Multicultural Literature for Latino Bilingual Children: Their Words, Their Worlds

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9781475814927: Multicultural Literature for Latino Bilingual Children: Their Words, Their Worlds
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While there are volumes that fall into the category of children’s literature, there appears to be relatively few that explore the needs of bilingual learners and the linguistic and sociocultural context of Latino children’s literature. This volume makes a needed contribution by addressing the social, cultural, academic, and linguistic needs of Latino bilingual learners who are still underserved through current school practices. We aim to conceptualize different forms of social knowledge so that they can serve as cultural resources for learning, acquiring knowledge, and transforming self and identity. This volume presents a balance of theory, research, and practice that speak to authentic multicultural Latino literature and helps ensure its availability for all students. The intended outcome of this volume then is to create a heightened awareness of the cultural and linguistic capital held by the Latino community, to increase Latino students’ social capital through the design of critical pedagogical practices, and for the formulation of a new perspective, that of Latino multicultural literature for children.

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About the Author:

Ellen Riojas Clark, PhD is Professor Emerita of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research examines self-concept, teacher identity, ethnic identity, efficacy, and Latino cultural studies.

Belinda Bustos Flores, PhD is a Professor and Chair of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research focuses on teacher development including self-concept, ethnic identity, efficacy, beliefs, teacher recruitment/retention, high stakes testing, and family cultural knowledge. Flores is founder of the Academy for Teacher Excellence.

Howard L. Smith, PhD is an Associate Professor of Bicultural Bilingual Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Smith conducts research and publishes in the areas of biliteracy, family literacy, and multiculturalism.

Daniel Alejandro Gonzaléz, MA is a cultural researcher and ethnographic filmmaker from San Antonio, TX. His research examines identity formation in bicultural settings, inclusion and organizational structures in educational settings and communities in low-income areas. He has consulted and collaborated with organizations including public school districts, Academy for Teacher Excellence, NASA, Avance Inc., and others.

Review:

A comprehensive professional development resource that centers on Latino children’s literature and its inclusion and use in school settings. . . .This work positions this literature in a sociocultural, historical, and political context that successfully brings theories to praxis and always encourages educators to keep in mind the bicultural and bilingual young readers of these books. . . .Verdict: An important volume for a variety of audiences: educators—including those teaching non-English speakers—education and library school professors and students, book reviewers, and librarians. (School Library Journal)

Multicultural Literature for Latino Bilingual Children is a must read for anyone interested in literacy teaching and learning today. The editors and scholar-educators who contributed chapters offer vital insights, theoretical rationale and practical applications that will help teachers, librarians, parents and others to draw on the rich linguistic and cultural resources of children and their communities through focused engagement with Latino children’s literature. This sorely needed volume provides valuable resources and will stimulate further discussion to strengthen literacy education in a pluralistic society. (Jesse Gainer, director of the Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award, Associate Professor of Literacy Education, Texas State University)

This book provides a valuable update to the field of Latino children’s literacy and literature, with particular emphasis on literature as a force for maintaining cultural and linguistic heritage. The editors go beyond discussing the literature itself, to discussing the broader sociolinguistic contexts of bilingual Latino children. Chapter Two provides a brief but lucid historical overview of Latino children’s books and the antecedents for those works. Each chapter ends with valuable resources such as checklists and discussion questions to help librarians and faculty integrate authentic Latino children’s literature into their practices. (Denice Adkins, Associate Professor, School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, University of Missouri)

Given the growing Latino/a presence in our schools and nation, Multicultural Literature for Latino Bilingual Children could not have come at a better time. This treasure trove of insights, resources, and references fills an enormous gap in the field. Written by experts in bilingual education and children’s literature, this book provides teachers, librarians, families, and others with a valuable resource for making Latino/a children visible in our schools and society. It’s about time! (Sonia Nieto, Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture, College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Multicultural Literature for Latino Bilingual Children is detailed and scholarly, with contributions from a wide variety of experts. This book finally meets the challenge of addressing a need that has been lingering for decades, the need for bilingual children's books. Anyone interested in education, family literacy, or children's literature will find a vast wealth of ideas all gathered together in a single volume. Highly recommended! (Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-Winning author of "The Surrender Tree/El Árbol de la Rendición")

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