Aldama interviews an eclectic group of contemporary Latinx children's book authors and illustrators (as well as Ashley Hope Pérez, who is white but whose spouse, Arnulfo, is Latinx), who discuss genres, writing for youth, and the role their identities and background played in their decisions to become writers and artists. Subjects stress the need for more Latinx creators, publishers, and editors; the significance of small presses; and the power of children's book awards in making Latinx writers and artists more visible. The interviewees range from self-taught artists to those with formal training, but all are driven to challenge whiteness in publishing and provide a voice for the marginalized. Readers will be inspired to revisit these creators' work. A preface, introduction, and afterword offer context on Latinx literature. VERDICT An important resource for youth, school, and academic librarians; educators; and library science students.-Sujei Lugo, Boston Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“These insightful, widely ranging interviews showcase the defining children’s and YA Latina/Latino writers and illustrators of our time. They speak about tapping the magic of story, taking risks, crafting identity; about crossing or defying or blurring the borders of language and experience. Aldama’s scholarship brings vital cultural and artistic realities to the page for the benefit of all those who care about young readers.”
—Uma Krishnaswami, author of Book Uncle and Me
“Alongside an elegant and thoughtful introduction, Aldama has provided us with a superbly illuminating set of interviews with some of this century’s most innovative and challenging writers. He sheds new light on the incredibly rich ideas and vision of Latino and Latina artists and writers and guides our reading with compelling questions.”
—Mary Pat Brady, Cornell University
“If you love stories, prepare for a very special treat. In this volume, you will encounter Latino/a authors and artists who tell the stories that led to their artistic creations—the long journeys they have taken to open a space for Latino work, for Latino voices, for Latino ways of engaging the world. In Aldama's deeply informative and moving interviews, we come face to face with the rich creative spirits that have given rise to a perfect feast of Latino/a children's and young adult fiction, nonfiction, and art”
—Andrea Lunsford, Emerita, Stanford University.
“Aldama, along with all the authors included in this volume, have been reading and listening to stories told by young and old in homes, neighborhoods, and churches. This book reminds all of us to do the same and to consider the learning and reading lives of young people ordinarily left out of consideration in the literature of children and young adults. Creative depth, intellectual yearning, and vibrant imaginations shine through the wisdom of this book. Every reader should read these pages and take up the charge to spread this wisdom in every way possible."
—Shirley Brice Heath, Emerita, Stanford University