Secondary Levels:

    Must Read Book The rapid growth of the Latino community has sparked a heated national debate over immigration, yet the reality is that many of us know little about the true roots of migration or the powerful forces that brought so many immigrants from Latin America to the United States. Based on the landmark book by journalist Juan Gonzalez, the award-winning documentary Harvest of Empire explores the hidden history of our nation's Latino community and takes an unflinching look at the role that military actions and economic interests played in triggering unprecedented waves of migration from the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.



    El Bronx       El Bronx Remembered by Nicholasa Mohr. El Bronx Remembered relates practically and poignantly to the lives of Puerto Rican young people in New York City during the 1940's-60s. Nicholasa Mohr creates some of the first characters to speak "Nuyorican" in U.S. letters. The issues of race, class, and colonialism, which young people encounter in this text, however, are as relevant today as when Mohr penned them. This story is appropriate for grade levels 6-8 (Lexile measure: 610L).


     21st Cent Latino issues are everybody’s issues. The Latino and Latina leaders portrayed in this book have made valuable contributions to our social, legal, political and educational systems. This book provides comprehensive stories of courageous men and women who have defied expectations, overcome adversity, set precedents, and dedicated significant time and energy to helping others achieve their goals. Active locally, nationally, and internationally in a variety of professions, these individuals offer proof that ordinary or even humble origins can lead to extraordinary accomplishments. This collective biography expounds on well-known and otherwise Latino leaders who are at the front of their fields. It includes well-known individuals, such as Sonia Sotomayor, First Latina on the Supreme Court; Dolores Huerta, Union Organizer and Community Activist; Jorge Ramos, News Anchor and Advocate; John Haroldson and María Chávez-Haroldson, District Attorney and Leadership Facilitator; and Sandra Cisneros, Author, and Activist.



     PRS In Stories from Puerto Rico/Historias de Puerto Rico, we've placed the Spanish and English stories side by side--lado a lado--so you can practice and improve your reading skills in your new language while enjoying the support of your native tongue. This way, you'll avoid the inconvenience of constantly having to look up unfamiliar words and expressions in a dictionary. Read as much as you can understand, and then look to the facing page for help if necessary. As you read, you can check your comprehension by comparing the two versions of the story. You'll also find a bilingual vocabulary list at the end of the book, so you'll have a handy reference for new words. Enjoy 18 well-known Puerto Rican short stories that stretch from the dawn of creation to the twentieth century.

      Wao Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old-world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love. 


    Insight into the Puerto Rican Character  INSULARISMO, the first book to critique the primary influences that shaped Puerto Rican culture and the Puerto Rican character. Considered to be the most influential book ever penned on the Puerto Rican experience, it is seen as the most controversial product of Puerto Rican discourse in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion. The questions and issues Pedreira raised still beg to be addressed today. A subjective primer, it was written by the benchmark critic of his generation, on the Latin Americans who constituted the first great wave of Spanish-speaking immigrants to the eastern United States. INSULARISMO is a canonical text that is an important contribution to the ongoing debate, not just on Puerto Rican politics and culture but on the culture and politics of our hemisphere.

    History of PR One of Puerto Rico’s leading historians, Fernando Picó has had tremendous influence over our current understanding of Puerto Rican society. Here, he examines the ways in which developments in the courts and commercial centers of the Americas, Europe, and Africa have affected the common people, who have tried since the nineteenth century to take control of their political, social and economic lives. Picó expands his landmark 1986 book, Historia General, for this first updated American edition to include movements and events as recent as the fight for Vieques. This English edition has been updated and translated by the author.


    The Question of an Afro-Mestizo Culture  Gonzalez dismantles the myth of a dominant Spanish and racially white national culture in Puerto Rican history. He claims that the national identity is primarily Mestizo with significant contribution from Africa. Afro-Antilleans and Mestizos constitute the first "storey," or tier, of the "Puerto Rican house" of the title story, landowners, the second, urban professionals the third, and the managerial class the fourth. Gonzalez is one of the most eloquent and important of Puerto Rico's contemporary writers.











    Primary Levels

    Pura When she came to America in 1921, Pura carried the Cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular stories into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and cuentistas continue to share her stories and celebrate Pura’s legacy. This portrait of the influential librarian, author, and puppeteer reminds us of the power of storytelling and the extraordinary woman who opened doors and championed bilingual literature.


