For many years, Hispanic Outlook ran book reviews that covered a wide variety of topics related to academia, higher education and the Hispanic community. This feature was so popular that not only have we brought it back but also expanded it, so it encompasses more of the education experience. Like a real library, our book reviews are split into sections: one that will continue to be dedicated to higher education and the Hispanic community, and one showcasing books that are ideal for primary and secondary education majors and professors, as well as teachers currently working in grades K-12.
“WE CARRY OUR HOMES WITH US: A CUBAN AMERICAN MEMOIR”
by Marisella Veiga
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
On December 30, 1960, Marisella Veiga with her mother and two brothers boarded a plane from Havana to Miami. After her father joined them, her family resettled in Minnesota where the climate was similar to home, Spanish was spoken and thousands of exiles arrived each month. In this memoir, Veiga describes her integration into a northern Midwestern landscape she grew to love, from adapting to the cold—learning to ice-skate before learning to speak English—to her obsession with Davy Jones. Yet the weight of her biculturalism—being of two worlds but an outsider to both—remained central to her quest for identity.
“CHOL (MAYAN) FOLKTALES: A COLLECTION OF STORIES FROM THE MODERN MAYA OF SOUTHERN MEXICO”
by Nicholas A. Hopkins and J. Kathryn Josserand with Ausencio (Chencho) Cruz Guzmán
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
“Chol (Mayan) Folktales” combines high quality and thoughtfully edited transcriptions of oral storytelling with translation and narrative analysis, documenting and analyzing a trove of Chol folklore. The work provides a look into the folktale culture of the contemporary Maya presented with innovative theoretical framework. The rich Chol oral narrative tradition is represented by eleven stories, each printed in the original language of the storytellers with parallel English translations and accompanied by a brief introduction that provides the relevant cultural and mythological background. Included with eight of the stories is a link to an audio clip of the tale told aloud in the Chol language.
“UNIVERSITY ETHICS: HOW COLLEGES CAN BUILD AND BENEFIT FROM A CULTURE OF ETHICS”
by James F. Keenan, S.J.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Stories about ethical issues at universities make headlines every day. From sexual violence to racial conflict, from the treatment of adjuncts to cheating, students, as well as professors and administrators face countless ethical trials. And yet, very few resources exist to assist universities in developing an ethical culture. “University Ethics” addresses this challenge. Each chapter studies a facet of university life—including athletics, gender, faculty accountability and more—and highlights the ethical hotspots, explains why they occur and proposes best practices. In addition, this work not only examines the ethical problems but also suggests ways to create an integrated culture of ethics on a university-wide scale that fosters the institution’s mission and community.
“CREATING ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND THEIR COMMUNITIES: LESSONS FROM EDUCATIONAL LEADERS”
Edited by Ted Purinton and Carlos Azcoitia
Publisher: Lexington Books
What is a community-focused leader? This question and more are the subject of “Creating Engagement between Schools and their Communities,” which addresses how educational leaders have made efforts to reconnect their schools to their communities and the varied goals they have achieved. The contributors of this book are educational leaders who have stayed committed to their neighborhoods and who have seen the moral imperative to provide equal opportunity to all students. This book shares their experiences, particularly looking at community-based schools in urban, impoverished or immigrant communities—communities that often are disconnected from the political and economic centers of the country.
Pam Muñoz Ryan didn’t start out to be an author. Born in Bakersfield, California, she began her career as an early childhood teacher and worked for the Escondido, California, school district. After marrying and having four children, she became involved with an early childhood program as its director and went on to earn her master’s degree in post-secondary education. Although she originally pursued the degree to teach children’s literature in college, she became inspired to write and has since gone on to author over 40 books, ranging from picture books to young adult novels. Her awards include the NEA’s Human and Civil Rights Award, the Newbery Honor, the Pen USA Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literacy Award, the Ludington Award for body of work and the Pura Belpré Medal for her book “Esperanza Rising,” which has been commissioned as a play. And so it is our pleasure to feature the works of Pam Muñoz Ryan, as well as lesson plans for her books, in this month’s school library. Lesson plans courtesy of Scholastic Inc.
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Lesson Plan: “Esperanza Rising” Vocabulary Boosters for Grades 6-8 (https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plans/teaching-content/esperanza-rising-vocabulary-boosters/)
Esperanza believed her life would be wonderful forever. She would always live on her family’s ranch in Mexico, have fancy dresses and a beautiful home filled with servants, and Papa and Abuelita would always be with her. But a sudden tragedy forces her and Mama to flee to California where they settle in a camp for Mexican farmworkers. Esperanza isn’t ready for hard labor, financial struggles and the lack of acceptance that she now must face. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances.
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Lesson Plan: “The Dreamer” Discussion Guide for Grades 6-8 (https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plans/teaching-content/dreamer-discussion-guide/)
“Neftalí, to which mystical land does an unfinished staircase lead?” From the time he was a young boy in the town of Temuco, Neftalí Reyes had heard the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunted him, his father ridiculed him and he doubted himself, Neftalí knew he couldn’t ignore the call. Under the canopy of the rain forest and into the fearsome sea and through the persistent Chilean rain, he listens and he follows. Based on the childhood of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda, this story combines elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction and sensorial illustrations.
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Lesson Plan: Discussion Guide to the Novels of Pam Muñoz Ryan for Grades 4-9 (https://www.scholastic.com/content/dam/teachers/lesson-plans/migrated-featured-files/novelsofpammunozryanguide2015.pdf)
Lost and alone in the forbidden Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania and Ivy in California each become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives, binding them by an invisible thread of destiny. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother and holding a family together. And ultimately it is that invisible thread of destiny that will pull their three suspenseful solo stories together into an orchestral crescendo.
“BECOMING NAOMI LEÓN”
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Lesson Plan: “Becoming Naomi León” Teaching Guide for Grades 3-5 and 6-8 (https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plans/teaching-content/becoming-naomi-leon-storia-teaching-guide/)
Naomi Soledad León Outlaw lives with her great-grandmother, Gram, and her little brother, Owen, at Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho where life is happy and peaceful. Well, except that Naomi has a lot to deal with like her clothes, her difficulty speaking up and her status at school as “nobody special.” But according to Gram, most problems can be overcome with positive thinking. That is, until someone mysterious reappears after seven years, stirring up a whole lot of trouble. Soon, Naomi is on a journey in Gram’s last–ditch effort to keep the family together. But will positive thinking be enough to save them?