The authors of Tales Our Abuelitas Told shape fictional portraits of 13 young people living in the U.S., who have diverse experiences and backgrounds but share a Latino heritage. The first-person narrative poems range from reflective to free-spirited, methodical to free-association. A boy in Detroit dreams of opening a hospital in his family’s native Dominican Republic; a Puerto Rican girl wants her parents to support her dreams of attending college, rather than splurge on “an elaborate party—/ a quinceañera production”; and two friends—one Guatemalan, one Peruvian—are learning the native language of their Chinese and Japanese grandparents. In the most resounding monologue, a Hispanic Native American shares advice from his brother that crystallizes the book’s message: “Never forget who you are.” Informative nonfictional interludes succinctly address relevant subjects, including immigration, the challenges migrant workers face, and Cuba-U.S. history. Diaz’s (Smoky Night) angular, hand-cut b&w illustrations are reminiscent of woodblock prints, balancing images from the past and present. An eye-opening and thoughtful celebration of cultural identity. Ages 10–13. Authors’ agent: Adriana Dominguez, Full Circle Literary. Illustrator’s agent: East West Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/17/2013 Release date: 08/01/2013 Genre: Children's
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