    Mendez It is great to learn Latinos stood next to African-Americans in the struggle during the Civil Rights Movement. Before Brown v. Board of Education, there was Mendez v. Westminster. Thurgood Marshal who at the time was chief counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund wrote an amicus brief in support of Mendez v. Westminster. The Japanese American Citizens League, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the American Jewish Congress, and the American Civil Liberties Union also lent their support. In 1946, Mendez won, but as a harbinger of the civil rights movement decades later, the ingrained attitudes would be another battle. Almost a decade later, after closely following the case, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which called Mendez a “dry run for the future,” used much of the same legal reasoning in 1954 in Brown vs. Board of Education, a landmark case that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black, Latino and white students to be unconstitutional.

    Tai  Tai: A Young Taino Boy by Neco Otero. A graphic novel about the everyday life of a young Taino boy who also happens to be a cacique in training. This graphic novel comes both in Spanish and English versions.

    COLORS  The colors of Quisqueya burst into life in this striking, evocative debut picture book that celebrates the joy of being Dominican. If Dominican were a color, it would be the sunset in the sky, blazing red and burning bright. If Dominican were a color, it’d be the roar of the ocean in the deep of the night, With the moon beaming down rays of sheer delight. The palette of the Dominican Republic is exuberant and unlimited. Maiz comes up amarillo, the blue-black of dreams washes over sandy shores, and people’s skin can be the shade of cinnamon in cocoa or of mahogany. This exuberantly colorful, softly rhyming picture book is a gentle reminder that a nation’s hues are as wide as nature itself.



     DancingHands  As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War.







    Smart  Musician Tito Puente. Ballerina Maria Tallchief. Explorer Matthew Henson. Congresswoman Patsy Mink. These are some of the people profiled in this book. They are well known for different reasons, but they also have something in common. They were all smart! Readers will learn that being smart is about more than doing well in school. There are eight ways to be smart, and they are reflected in how a person uses his or her body, relates to the natural world, responds to music and art, and more. When readers see how the people in this book used their smarts, they will learn about themselves too, and their own unique ways of being smart. Back-of-book information about the eight intelligences, along with activities, enhance the learning experience.

    Grandma's Gift  This prequel to Eric Velasquez's biographical picture book Grandma's Records is the story of a Christmas holiday that young Eric spends with his grandmother. After they prepare their traditional Puerto Rican celebration, Eric and Grandma visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a school project, where he sees a painting by Diego Velasquez and realizes for the first time that he could be an artist when he grows up. Grandma witnesses his fascination and presents Eric with the perfect Christmas gift—a sketchbook and colored pencils—to use in his first steps toward becoming an artist. A heartwarming story of self-discovery, Grandma's Gift is a celebration of the special bond between a grandparent and grandchild.

    Storyteller's Candle        A beautiful portrait that recreates what it was like to attend a storytime at the New York Public Library during Pura Belpré's tenure in East Harlem. Lucia Gonzalez's story provides moments of delight for young readers while Lulu Delacre's illustrations capture the essence and history (even using old newspapers as part of the background) of Puerto Rican migrants in the 1930s.





    Teacher Resources

    HD  U.S. Latino Literature is defined as Latino literature within the United States that embraces the heterogeneous inter-groupings of Latinos. For too long U.S. Latino literature has not been thought of as an integral part of the overall shared American literary landscape, but that is slowly changing. This dictionary aims to rectify some of those misconceptions by proving that Latinos do fundamentally express American issues, concerns, and perspectives with a flair in linguistic cadences, familial themes, distinct world views, and cross-cultural voices. The Historical Dictionary of U.S. Latino Literature contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has cross-referenced entries on U.S. Latino/a authors, and terms relevant to the nature of U.S. Latino literature in order to illustrate and corroborate its foundational bearings within the overall American literary experience. This book is an excellent access point for teachers, students, research, and anyone wanting to know more about this subject.

