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THROWBACK THURSDAY! THE HEART OF AZTLAN BY RUDOLFO ANAYA

The city usually swallows up the people who move. -- Neighbor


Immigration. Racism.Socialism.
All challenges we face today, and the main and universal themes in Rudolfo A. Anaya’s HEART OF AZTLAN published almost 40 years ago.The story follows a small family who move from the country to the big city for a better life. All they get is poverty, gang wars, violence, loss of culture, values and family.But, there is hope at the end and determination to survive, to be stronger and to unite the family -- that’s every family’s dream.

SUMMARY:  The Albuquerque barrio portrayed in this vivid novel of postwar New Mexico is a place where urban and rural, political and religious realities coexist, collide, and combine. The magic realism for which Anaya is well known combines with an emphatic portrayal of the plight of workers dispossessed of their heritage and struggling to survive in an alien culture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR.   Rudolfo A. Anaya, widely acclaimed as one of the founders of modern Chicano lite…

THE TRUTH IS BY NONIEQA RAMOS

Blanca:  Life is not a multiple-choice test.  
Verdad:  Hell is now, saying it happens later is a power play.  


Honest. Tragic. Realist. Truthful.
This is a bold novel that deals with hard topics like death, betrayal, homelessness and sexual orientation. It’s well-written, with a great cast of characters.It’s also very realistic, and like today’s youth, Verdad and Danny face hard choices as they learn who they truly are, who they want to be, and whom they want to love.



SUMMARY:  A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen.Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn't think she has time for love. She's still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; and keeping everyone at a distance. But when she meets Danny, a new guy at school―who happens to be trans―all bets are off. Verdad suddenl…

#THROWBACK THURSDAY! WHEN I WAS PUERTO RICAN BY ESMERALDA SANTIAGO

Al jibaro nunca se le quita la mancha de platano.
A jibaro can never wash away the stain of the plantain.

-Esmeralda Santiago


If you are Puerto Rican, you have probably heard of Esmeralda Santiago.  She is the author that gave Puerto Ricans a face and a voice.  She is every Boricua – torn between two cultures, two languages, two identities.  Which is the real Esmeralda? The answer is another question – why can’t she be both?
Esmeralda’s WHEN I WAS PUERTO RICAN is the first of three memoirs that take readers from the pueblitos of the small Caribbean island to the big city in Manhattan.  Esme’s new life is full of challenges, discoveries and dualities.  In fact, the original version of the novel had two parts – Puerto Rico and America.  Esmeralda is both Puerto Rican and American. There are no sides to choose.  Her journey is ours, and hopefully, we can do it with equal grace and success.

SUMMARY:  In a childhood full of tropical beauty and domestic strife, poverty and tenderness, Esmeralda …

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE MEN!

In honor of Father’s Day, The Latina Book Club, has put together this short list of male authors. We selected a wide variety, from coming of age stories to political poems to dark thrillers.   Great selections all.Happy Reading.

LOVE by Matt de la Pe┼ła (G.P. Putnam)
Written by a Newbery Medal winning author, this novel is about the love that surrounds us. As children we can see it, feel it, even taste it.  We lose that feeling as adults, but this beautifully illustrated picture book by Loren Long, brings those loving feelings back to life.



MAXIMILIAN AND THE LUCHA LIBRE CLUB: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller by Xavier Garza (Cinco Puntos Press) Book 3 in the series, has Max joining the Lucha Libre Club – a club for kids related to the luchadores. His friend Paloma is in it too, but it’s Cecilia who has captured Max’s young heart, no?

WHAT LANE?by Torrey Maldonado (Nancy Paulsen Books / Penguin) This native New Yorker and educator has written his third novel about a biracial boy learning to co…

#THROWBACK THURSDAY! HUNGER OF MEMORY BY RICHARD RODRIGUEZ

Real revolution in language is taking the stranger’s tongue and using it better than he.—Richard Rodriguez




HUNGER OF MEMORY The Education of Richard Rodriguez By Richard Rodriguez Bantam, 1982 Memoir

Astounding. Superb. A Triumph.
The difficult journey of an immigrant child struggling to navigate two cultures, two languages, two worlds is the same now as it was in the 1960’s and 1970's.The struggle to learn a new language, to be accepted, to belong to the new world takes a toll on the child and can often threaten the bonds of family and culture.Such is Richard’s story.
HUNGER OF MEMORY is the story of Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English, and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum.Here is the poignant journey of a “minority student” who pays the cost of his social assimilation and academic success with a painful alienation — from his past, his parent…

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH !

LOVE IS LOVE 

#THROWBACK THURSDAY! THE MAMBO KINGS PLAY SONGS OF LOVE BY OSCAR HIJUELOS

The taste of you remains
Clinging to paradise
But as the distance from you grows
All that my heart ever knows
Hunger for your kiss
Longing for your touch
Beautiful Maria of my soul
--Lyrics, Beautiful Maria of My Soul
Song by Los Lobos






THE MAMBO KINGS PLAY SONGS OF LOVE By Oscar Hijuelos (1989) Farrar Straus Giroux Winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize in Literature
We loved the book, the movie and the sequel !!!


SUMMARY:It's 1949 and two young Cuban musicians make their way from Havana to the grand stage of New York City. It is the era of mambo, and the Castillo brothers, workers by day, become stars of the dance halls by night, where their orchestra plays the lush, sensuous, pulsing music that earns them the title of the Mambo Kings. This is their moment of youth, exuberance, love, and freedom―a golden time that decades later is remembered with nostalgia and deep affection.
Hijuelos's marvelous portrait of the Castillo brothers, their families, their fellow musicians and lovers, their triumphs…