Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco (Giveaway!)

Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco

Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco by debut novelist Judith Robbins Rose will be released September 8, 2015, but I had the opportunity to read an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) for review. It’s not often that I read Middle Grade fiction, but despite the 10 year old target audience, I couldn’t put the book down.

The story is in the voice of Jacinta Juarez, a young Mexican-American girl who reminded me a little of an older Junie B. Jones due to her spirited personality which results in quite a few humorous moments, despite some of the very serious themes this book takes on.

Being bilingual and bicultural has a million advantages, but it has its challenges too – Jacinta must learn to straddle both worlds as she deals with the stress caused by her family’s socio-economic situation and the legal status of her parents, while figuring out if it’s possible to balance obligation to one’s familia with the very American ideal of pursuing one’s own happiness.

When local news reporter, Kathryn Dawson Dahl, (a white woman who Jacinta simply refers to as “Miss”), sponsors Jacinta at the Youth Center, she is introduced to a new world of exciting opportunities and hurtful, confusing experiences. While this could be exactly where this book goes off the rails and becomes problematic as a “white savior” narrative, I think the author succeeded at very honestly portraying how white women often see themselves as “rescuers” in this type of situation and the mess that results.

Details:

Title: Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco
Author: Judith Robbins Rose
ISBN: 9780763672355
Ages: 10+ (Middle Grade Fiction)

A quote from School Library Journal review: “…It’s as pleasurable to watch these characters take one another by surprise as it is horribly anxiety-producing to see them hurt, stumble, insult, and misunderstand nearly every situation requiring contextual awareness. [The author] doesn’t sugarcoat the hypocrisies and tough realities of the relationship, and of the very real reasons that they mistrust one another. Nearly everyone in the book makes some pretty serious and unforgivable mistakes, but as flawed humans they are allowed to wear their flaws, to make mature decisions and stupid childish ones. Rather than writing an ‘issue book,’ [the author] presents characters in crisis, whose stories are personal, rather than broadly representative, and the book is better for it. Ultimately, this is a story about code switching, and about the different skill sets and assumptions required for complex cross-cultural and cross-class situations…” – Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn Public Library

Want to win a copy of the book? See below!

Giveaway Details

Prize description: One lucky winner will receive a copy of the book LOOK BOTH WAYS IN THE BARRIO BLANCO by Judith Robbins Rose.

How to enter: Just leave a comment below! (Please read official rules below before entering.)

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be able to provide a U.S. address for prize shipment. Your name and address will only be shared with the person responsible for prize fulfillment for that purpose. Please no P.O. Boxes. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid email address in the email address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 24 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between August 27, 2015 through September 2nd, 2015. Entries received after September 2nd, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST, will not be considered. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.

Buena suerte / Good luck!

Conversations at Casa López – Part 7

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Here we go – my family’s most recent “bilingual moments” and funny conversations. (Be sure to share your recent funny conversations in comments!)

17 year old son: I got to speak Spanish twice today. All the Latino customers keep choosing my line when they see me.

Tracy: Really?

17 year old son: Yeah but I don’t just start speaking Spanish to them cause I can’t assume, you know? So I start in English, then they like test me out with one or two words in Spanish to see if I know it, then we start talking in Spanish.

13 year old son: We got to choose names in Spanish class.

Tracy: But your name is already Spanish.

13 year old son: It wasn’t on the chart to pick from. I chose Rafael, like from Jane the Virgin.

Carlos: What’s the difference between a meteor and a meteorite?

17 year old son: Meteorites are like the “-ito” in Spanish. They’re little pieces of the meteor.

17 year old son: I’m not sure if jeans would be proper attire. What do you think?

Carlos: A tire?

17 year old son: Yeah.

Carlos: Like una llanta?

17 year old son: What does una llanta mean?

Carlos: A tire.

17 year old son: Ok, um, yeah, do you think jeans are proper attire?

Carlos: I don’t understand what you’re talking about.

Tracy: Attire, babe. Attire means clothing, ropa. Not tire like llanta.

Carlos: Clothing?

Tracy: Yes.

Carlos: Why didn’t he say clothing?

Carlos: The lady didn’t type in my email right. She said ‘v as in vase?’ and I said yes.

Tracy: Why did you say yes? There’s no ‘b’ in your email.

Carlos: V! V as in vase!

Tracy: B as in bass?

Carlos: What are you saying? Big b, or little v?

Tracy: We don’t need that in English but when you say them they sound the same.

Carlos: Are you making a vaca negra?

Tracy: If that means ‘Coke Float’, then yes.

El sexo débil

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Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Soy muy exigente con las telenovelas que miro. No he visto ninguna con lealtad desde Herederos del Monte, pero El Sexo Débil es una que creo que voy a ver hasta el final. Sólo he visto dos episodios hasta ahora, pero me encanta la trama y los personajes mujeres fuertes. He aquí una descripción de la serie:

Los hombres siempre han pensado que el machismo es sinónimo de respeto, liderazgo y valentía; que el ser macho es provocado por sentimientos que un hombre no debe revelar, o al menos, lo exige la sociedad. Eso ocurre con los Camacho, una familia de hombres dedicados a la medicina cuya característica principal es el ser machistas. Eso causa que, un día, cada una de las mujeres de los Camacho abandonen a sus parejas: Álvaro es abandonado por tener celos de su esposa, al ser ella más exitosa en lo profesional; a Dante lo deja su novia actual por un sueco que conoció en París; a Julián lo abandona su prometida por haberle sido infiel varias veces; y a Agustín, el patriarca, lo deja su esposa por no escucharla durante tres décadas de casados. Bruno, el menor de los Camacho y el único que queda con una relación estable, es homosexual.

Tras este acontecimiento, los Camacho tendrán que enfrentar sus miedos solos, coincidiendo con la llegada de Helena, una mujer que abandonó a su prometido el día de su boda y que cambiará la vida a todos los hombres de esta familia. Wikipedia

Si quieres ver la telenovela conmigo, puedes ver los episodios en la página web de NBC Universo, o en el canal NBC Universo lunes a jueves 7:00 pm ET/PT.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

I’m very picky about the telenovelas I watch. I haven’t watched any Spanish-language soap operas with loyalty since Herederos del Monte, but El Sexo Débil is one I think I’ll watch through to the end. I’ve only seen two episodes so far, but I love the plot and strong female characters. Here’s a description of the series [my rough translation of the Spanish-language Wikipedia page]:

Men have always thought that machismo is synonymous with respect, leadership and courage; that the male shouldn’t reveal his feelings, or at least, that’s what society demands. That goes for the men of the Camacho family, men dedicated to medicine whose main characteristic is being macho. One day this leads to each of the women leaving their partners: Alvaro is abandoned by his wife for being jealous of her professional success; Dante’s girlfriend leaves him for a Swede she met in Paris; Julian is abandoned by his fiance for having been chronically unfaithful; and Augustine, the patriarch, his wife leaves him for not listening to her the entire three decades of their marriage. Bruno, who is gay and the youngest of the Camacho family, is the only one left with a stable relationship.

After this event, the Camacho men will have to face their fears alone, coinciding with the arrival of Helena, a woman who abandoned her fiance on their wedding day and who will change the lives of all the men in this family.

If you want to watch this telenovela with me, you can see full episodes at the NBC Universo website, or on the NBC Universo channel Monday to Thursday at 7:00 pm ET/PT.

Conversations at Casa Quezada – a guest post!

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I absolutely adore Tracy’s posts that share the hilarious, family moments that make up her bilingual household. I can relate so much, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to add a few of our own family’s multicultural conversations.

I’m an American girl, born and raised in the South. I am “bilingual-friendly,” meaning I know just enough Spanish to be dangerous. My Guatemalan husband Billy and I are raising our two bilingual-ish kiddos in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are few of our favorite Spanglish-y moments!

Me: (looking around the parking garage) Okay, we’re parked in Aisle 8.
Billy: THAT? (pointing at the sign) That. That is how you spell aisle?! Eye-eez-lay???

Billy: (hanging pictures) Does it look straight?
Me: Hmm… I’m not sure. Are we sure we want them there? Maybe a little higher?
Billy: (handing me a hammer and some nails) Go kill yourself!
Me: Um… What?
Billy: It’s an expression. You know…
[long pause]
Me: Oooh, knock yourself out!

Me: (reading a picture book in Spanish)
4 YO Daughter: Mom, please stop. I know that you don’t speak Spanish.

When dad has two languages, and mom has only one, you get this:
4 YO Daughter: My daddy is my Papi. And my mama is a big girl!

At a fruit stand in Los Angeles

Me: Hola. Por favor quisiera piña, sandía, mango, y coca.
Vendor: (eyes widening) Coca? Quiere coca?
Billy: No, no, no. Ella quiere coco.

Basically, I ordered a bunch of fruit and then “coke,” which, similar to English, is also slang for cocaine. I just wanted some coconut!

Me: Where are the chips I asked you to buy?
Billy: (hands me a bag)
Me: (putting away the Ranch dip) Awh, man. I asked you for chips, not tortilla chips!
Billy: Wait. What? You wanted potato chips? But you asked me for chips, not potato chips!

Stranger at the airport: Are you going to Guatemala?
4 YO Daughter: No, no. I’m going to Wat-te-ma-la. Wat-te-ma-la is Spanish. Gwah-tuh-mall-uh is English.

Thankfully, this kind man turned to my husband to ask if we were raising her to be bilingual and then offered some sweet encouragement.

Sitting in the OB/GYN office with our first pregnancy.

Me: “I’ve been having Charlie Horses at night.”
Billy: What are those?
Me: Leg cramps.
Billy: Why don’t you call them leg cramps?
Me and the midwife: I don’t know!
The midwife: Have you been having any Braxton Hicks?
Me: I don’t think so.
Billy: What is that?
Me: False contractions.
Billy: Why does everything in English need a first and last name?

My daughter’s toddler friend trying to work out our bicultural household:
Well, her mommy’s name is Sarah. And her daddy’s name is Papi.

We were visiting a Spanish church for the very first time. I was about seven months pregnant.

Stranger: Bienvenidos! (Rubbing my belly with both hands.) Hola bebito!
Billy: (looking at my panicked face and laughing) We’re not in an English church anymore! (leaning in towards me in mocking compassion) Do you want to go hide in the corner?
Me: (eyes wide, nodding) Yes!

sarah-quezada Sarah Quezada lives in Atlanta, Georgia in a talkative, Spanglish household with her Guatemalan husband and two amusing kiddos. She writes about culture, family, and immigration on her blog, A Life with Subtitles. Sarah is a big fan of travel, basketball, and peppermint patties. You can connect with her on Twitter or Facebook.

Conversations at Casa López – Part 6

casalopez-2

Here we go – my family’s most recent “bilingual moments” and funny conversations. (Be sure to share your recent funny conversations in comments!)

Tracy: Mejor el perro malo que conoces que el perro que no conoces.

– Tracy mixing up the dicho “Más vale lo malo conocido que lo bueno por conocer.”

Carlos: “Tracy, why are you talking so loud? You’re like a vieja tamalera. ”

– Carlos when I was apparently talking too loud early in the morning

13 year old son: How do you say ‘pig’ in Spanish?

Tracy: Cerdo.

13 year old son: … But I thought it was ‘cuche’?

(“Cuche” is Salvadoran slang for pig.)

Tracy: The boys both need new earbuds again.

Carlos: Again? Both of them?

Tracy: Yeah… Hey, is there a Salvadoran Spanish word for someone who always breaks or loses things?

Carlos: Yeah, irresponsables.

13 year old son: You’re always watching that.

Tracy:: [shrugs] I like it and they always play re-runs.

13 year old son: But you never finish it. Is “La Fea Más Bella” a series or a movie?

Carlos: It’s a soap opera.

13 year old son: What’s that?

Tracy: A telenovela.

13 year old son: Oh. Why didn’t you just say that?

Tracy: ¿Estas tortillas son hechas de harina o de trigo?

Carlos’s friend: Maíz.

[I was trying to ask if they were flour or corn tortillas but for some reason I stupidly asked if they were tortillas made from wheat or flour – which is the same thing. Basically, “Are these flour tortillas or flour tortillas?”]

Carlos: I got everything we need to make the Smurfs.

Tracy: S’mores.

Carlos: Oh, right. Smurfs are pitufos.

Gracias a los policías colombianos

policia-colombia-perro-rescate

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

A veces es difícil tener fe en la humanidad. Hay tantas cosas malas pasando en el mundo y tanta gente eligiendo hacer daño a sus hermanos en vez de ayudarles. Pero lo hermoso es que toma sólo un pequeño acto de amor y bondad por llenar mi corazón.

Hoy el acto que tocó mi corazón hasta el punto de llorar venía de estos valientes hombres – policías colombianos que arriesgaron sus vidas para salvar a un perro siendo arrastrado por las aguas de la inundación.

Son increíbles y sólo quiero agradecerles públicamente. No hay palabras suficientes para expresar lo que siento, pero policías colombianos, si ustedes están leyendo esto, yo les mando un fuerte abrazo de los Estados Unidos y les deseo un millón de bendiciones. Gracias por todo lo que hacen por proteger vidas – grandes y pequeñas.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Sometimes it’s difficult to have faith in humanity. There are so many bad things happening in the world and so many choosing to harm their brothers rather than help them. But the beautiful thing is that it takes only one small act of love and kindness to fill my heart.

Today the thing that touched my heart to the point of tears was these brave men – Colombian policemen who risked their lives to save a dog being swept away in flood waters.

They’re amazing and I just want to thank them publicly. There aren’t words to sufficiently express how I feel, but Colombian policemen, if you guys are reading this, I send you a big hug from the United States and I wish you all a million blessings. Thank you for all you do to protect lives – both big and small.

Día Blog Hop with James Luna

I’m honored to have been invited to host an author again for this year’s Día Blog Hop. If you’re not familiar, the Día Blog Hop hosted by Latinas for Latino Lit (@Latinas4LatLit, #L4LL) pairs Latino authors and illustrators with Latina (or Latinaish in my case!) bloggers. The #L4LL Día Blog Hop began on April 27th with a guest post by Pat Mora, author and founder of Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros. For the complete schedule of blogs and their paired authors/illustrators check the Latinas for Latino Lit website! But for now, you can start here.

My guest post this year is by Latino children’s author, James Luna, author of “The Runaway Piggy / El cochinito fugitivo“, and “A Mummy in Her Backpack/Una momia en su mochila.”

James was inspired to write us a little poetry! Enjoy!

Immerse
By James Luna

Immerse your kids in literary wealth,
In stories, folktales, biographies and rhymes,
Teach your sons and daughters to immerse themselves,
Immerse imaginations. Immerse their minds,
Increasing the memories of your family time.

Immerse your kids reading something fresh
A family meal from the pages of books of food
A tortilla and guacamole, now that’s the best.
Grandma’s chocolate and a piggy will improve your mood,
These books with sabor should be read and chewed!

Immerse them in the colors that fill their worlds
Have a read about Frida and Diego to start
Watch the butterflies twirl as Dalia’s hair unfurls,
De colores son los campos, bright barrios filled with art
The arco iris of our souls, and the rainbows from our hearts.

Immerse your kids in hist’ry from north to south
The everyday people living everyday lives
To gente bien conocida they can read about
Their journeys, explorations, their triumph and strife
Each person is a star, shining clear and bright.

Immerse your kids en los países, taking them to the places
From New York to Cuba, Puerto Rico, El Salvador,
The beauty of our colors and our smiling faces.
From the U.S. down to Mexico, there’s adventure in store
Take the lead, and they’ll want to read more and more!

Immerse your family in words of our familia stories
Hear the rimas and the dichos you heard as a niño
In togetherness we celebrate the family glories
From the language and sound de nuestro pueblo Latino,
Desde los chistes y risa, a las promesas de cariño.

We wrote these books for you. We wrote these books for them,
So immerse your kids in a love that will never end.

Inspired by the books of Jorge Agueta, Mara Price, Gwen Zepeda, Maya Gonzalez, Yuyi Morales, Joe Cepeda, Pat Mora, Amada Irma Perez, Duncan Tonatiuh, Jose-Luis Orozco, Rene Colato Lainez, Margarita Engle, Laura Lacamara, Alma Flor Ada, Amy Costales, Moncia Brown—I could go on and on!

james-luna-bio