     TAINOS  Robiou recognizes that Taino and Carib societies were not simple. Quite the opposite, he describes them as vibrant and sophisticated. This revision and English edition is well-timed because recent developments reaffirm the composite view of the Caribbean presented in the original publication". L. Antonio Curet, Curator, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C. "Tainos and Caribs marks a milestone in the historiography of the indigenous Caribbean. Based on diverse primary sources (archaeological, linguistic, ethnohistorical), Robiou Lamarche offers a great synthesis and an in-depth analysis of the Taino chiefdoms and the Carib tribes, explored as a whole, pointing elegantly to their interconnections and their specificities. The author has the virtue, in turn, to sharply examine multiple topics that include social structures, religion, rituals, and beliefs. It is required reading on the emergence of the indigenous societies of the ancient Caribbean". Francisco Moscoso, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. "The author presents to us sequentially the main cultures that inhabited the Antilles before and during the European impact. For both the Tainos and the Caribs, he explains the main elements of their material and ideal life, highlighting their likeness as well as their differences.

    Twent  The product of Jacqueline Barnitz’s more than forty years of studying and teaching, Twentieth-Century Art of Latin America surveys the major currents in and artists of Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America (including Brazil). This new edition has been refreshed throughout to include new scholarship on several modern movements, such as abstraction in the River Plate region and the Cuban avant-garde. A new chapter covers art since 1990. In all, 30 percent of the images in this edition are new, and thirty-four additional artists are discussed and illustrated.

     Carib  Unprecedented in scope, this beautiful book offers an authoritative examination of the modern history of the Caribbean through its artistic culture. Featuring 500 color illustrations of artworks from the late 18th through the 21st century. The book explores modern and contemporary art, ranging from the Haitian revolution to the present. Acknowledging both the individuality of each island, the richness of the coastal regions, and the reach of the Diaspora, Caribbean looks at the vital visual and cultural links that exist among these diverse constituencies. The authors examine how the Caribbean has been imagined and pictured, and the role of art in the development of national identity. Essays by leading scholars cover such topics as the interconnections between Caribbean artistic production to its colonial contexts; between various generations of artists; and between the so-called high and low arts and religion, music, and carnival celebrations. Primary source documents crucial to understanding the region provide an important complement.

    PRECOL  “An important contribution to our understanding of how art was integrated into the fabric of culture, society, and daily life in the pre-colonial Caribbean. Waldron brings an art historical perspective to the full range of material culture output that most archaeologists consider part of the ritual or ceremonial sphere of pre-Columbian and contact-era cultures.”—Peter E. Siegel, coeditor of Protecting Heritage in the Caribbean. Unlike prior art historical research that overwhelmingly emphasized the colonial period onward, this ambitious overview traces 4,000 years of the region’s early Indigenous heritage before the Spanish conquest.    




     BUA  Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better. When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core. Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart. Suspenseful, wry, and immediate, rich in spirit and humanity, The Book of Unknown Americans is a work of rare force and originality.

    US  This collection of twelve short stories is a groundbreaking look at the diverse Latinos who live in the United States. Meet many young Latinos living in the United States, from a young girl whose day at her father’s burrito truck surprises her to two sisters working together to change the older sister’s immigration status, and more. Turn the pages to experience life through the eyes of these boys and girls, see their hardships, celebrate their victories, and come away with a better understanding of the many ways to be Latino in the United States today.

     LIderes Los líderes y activistas latinos retratados en este libro están transformando nuestra sociedad. Han hecho contribuciones significativas a nuestros sistemas legal, político y educacional. Este texto incluye historias comprensivas de hombres y mujeres que han desafiado las bajas expectativas de sus maestros, han superado serias adversidades, han establecido importantes precedentes sociales y han dedicado muchísimo tiempo ayudando a otras personas a conseguir sus propias metas. Estos individuos siguen activos en una gran variedad de profesiones y organizaciones a nivel local, estatal, nacional, e internacional. Sus vidas constituyen pruebas irrefutables de que es posible superar obstáculos tales como la pobreza, la discriminación, las enfermedades graves, y las agotadoras responsabilidades familiares para arribar a metas sobresalientes. Esta biografía colectiva incluye a algunas personas bien conocidas, tales como Sonia Sotomayor, la primera latina en la Corte Suprema; Dolores Huerta, organizadora sindical y activista comunitaria; Jorge Ramos, presentador de noticias y defensor de inmigrantes; y Sandra Cisneros, autora y activista.

