Magazine article Multicultural Education

¡Mira!

Magazine article Multicultural Education

¡Mira!

Article excerpt

¡Mira! LATiNA ANd LATiNO VOiCES iN LiTERATURE: LiVES ANd WORkS By FRANCES ANN DAy CREENWOOd PRESS, 2003 ISBN 0-313-32394-1 353 pgs.; $55.00

Sandra Cisneros states that writers like her have historically been "the illegal aliens of American lit" and "migrant workers in terms of respect." Echoing Cisneros is Esmeralda Santiago, who writes, "To really see yourself as nonexistent is the worst kind of insult that a person canhave."

Frances Ann Day's compilation of biographical essays, quotes, photographs, and other information regarding 35 Latina and Latino authors seeks to give the gift of sight to those who are struggling to define themselves in North American society. In her updated and expanded edition, she engages those with life-changing power and influence -parents, teachers, and librarians. She invites them to "come along for a passionate journey where reading is not just reading."

Day acknowledges that even in 2003, many students have yet to see themselves in the books that they read. She contends that everyone has a need to be validated by the images in literature that reflect them. The absence of such images, combined with other forms of racism, lead to alienation, loss of cultural identity, and even self-hatred. Appealing to those who select literature for young readers, Day asks that they continue to be aware of omissions that could affect the well-being of all children.

Latina/os are the fastest-growing cultural group in the United States. They are not a race, but a mixture of Indian, African, and European peoples. …

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