SundayMorningReads

School Library Journal recently published “Not a Lack of Latino Lit for Kids, but a Lack of Awareness”.

I do agree that there is a lack of awareness. Every discussion list I belong to routinely has someone asking for books that will be “of interest to Latino teens”. Which of course implies that the only people reading about Latinos are Latinos, and that Latinos will read nothing else. But, these requests are so constant that it makes one wonder why it is so difficult for people to find books with Latinos (or any people of color) and what happened to prompt the particular request.

I predict that if you watch your lists next month next month, you’ll see an abundance of requests for African American literature.

A lack of awareness is a huge issue, not doubt. If people were paying attention, they’d be more aware of the small number of Latino books that are published each year, and the small amount of themes and genre that are included in this number. I have not seen official numbers for 2012, but I found all of 17 MG and YA books published in 2012. I expect this number to be low, assuming I’ve missed several books by some of the smaller publishers. Even if I missed 20 books, that means there were 37 Latino books published in 2012.

Between 2010 and 2011 the Latino population grew 2.5%. I don’t think that 2.5% of all the MG and YA books published last year either written by Latino authors or featured Latino characters.

18% of the US population is Latino and this is the largest ethnic population in the US.

I really think the lack of books, the lack of published Latino authors and the lack of Latino protagonists and books in Spanish is a serious concern.

You know that Argo is based on a true story, right? Well, did you know that the main character of the movie, (of the story!), is Antonio Mendez, a Mexican American and multiethnic CIA agent? While this role could have gone to one of many Latino actors, Ben Affleck chose to play this role himself.

The APALA blog recently posted an interview with library leader Judy Lee who works in Riverside, CA. Lee is interviewed regarding her efforts to save her community’s Chinatown. She states Once the site is protected, I personally would like to see the group continue the cultural education mission for the community. This could include historical research and work to connect to a larger network of educators concerned with Chinese American and Asian American cultural education and preservation.

Amazon is making news with their two new children’s imprints.

It has been announced that Louise Erdrich’s Chikadee won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. This makes Erdrich’s second time winning this prestigious award. Congratulations!!

I know what should really have me exciting this week are the ALA youth media awards (and I will be listening as the winners are announced) but, what really, really has me excited is the release of the Surface Pro on 9 February. I’ve been waiting for this since I first learned about the Surface and the greater functionality of the Pro over the RT and yes, over the iPad.

The Hub will stream the ALA awards live on Monday at 7:45 PST.

Let’s go into this new week with our eyes open, aware of all that makes up our diverse and wonderful world!

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