     LASS  In Stories from Latin America/Historias de Latinoamerica, we've placed the Spanish and English stories side by side--lado a lado--so you can practice and improve your reading skills in your new language while enjoying the support of your native tongue. This way, you'll avoid the inconvenience of constantly having to look up unfamiliar words and expressions in a dictionary. Read as much as you can understand, and then look to the facing page for help if necessary. As you read, you can check your comprehension by comparing the two versions of the story. You'll also find a bilingual vocabulary list at the end of the book, so you'll have a handy reference for new words. Enjoy 16 fascinating short stories from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and more. 


     Wao  Una crónica familiar que abarca tres generaciones y dos países, La breve y maravillosa vida de Oscar Wao cuenta la historia del gordiflón y solitario Oscar de León en su intento de convertirse en el J.R.R. Tolkien Dominicano y su desafortunada búsqueda del amor. Pero Oscar sólo es la última víctima del fukú —una maldición que durante generaciones ha perseguido a su familia, condenándoles a vidas de tortura, sufrimiento y amor desdichado. Con unos personajes inolvidables y una prosa vibrante e hipnótica, esta novela confirma a Junot Díaz como una de las mejores y más deslumbrantes voces de nuestra época, y nos ofrece una sobrecogedora visión de la inagotable capacidad humana para perseverar y arriesgarlo todo por amor.

     Insularismo Escrito en 1934 por el Antonio S. Pedreira, Insularismo es una de las obras emblemáticas de la Generación del Treinta, una generación de autores cuya preocupación giró en torno a la definición de la puertorriqueñidad buscando contrarrestar el asimilismo cultural norteamericano. Plantea lo que entendía eran problemas fundamentales de la cultura puertorriqueña, presenta sus contestestaciones y, aunque es un libro que abre un gran debate por sus posturas, sigue siendo pieza clave de nuestra literatura e historia.




     pico Historia de PR por Fernando Picó es un estudioso del siglo XIX en Puerto Rico. De hecho, es considerado la máxima autoridad en esa área de estudio (siglo XIX) en el campo de la historiografía isleña. Picó se ha distinguido por su total entrega a la causa de los menos afortunados y al estudio de la historia de Puerto Rico. En 1971, hizo sus votos finales como sacerdote y, luego, terminó su doctorado en Historia. Su formación incluye estudios en España, Italia y Estados Unidos. También se ha desempeñado como catedrático de Historia de Puerto Rico. Picó es considerado como uno de los grandes intelectuales e historiadores de la Isla, y ha escrito y publicado en diferentes revistas y periódicos, tanto de Puerto Rico como del extranjero.

    PaisdeCuatroPisos La mayor contribución de "El pais de cuatro pisos" por José Luís González es a la tradición de la interpretación puertorriqueña, en la búsqueda de la base popular de la cultura nacional. Aquí y en gran parte de su anterior escritura ficticia y teórica, González ha tratado de subvertir el patrimonio elitista y derivado dominante y llegar a la vida cultural de las masas puertorriqueñas, lo que él ve como el núcleo reprimido de la nación a lo largo de su desarrollo. Ve la necesidad de socavar la versión tradicional de la historia nacional que atribuye los primeros revuelos y origen de la conciencia puertorriqueña a las aspiraciones patrióticas de la élite profesional. El resultado de esta insistente búsqueda se indica por el título de uno de sus primeros y más exitosos cuentos cortos-"en el fondo del caño heno un negrito". La cultura popular puertorriqueña, y por lo tanto la cultura nacional puertorriqueña per se, es esencial y fundamentalmente la cultura africana en su transmutación caribeña. Bajo las capas de tradiciones europeas impuestas y los desarrollos históricos subsiguientes reside la expresión creativa y existencial de la esclavitud y su legado, los fundamentos productivos de la nacionalidad puertorriqueña. Como afirma González en términos dramáticos, "los primeros puertorriqueños fueron puertorriqueños de color".





    Niveles Primarios

    BelpreSpan. Cuando llegó a América en 1921, Pura llevó a los Cuentos folklóricos de su tierra puertorriqueña. Al encontrar un nuevo hogar en la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva York como asistente bilingue, convirtió sus historias populares en libros y difundió semillas de historia por toda la tierra. Hoy en día, estas semillas se han convertido en un paisaje exuberante a medida que generaciones de niños y cuentistas continúan compartiendo sus historias y celebrando el legado de Pura. Este retrato del influyente bibliotecario, autor y titiritero nos recuerda el poder de la narración y la extraordinaria mujer que abrió puertas y defendió la literatura bilingüe.

