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K-12 Outreach: Vamos a Leer Book Group, Blog, and Classroom Sets


Book Group

The LAII sponsors a monthly, teacher-oriented book group called 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. To see current selections, see the 2016 Fall printable calendar.

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.

The LAII is a proud supporter of the Américas Award. For more information, visit the website for the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP), the organization which manages the award.


In addition to the book group, 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 classrooms to use.

Classroom Sets

Beginning in Fall 2016, the LAII has partnered with the Spanish Resource Center of Albuquerque, Instituto Cervantes of Albuquerque, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center to offer selective, complementary classroom sets of books that were featured in Vamos a Leer or that were recipients of the Américas Award. All classroom sets consist of 30 copies and may loaned out for up to one month at a time to read with students.

Below are the sets that are currently available. We hope to expand this resource and welcome your suggestions for future titles. These sets are available at no charge and may be requested by contacting Mayte Villa of the Spanish Resource Center at

For reference, see our announcement flyer.

  • The Surrender Tree / El árbol de la rendición by Margarita Engle (bilingual edition)
  • The Circuit by Francisco Jiménez (English edition)
  • Cajas de cartón by Francisco Jiménez (Spanish edition)
  • Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh (in English; no Spanish edition available)
  • Before we were Free by Julia Alvarez (English edition)
  • Antes de que ser libres by Julia Alvarez (Spanish edition)
  • The Color of My Words by Lynn Joseph (English edition)
  • El color de mis palabras by Lynn Joseph (Spanish edition)
  • Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (in English; no Spanish edition available)