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Research for Latin American Literature Circle Unit

Research for Latin American Literature Circle Unit

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Published by Jesse Franzen

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Published by: Jesse Franzen on Jan 08, 2009
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07/20/2013

 
Background Research on Costa Rica and Latin America:
Costa Rica Non-Fiction Books:
Coates, Anthony G (ed.). (1997). Central America: A Natural and Cultural History. YaleUniversity Press: New Haven and London.Fisher, Frederick. (1999). Festivals of the World: Costa Rica. Gareth Stevens publishing:Milwaukee.Miranda, Carolina A. and Penland, Paige R. (2004). Costa Rica. Lonely Planet.Morrison, Marion. (2007). Costa Rica: Enchantment of the World. Children’s Press: NewYork.Palmer, Steven; Molina, Ivan (eds.). (2004). The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics.Duke university Press: Durham and London.Robinson, Hannah. (2006). Costa Rica: An EcoTraveller’s Guide. Interlink Books:Massachusetts.
Library Videos:
WGBH. (1991). “Columbus and the Age of Discovery: In Search of Columbus”. (60 minutes).Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities and Sciences, Inc.WGBH. (1991). “Columbus and the Age of Discovery: The Sword and the Cross”. (60minutes). Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities and Sciences, Inc.
Text-set Unit Research:
Noteable Books for Global Society Award Winners:
Ada, Alma Flor (Author),Campoy, F. Isabel (Author),Davalos,Felipe (Illustrator),Guevara,  Susan (Illustrator),Torres, Leyla (Illustrator). (2006). Tales Our Abuelitas Told: AHispanic Folktale CollectionAlvarez, Julia. (2002). Before We Were Free. (Dominican Republic)Cameron, Ann. (2003). Colibri. (Guatemala)Cofer , Judith Ortiz. (1995). An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio (Puerto RicanImmigrants)Hobbs, Will. (2006). Crossing the Wire (Mexican Immigrants) – YA FICTIONJoseph, Lynn. (2000). The Color of My Words. (Dominican Republic)Mikaelsen, Ben. (2004). Tree Girl. Harper Tempest. (Guatemala)Mikaelsen, Ben. (2002). Red Midnight. (Guatemala) Nye, Naomi Shihab (Editor). (1995). The Tree Is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems & Stories from MexicoOsa, Nancy. (2003). Cuba 15. (Cuban Immigrants)Rice, David Talbot. (2001). Crazy Loco. (Mexican Immigrants)
Narratives:
Canales, Viola. (2001). Orange Candy Slices and Other Secret Tales (Mexican coming of agestories)Dolbes, Fabian. (1998). Stories of Tatamundo. University of Costa Rica Press.
 
Saldana, Rene Jr. (2001). The Jumping Tree
 
(Mexican Immigrants)
Selected Books for Text-Set Unit, based upon reading and reviewing:
Before We Were Free by Julia AlvarezColibri by AnnCameron Crazy Loco byDavid Talbot Rice Crossing the Wire by Will HobbsRed Midnight by Ben Mikaelsen
Supplemental:
The Color of My Words byJoseph, Lynn.Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection by byAlma Flor Ada(Author),F. Isabel Campoy(Author),Felipe Davalos(Illustrator),Susan Guevara(Illustrator),Leyla Torres(Illustrator)The Tree Is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems & Stories from Mexico by Naomi Shihab Nye(Editor)
Book Reviews:
Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
 From Publishers Weekly
In her first YA novel, Alvarez (How the Garc¡a Girls Lost Their Accents) proves as gifted atwriting for adolescents as she is for adults. Here she brings her warmth, sensitivity and eye for detail to a volatile setting the Dominican Republic of her childhood, during the 1960-1961attempt to overthrow Trujillo's dictatorship. The story opens as 12-year-old narrator Anitawatches her cousins, the Garc¡a girls, abruptly leave for the U.S. with their parents; Anita's ownimmediate family are now the only ones occupying the extended family's compound. Alvarezrelays the terrors of the Trujillo regime in a muted but unmistakable tone; for a while, Anita's parents protect her (and, by extension, readers), both from the ruler's criminal and evenmurderous ways and also from knowledge of their involvement in the planned coup d'‚tat. The perspective remains securely Anita's, and Alvarez's pitch-perfect narration will immerse readersin Anita's world. Her crush on the American boy next door is at first as important as knowing thatthe maid is almost certainly working for the secret police and spying on them; later, as Anitaunderstands the implications of the adult remarks she overhears, her voice becomes anxious andthe tension mounts. When the revolution fails, Anita's father and uncle are immediately arrested,and she and her mother go underground, living in secret in their friends' bedroom closet asequence the author renders with palpable suspense. Alvarez conveys the hopeful ending with asmuch passion as suffuses the tragedies that precede it. A stirring work of art. Ages 12-up.
 Personal Review:
This is a work of art. The story is beautiful, it is based historical events, and the plot is thick andmoving. This is a must use. There is much to be discussed and researched. I find nothing thatcould be thought of as objectionable.
Colibri by AnnCameron 
 