    Sep.Not.EqulGuide  Click on this educator’s guide. It was written to support using Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation in elementary and middle school classrooms. Produced by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) on behalf of the Américas Award, it was written in 2015 by Katrina Dillon, a project assistant at the University of New Mexico. Editorial support was also provided by UNM graduate assistant Alice Donahue.











    QUIZ   Los colores de Quisqueya irrumpieron en la vida en este llamativo y evocador libro de primera imagen que celebra la alegría de ser dominicano. Si el dominicano fuera de color, sería la puesta de sol en el cielo, rojo ardiente y brillante ardiente. Si dominicanos fueran de color, sería el rugido del océano en las profundidades de la noche, con la luna brillando rayos de deleite. La paleta de la República Dominicana es exuberante e ilimitada. Maiz aparece amarillo, el azul-negro de los sueños se lava sobre las costas de arena, y la piel de la gente puede ser la sombra de la canela en el cacao o de la caoba. Este libro de imágenes exuberantemente colorido y suavemente rimado es un suave recordatorio de que los tonos de una nación son tan amplios como la naturaleza misma.

     5 Things You Should Know About Teresa Carreño



     Kiki Koki  A magical Spanish-language tale, Kiki Koki tells the story of a little Taino Indian boy who is too lazy to help his tribe prepare for the Moon Festival. To punish Kiki Koki, the Moon Goddess turns him into a tree frog. To return to his human form, he must rescue his new frog friends from dangerous pirates, and, in the process, learns that friendship takes courage, dedication, and hard work. With its vibrant illustrations, heartwarming message, and adorable hero, children will love this fun tale.



     Smart Click on the picture icon to retrieve a study guide. The idea for this book came from the work of Harvard University psychologist Dr. Howard Gardner, who developed the theory of multiple intelligences. The theory, popularized by Dr. Thomas Armstrong, an educator, and psychologist, includes eight ways of being smart. They are Body Smart, Logic Smart, Music Smart, Nature Smart, People Smart, Picture Smart, Self Smart, and Word Smart. Information about each kind of intelligence, along with traits, interests, and activities associated with it, is included at the back of the book in a form accessible to students, along with some interesting activities.























     mcl  This book presents theoretical, research-based, and classroom practices that explore the use of multicultural children's literature to support the linguistic, academic, and psychological development of Latino children in the process of becoming bilingual and acquiring English. The contributions cover a broad spectrum of issues related to the effective use of children's literature with Bilingual Learners (Bl), including identity development, critical pedagogy, biliteracy development, and holistic literacy instruction.


    Art  Over a four-year period, fifty-six scholars in ten countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela participated in this project. These delegates who served as hosts gained a significant understanding of the opportunities for hemispheric cultural exchange, and they played a vital role in fostering north-south collaboration.

     JazzPioneers  Musicians from Puerto Rico played a substantial role in the development of jazz during the early years of the twentieth century, before and during the years surrounding the Harlem Renaissance. These jazz pioneers, including instrumentalists, composers, and vocalists, were products of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States and contributed to the early history of this uniquely American genre.

    Fernando  Fernando Ortiz (1881–1969) is recognized as one of the most influential Latin American authors of the twentieth century. Although he helped establish the field of Afro-diasporic studies, his writings are still relatively unknown to the English-speaking world. In Fernando Ortiz on Music, accomplished ethnomusicologist Robin Moore has collected and translated an essential selection of Ortiz’s publications. These essays on Afro-Cuban expressive culture, music and dance are now available for the first time in English.

     Brill  Music of Latin America and the Caribbean, Second Edition is a comprehensive textbook for teachers and different levels of student learners, which covers all major facets of Latin American music, finding a balance between important themes and illustrative examples. This book is about enjoying the music itself and provides a lively, challenging discussion complemented by stimulating musical examples couched in an appropriate cultural and historical context―the music is a specific response to the era from which it emerges, evolving from common roots to a wide variety of musical traditions. Music of Latin America and the Caribbean aims to develop an understanding of Latin American civilization and its relation to other cultures.