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Yes! We Are Latinos: Poems and Prose About the Latino Experience

Last updated Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Author: Alma Flor Ada
Illustrator: David Diaz
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 158089383X
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2019

Synopsis: Juanita lives in New York and is Mexican. Felipe lives in Chicago and is Panamanian, Venezuelan, and black. Michiko lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each of them is Latino. Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each youth provide specific stories and circumstances for the reader to better understand the Latino peoples quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the characters background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people, such as the Spanish Civil War, immigration to the US, and the internment of Latinos with Japanese ancestry during World War II.

Note to readers:
•  After each poem, there is information regarding the background, history or immigration of the specific Latino culture. You do not need to read the background following the poems as the poems are informative and moving on their own. Before reading to the children, make sure to read pages 6-7 for yourself. We have chosen a few poems for you to read as they illustrate the diversity of being Latino. Here are our suggestions: My Name is Monica (pg 16); My Name is Sultana (pg 43) *You may want to read the explanation after the poem*; My Name is Felipe (pg 58); My Name is Lili/Michiko (pg 73); My Name is Roman (pg 82).

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Where did your family immigrate from? (Every family has immigrated from somewhere)
•  Have you asked your parents/grandparents about where they came from?
•  Where do you think Latinos come from?
•  Can Latinos be Asian, Jewish or Black?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do any of these characters remind you of anyone you know? Do you share anything (feelings, experiences, likes/dislikes, family relationships) with the character?
•  Each character lives in a different place in the United States and came from a different country. Do you know anyone from those places?
•  Do you share an ethnic/cultural background with the characters?
•  How did your family come to live in Los Angeles? Why did they come here?

Craft ideas:
•  Write a poem of their immigration story. Begin with "My Name is "
•  Draw a family tree or world map showing all the places where their family immigrated from/to.
•  Make a Father's Day card. (for father, uncle, grandfather, someone who is like a father to you.)
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!