 From School Library Journal 
Grade 5-8-Contemporary Guatemala is the setting for this story of 12-year-old Tzunun Chumil(Mayan for "Hummingbird Star"), called Rosa Garcia by the man who supposedly rescued her from abandonment at age four. Rosa and "Uncle" Baltasar travel from place to place, begging for their livelihood as he pretends to be blind. But, despite her dependence on and devotion to him,Rosa is distressed by the dishonesty of their lifestyle and has memories of loving parents. Told by a seer, the Day-Keeper Do-a Celestina, that the child will bring him a treasure, Baltasar takesRosa to the town of San Sebastian where he and a friend develop a plan to steal a valuable statuefrom the town's church. The plot backfires when Rosa's conscience forces her to seek out the priest and reveal their intentions, and the two men are jailed. Rosa runs back to the kindly Day-Keeper, who takes her in and gives her the courage to make a new life for herself. When Uncleescapes, Rosa must confront him and, in a dramatic scene in which he plunges off a cliff, shelearns that she was kidnapped. With the help of the Day-Keeper and a scrap of paper found in hiswallet, Tzunun is reunited with her parents. Cameron layers her compelling story with vividdescriptions of setting and weaves into the narrative the complexities inherent in the blending of Mayan and ladino cultures and religious practices. This is reflected in the book's title, which isthe Spanish translation of Tzunun's name. A well-written and engrossing read.Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
 Personal Review:
This story is excellent. It is deep within Guatemala, it’s exciting, entertaining, horrifying,seemingly real, and gripping. It’s hard to put down. It details life and culture, and it’s just agreat story of survival and finding one’s place in the world. It’s also an adventure story, she’ssearching for her family and what is written on a secret piece of paper. There’s mystery andmysticism. Set within a historic time period, and referring to actual events, this work of fictionlends itself directly to speak about recent Central American history and tragedy. Definitely a book to keep on the shelf and use. I find nothing within this text that would raise any communityquestions.
The Color of My Words byLynn Joseph
 From Publishers Weekly
In finely wrought chapters that at times read more like a collection of related short stories than anovel, Joseph (Jump Up Time) presents slices from the life of Ana Rosa just as she is about toturn 13. Through the heroine's poetry and recollections, readers gain a rare intimate view of lifein the Dominican Republic. Ana Rosa dreams of becoming a writer even though no one but the president writes books; she learns to dance the merengue by listening to the rhythms of her  beloved ocean; and the love of her older brother, Guario, comforts her through many difficulties.The author's portraits of Ana Rosa and her family are studies in spare language; the chaptersoften grow out of one central image such as the gri gri tree where Ana Rosa keeps watch over her village and gets ideas for her writing, giving the novel the feel of an extended prose poem. The brevity of the chapters showcases Joseph's gift for metaphoric language (e.g., her description of Ana Rosa's first crush: "My dark eyes trailed him like a line of hot soot wherever he went").When the easy rhythms of the girl's island life abruptly change due to two major events, theauthor develops these cataclysms so subtly that readers may not feel the impact as fully as other events, such as the heroine's unrequited love. Still, it's a testimony to the power of Joseph'swriting that the developments readers will empathize with most are those of greatest importanceto her winning heroine. Ages 8-12.

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