US In Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos
What worked: I loved this mix of short stories that reflect the diversity of the Latino culture. The stories deal with contemporary issues like deportation, health issues, gentrification, young undocumented students, and the misconception that all Latinos are brown and poor. I really liked this as I hate when some stories only reinforce the trite stereotypes out there.
Some of my favorite shorts:
Band-Aid shows what happens to Elena's father and gives readers a glimpse of the horror of deportation.
I personally heard this happening as a bilingual teacher in the 90s when there was an English Only proposition on the Ca ballot. Many of the parents of my first grade students would share stories of la migra-immigration-following them to school, hiding in bushes, or other things. My students lived in fear of being taken out of our classroom and sent back. Or they feared their undocumented parent would be deported and they'd be left behind.
Guera-or 'blonde' was one I personally could relate with. I share Mexican heritage but I'm fair-skinned. Most people just assume all those with Latino heritage are dark skinned. Not true. I loved how the character in this short ends up owning the 'nickname' she used to hate and becoming proud of who she is.
90,000 Children shows how ignorance can be changed once we humanize one of the many undocumented that enter our country. **I also like how the author mentions how offensive the term 'illegal alien' is.
This is a great collection of short stories that address contemporary issues that affect young Latinos in our country.