The LAII sponsors a monthly, teacher-oriented book group, Vamos a Leer. Educators, teachers, librarians, and community members come together to read and discuss literature related to Latin America. Through the book group, participants consider the accuracy of cultural portrayals and discuss how to use literacy as a tool for critically engaging students around social, economic, and political topics. The relevance and application of these books for K-12 classrooms is emphasized, but all members of the public are welcome to attend.
In addition to the Vamos a Leer monthly meetings, the LAII also sponsors the related Vamos a Leer blog where we encourage resource-sharing and discussion related to the topics described above. Visit the blog and gain access to frequent postings about exciting books and classroom activity ideas, as well as a virtual book group space for students.
All the books featured in the Vamos a Leer book group are chosen for their representations of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos in the United States. With this criteria, we emphasize many of the books honored by the Américas Award program which annually recognizes U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. We also highlight books from other similar programs like the Pura Belpré Award or the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award.
Join us on the first Monday of every month from 5:00-7:00p.m. (with a few exceptions due to holidays), when we meet at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW) in Albuquerque, NM, to indulge in coffee and pastries and relax after a long day. The following lists our dates/selections for the 2012-2013 academic year:
August 6, 2012: Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saénz (Cinco Puntos Press, 2004)
September 10, 2012: The Queen of Water by Laura Resau (Delacorte, 2011)
October 1, 2012: The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís (Scholastic Press, 2010)
November 5, 2012: The Circuit by Francisco Jiménez (University of New Mexico Press, 1997)
December 3, 2012: The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzàlez (Yearling, 2011)
January 14, 2013: Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt and Co., 2011)
February 4, 2013: Estrella's Quinceañera by Malín Alegria (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2007)
March 4, 2013: Leaving Glorytown: One Boy's Struggle under Castro by Eduardo Calcines (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009)
April 1, 2013: Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino (Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2009)
May 6, 2013: Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall(Lee & Low Books, 2011)
May, 2012: Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat (Vintage, 1996)
April, 2012: The Surrender Tree by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt and Co., 2010)
March, 2012: Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez (Laurel Leaf, 2004)
February, 2012: Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez (Yearling, 2010)