Vamos a Leer Book Group: Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots
Monday, September 09, 2019 | 06:00 pm
Red Door Brewing Company - Downtown
509 Central Ave.
Join the UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute for our casual Vamos a Leer book group, a space dedicated to teachers discussing authentic and engaging Latinx literature for elementary, middle and high school classrooms. We meet each month in the "vault" space at Red Door Brewing (downtown) on Gold Ave, and welcome your participation whether you've read the whole book or just a few pages.
Our September title is the young adult novel, Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle. Thousands of young Navy sailors are pouring into Los Angeles on their way to the front lines of World War II. They are teenagers, scared, longing to feel alive before they have to face the horrors of battle. Hot jazz music spiced with cool salsa rhythms calls them to dance with the local Mexican American girls, who jitterbug all night before working all day in the canneries. Proud to do their part for the war effort, these Jazz Owl girls are happy to dance with the sailors—until the blazing summer night when racial violence leads to murder.
Suddenly the young white sailors are attacking these girls’ brothers and boyfriends. The cool, loose zoot suits they wear are supposedly the reason for the violence—when in reality these boys are viciously beaten and arrested simply because of the color of their skin.
This event is free and open to the public.