Ada, A. F., & Campoy, F. I. (2013). Yes! we are Latinos. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
This collection of twelve poems tells the stories of thirteen people who live across the United States and who identify as Latino. After each poem, a short chapter follows with information about that person’s heritage.
This is a comprehensive collection demonstrating the variety and complexity within the greater Latino community. I personally found it informative and enlightening. The authors Ada and Campoy chose well in formatting this collection. The poems have clear and relatable voices that communicate the heart of a person and her or his family concisely. The informative section that follows gives context to the complexity that is easily lost in cursory looks into Latino art. This book makes a useful tool in teaching diversity.
Erin Anderson (Booklist, Sep. 1, 2013 (Vol. 110, No. 1))
This book celebrates the amazing and underappreciated diversity of the Latino community and makes great strides toward ameliorating one-dimensional stereotypes. Through 12 narrative poems, the authors explore the experiences of fictional men and women; Christians and Jews; immigrants, indigenous people, and second-generation Americans; professionals and farmers; all of whom identify themselves as Latinos. Each poem is followed by brief factual explanation of the major themes within, such as the Spanish Civil War, Asian influences in Latin America, and Cuba s relationship with the U.S. Black-and-white abstract art by Caldecott winner D az elevates each individual s story by illustrating major themes. While the authors include a bibliography of source material, they also acknowledge a lengthy list of people who provided inspiration for the topics discussed in the book. Perhaps it is the use of these real-life figures that gives the fictional vignettes such an air of realism and relatability for both Latino and non-Latino readers alike.
Seemi Aziz (Worlds of Words Review, April 2014 (Vol. 6, No. 3))
This book celebrates the differences in appreciation of Latino cultures and their diverse backgrounds. It questions rather than reinforces various accepted stereotypes that frame Latinos in the U.S. Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy outdo themselves in finding and recording real-world experiences of Latinos and Latinas from all over the world who reside within the U.S. The authors further convey these experiences with narrative poetic renderings that explain the experiences in an artistic, personal, and deeper manner. The cultural identities of Latinos are explained further by informational pieces from historical contexts of each Latino/a. Through reading the 12 narrative poems and the informational pieces the reader can gain an intimate look at the cultural roots of each Latino/a. Readers will come away with the knowledge that Latinos are of varied colors and races.
Use in Library
Choose a character from one of the poems and find a piece of art that has been created by someone else from that character’s place of origin. This could be a song, a painting, a book, a movie, etc.