Restaurant

2100 14th Street NW and V Street NW, 2nd Floor

Washington, D.C. 20002

May 5th, 2014 from 6p-11p.

Taking a cue from our loyal readers who suggested a donation page for those who can’t attend, we created this page for you to donate–no amount is too small or too large.

Party with purpose! In this case, your donation is helping parents, educators, and students narrow the education achievement gap.

Thank you for your commitment and for joining our mission to improve literacy and lives!

On NPR: Latino Children’s Lit to Top Lists

By: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

Every year my co-founder Monica Olivera awaits The New York Times Notable Children’s Literature List with a mixture of hopefulness and trepidation. While excited to learn about exemplary new titles in children’s lit by mainstream authors, she also hopes to see titles in a genre to which she and her children can relate: Latino children’s literature. Wearing two hats as homeschooling educator and Mami, she culls this list for book recommendations. But this year, once again, she was disappointed as it did not include a single book by a Latino children’s author, illustrator, or featuring an Hispanic character. Her disappointment soon turned to action. Deeming this unacceptable, Monica first compiled her own list of Remarkable Latino Children’s Literature of 2013, and then publicly pointed out that in the last 10 years, only one book by a Hispanic has made the cut in the NYT list, as she writes in her NBC Latino Op-ed.

Why are these writers overlooked? They have been publishing for decades, supported by small, independent publishers since at least the 1980s. These authors and illustrators have received numerous recognitions such as the Pura Belpré Award supported by the American Library Association or the Texas State University’s Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book award. As I note in L4LL Read for the Holidays: Two Writers on Why Latino Authors Should Top New York Times Lists which includes a Google Hangout on Air with writers Duncan Tonatiuh and Graciela Tiscareno-Sato, Hispanic authors’ work received the stamp of approval from the Library of Congress in the form of an invitation to present at the 2013 National Book Festival.

This exclusion is due to out of touch mainstream editors, book reviewers, and publishers who rarely venture outside their comfort zone to the world outside their front door into a more diverse and mixed America which includes 52 million Latinos.

The continued blinders on these gatekeepers have serious trickle-down repercussions: first, publishers have little incentives to take chances on “Unusual Suspects” and market to new audiences. Second, most bookstores, libraries, and schools don’t stock bookshelves and curricula with these new voices because they can’t find them in these go-to resources lists.

Third, this list’s exclusion of 17% of our population is not just a disservice to the fastest growing segment of our population, but to the teachers who are trying to make learning accessible to these students. Fourth, it hurts children from all backgrounds, including those who go to school with Hispanic kids. Seeing experiences and stories different from theirs opens up vistas and creates empathy and compassion for the world–not exclusively as they live it, but as it exists around them.

We raise our voices to school the New York Times Book Reviews and others on the richness and quality of an existing body of literature. But we also insist that readers of Latino children’s literature turn their demographic numbers into the economic might necessary to demand more representative “lists”– support our authors and their small, independent presses with purchases, leaving reviews, and placing orders at the library. Even a fraction of Hispanics “voting” with their pocketbooks and tweets numbers millions.

Numbers talk. And the mainstream media and publishers are sure to listen, resulting in a more representative view of our country and literature.

We discuss this topic on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin with guest host Celeste Headlee leading the discussion on December 9, 2013. Click below to listen: