Libros for All Kids

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Hola! This is a guest post by Cuban American author, Meg Medina, as part of the Latinas for Latino Lit 2nd annual Día Blog Hop, which we’re proudly participating in for the second year in a row. Check it out! (And then check out the other L4LL’s Día Blog Hop posts from other Latino/a children’s and YA authors.)

Libros for All Kids

A guest post by: Meg Medina

Something happened to me recently at the National Latino Children’s Literature Conference that gave me a glimmer of hope against the dismal  – and now familiar – news that we are still publishing too few kids’ books that feature Latino characters.  

I had been asked to talk about my young adult novel, YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS.  It earned the Pura Belpré medal and the CYBILS Fiction Award, among other nice distinctions, and it was one of the measly two percent of children’s books by or about Latinos that was published last year.

If you’re unfamiliar, my novel is set in Queens, New York, and is the story of 16 year-old Piedad Sanchez who finds herself in the cross-hairs of a school bully.

After my talk, a librarian named Erica came to find me. It’s always such an honor when someone tells you they connected with your story. But I was especially happy to hear from her. She grew up in suburban Wisconsin with all brothers. There were no Latinos to speak of in her world.

“I read your book and I thought, oh my God, that’s my story.”

I could have kissed her whole face.

She’s right, of course. It is her story. It’s her story exactly the way Charlotte’s Web once felt like my story as a kid, even though I’d never seen a live pig and I lived two-hundred miles from the nearest farm in New York.

It’s no secret that I write stories that feature Latino kids and their families – the whole glorious ajiaco that I grew up with and that shaped how I move through the world.

But I do not write stories only for Latino kids. I write books for all kids about the universal problems of growing up. You remember that horror, don’t you? The frustrations with your family? Being betrayed by peers? Falling in love with creeps? To me, it doesn’t matter if a girl is named Fern or Piedad. What really matters is that her story is told with honesty and compassion.

When I think of books and what we want reflected in them, I say that it’s wise to cast a wide net. All kids benefit from stories that not only affirm their own experience but that also that allow them a peek at those same experiences through a slightly different lens. The magic of such books is in that beautiful spot where the unique and the universal hold hands like good and faithful friends.

meg-medinaMeg Medina is an award-winning Cuban American author who writes picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction. The first American citizen in her family, Meg was raised in Queens, New York by her mother – and a clan of tios, primos, and abuelos who arrived from Cuba over the years. She was the fortunate victim of their storytelling, and credits them with her passion for tales.

Meg’s work examines how cultures intersect through the eyes of young people, and she brings to audiences stories that speak to both what is unique in Latino culture and to the qualities that are universal. Her favorite protagonists are strong girls.

Her books are: MILAGROS GIRL FROM AWAY; TIA ISA WANTS A CAR, for which she earned the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writers Award; THE GIRL WHO COULD SILENCE THE WIND, a 2012 Bank Street Best Books; and YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS, which was the winner of the 2014 Pura Belpré Medal, which is presented annually by the American Library Association to a Latino writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

When she is not writing, Meg works on community projects that support girls, Latino youth and/or literacy. She lives with her extended family in Richmond, Virginia.

Follow Meg’s blog at www.megmedina.com

Connect with Meg on Facebook and Twitter

¡Tras el gol! (Going for the Goal!)

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Divulgación: Este es un post patrocinado, sin embargo, todas las opiniones expresadas son 100% mías.

¿Quién está listo para el 13 de junio? Sé que estoy lista! Mientras esperamos que los partidos de fútbol comienzan, debemos distraernos, y hoy tengo un poco de distracción para que puedas pasar el tiempo.

En el sitio web de Dollar General, Coca-Cola® tiene un juego de fútbol que se llama “Going for the Goal!” (¡Tras el gol!) que puedes jugar en inglés o español. En el juego, primero eres el delantero y tienes 45 segundos para hacer tantos goles como sea posible. Los siguientes 45 segundos eres el portero, y tienes que bloquear tantos goles como sea posible. Cada vez que ganas un partido, pasas a la siguiente ronda. ¿Cuántos partidos crees que puedes ganar con tu equipo favorito?

Juega en inglés aquí.

Juega en español aquí.

Honestamente, no soy muy buena por este juego. ¡Hasta ahora pierdo el primer partido todo el tiempo! Ojalá el equipo de los Estados Unidos tiene mejor suerte en la vida real.

(Por cierto, ¿en el sitio de Dollar General notaste el nuevo sabor de POWERADE®? Es Tropical Mango! ¿Alguien lo ha probado? Voy a tener que conseguir uno para Carlos y mi hijo mayor, ya que ambos son amantes de todo que tiene sabor a mango.)

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

brasil-2014

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but as always all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Who’s ready for June 13th? I know I’m ready! While we wait for the soccer matches to begin, we should distract ourselves, and today I have a little distraction so you can pass the time.

On the Dollar General website, Coca-Cola® has a soccer game called “Going for the Goal!” that you can play in English or Spanish. In the game, first you’re the striker and you have 45 seconds to score as many goals as possible. For the next 45 seconds, you’re the keeper and you have to block as many goals as possible. Each time you win a match, you move on to the next. How many matches can you win with your favorite team?

Play in English here.

Play in Spanish here.

Honestly, I’m not good at the game. So far I’ve lost the first match every time! Hopefully the United States has better luck in real life.

(By the way, on the Dollar General site did you notice the new POWERADE® flavor? It’s Tropical Mango! Has anyone tried it yet? I’ll have to get one for Carlos and my older son since they’re both lovers of anything mango-flavored.)

Note: I am not an official sponsor or partner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Any mention of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ was editorial in nature and should not be interpreted as an endorsement on their part of myself, my opinions, or this website. I am just a soccer fan sharing with other soccer fans. All opinions are my own.

Tocayos

tocayos

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!

Recientemente una amiga me recordó de una palabra interesante en español – “tocayo”.

Tocayo, (o “tocaya” para las hembras), es una palabra que te puedes llamar a alguien con el mismo nombre que tienes. Por ejemplo, si tengo una amiga que se llama “Tracy” – puedo llamarla “tocaya” porque mi nombre también es “Tracy”. Algunos creen que la palabra viene de la palabra náhuatl “tocayotl” que significa “nombre”.

La razón que me acordé de esta palabra es porque una amiga gringa me preguntó si alguna vez había oído hablar de fiestas en Latinoamérica para personas con el mismo nombre. Nunca he oído hablar de esto, así que quería preguntar a todos ustedes – ¿Existe tal cosa como una “Fiesta de Tocayos”?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Recently a friend of mine reminded me of an interesting word in Spanish – “tocayo.”

“Tocayo” – (or “tocaya” for females) – is a word you can use to call someone who has the same name that you have. For example, if I have a friend named “Tracy” – I can call her “tocaya” because my name is also “Tracy.” Some people believe the word comes from the Nahuatl “tocayotl” which means “name.”

The reason I remembered this word is because a gringa friend of mine asked if I had ever heard of parties for people of the same name in Latin America. I had never heard of this, so I wanted to ask all of you – Do traditional parties for “tocayos” exist?

Apachada

I always share Carlos’s English mistakes, so it’s only fair that I share when my Spanish goes terribly wrong.

First let me explain: This past weekend was really busy, mostly in a good way because I did a lot of things I wanted to do, but there was one obligation I wasn’t really thrilled about, and that was a meeting at 8 o’clock in the morning on Saturday. The meeting was a mandatory part of an academic program our oldest son is in, and at least one parent was supposed to attend.

So on Saturday, Carlos dropped me and our older son off for the meeting and then he went with our younger son to have an oil change done on the car. The car ended up needing a few hundred dollars in repairs to pass inspection so Carlos texted me and let me know he was going to be late picking me up.

I confess, I was kind of grumpy Saturday morning. I had wanted to sleep in, I was at a boring meeting where I’d be stuck for who knew how long, I had a cold on top of allergies and felt miserable, plus Carlos and I had skipped breakfast. Carlos was stressed about the car repairs and I’ll admit, I was being a little (uncharacteristically) needy because I didn’t feel well. Only a hilarious misunderstanding could cheer me up, thankfully those are abundant in our family.

Two things you should know:

#1. The place where the meeting was held is down the street from the hospital and we have eaten in the hospital cafeteria as a family a few times, even when we had no reason to be at the hospital. Strange but true. (The food is good and it’s not expensive.)

#2. I mention someone named “Sue” – That’s a friend of ours from Mexico. I adore the way she speaks Spanish and am always picking up new vocabulary from her, (or at least attempting to.)

Here are the text messages that followed. (My texts are in blue and his are in white.)

text1

text2

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text4

Pararse a oler las rosas

flores

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!

Ayer estuve muy ocupada. Encima de mi trabajo normal, tuve que llevar a mi hijo mayor a una cita y hacer unos mandados. Admito que cuando mi día es interrumpido por un montón de correteos por aquí y por allá, me pongo un poco molesta. Es que necesito mi dosis diaria de tiempo, para estar solita y en silencio, para pensar y recargar las energías.

Así que cuando fui a comprar unas cosas que necesitaba en Lowe’s, no pude resistir la tentación de ir al Centro de Jardinería para literalmente “pararme a oler las rosas” como decimos en inglés.

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little-purple-flowers-latinaish

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Mientras que olía (y fotografiaba) las flores, me preguntaba si hay un dicho similar en español que signifique “Tómese el tiempo para apreciar las pequeñas cosas lindas de su día.” Le pregunté a Carlos y a algunas de mis amigas, pero nadie sabía de un buen dicho con el mismo significado. ¿Sabes uno?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Yesterday I was really busy. On top of my regular work, I had to bring my older son to an appointment and run some errands. I admit that when my day is interrupted by a bunch of running around here and there, I get a little annoyed; it’s because I need my daily dose of quiet time alone to think and recharge that I feel that way.

So when I went to Lowe’s to buy a few things I needed, I couldn’t resist going to the Garden Center and literally “stopping to smell the roses” as we say in English.

While I smelled (and photographed) the flowers, I wondered if there’s a similar saying in Spanish that means “take time to appreciate the beautiful little things in your day.” I asked Carlos and some friends but no one knew a good saying in Spanish with the same meaning. Do you know one?

¡Guanapolio!

guanapolio-screenshot

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!

Desde que vi en las noticias que unos jovenes salvadoreños habían creado una versión salvadoreño del juego Monopoly, quería jugarlo pero por mucho tiempo sólo estaba disponible en El Salvador. Ahora tienen el juego por venta en Amazon, y un amigo en Twitter (¡gracias, Carlos!), me informó que también lanzaron un app.

El juego Guanapolio está disponible en Amazon.com para todos los hermanos lejanos.

El juego Guanapolio está disponible en Amazon.com para todos los hermanos lejanos.

El app de Guanapolio es gratis (pero me imagino que por un tiempo limitado, ¡así que descárgalo ahora!) y es muy impresionante. La calidad de la app me sorprendió. Es muy divertido jugar y te hará reír. Si no eres salvadoreño/a es posible que no vas a entender todo en el juego, pero si eres salvadoreño/a o muy familiarizado con la cultura, te vas a divertir cada segundo que lo juegas.

Aquí está en iTunes, Google Play, y Facebook.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Ever since I saw on the news that some young Salvadorans had created a Salvadoran version of the game Monopoly, I have wanted to play, but for a long time it was only available in El Salvador. Now they have the game for sale on Amazon, and a friend on Twitter (thanks, Carlos!), informed me that they also launched an app.

The Guanapolio app is free (but I imagine for a limited time, so download it now!) and it’s very impressive. The quality of the app surprised me. It’s really fun to play and will make you laugh. If you’re not Salvadoran you probably won’t understand everything in the game, but if you are Salvadoran or very familiar with the culture, you’ll have fun every second you play.

Here it is on iTunes, Google Play and Facebook.

How to type Spanish characters on a Samsung Galaxy s4

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Disclosure: Latinaish.com has partnered with Cricket Wireless as a 2014 Blog Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

In high school, my Spanish teacher was very strict about accents. If a student spelled a word without its accent, it was marked wrong – no mercy! For a student whose native language doesn’t really utilize accents, this seemed rather harsh, but eventually I got so used to it that now I get annoyed when I’m typing on a new device and can’t figure out where the accented characters are. After all, on New Years, I don’t want to wish all my Spanish-speaking friends a “Feliz Ano Nuevo.”

That being said, finding the Spanish accented characters was one of the first things I did on the Samsung Galaxy s4. They aren’t immediately apparent on the onscreen keyboard, so I made this little video to help you find them, too.

Happy texting!

You can learn more about Cricket Wireless in Spanish here, or in English here. You can also follow the #VidaConCricket hashtag and @MiCricket on Twitter.