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Hispanic Americans -- fiction

01/03/2017 - 9:01am
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina book cover

It’s 1977, and New York City is in chaos.

After a freezing winter, the summer’s stifling heat has everyone on edge. Poverty is on the rise, and the city’s finances are in ruins. Arsonists set buildings on fire, seemingly at random, while a serial killer nicknamed Son of Sam shoots dark-haired young women and their companions on the street.

In Burn Baby Burn, Meg Medina brings these notorious events to life with the story of Nora Lopez, a 17-year-old high school senior living in Queens. Though she's living through a horrific period of New York history, Nora is just trying to make it through to graduation and escape her disastrous living situation.

02/22/2011 - 11:19am
How the Garcial Girls Lost Their Accents

In a reverse chronological sequence of events, Julia Alvarez takes her readers through the immigration experience of the four Garcia sisters: Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia in How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Leaving behind a life of privilege surrounded by their large extended family, the four girls move with their Papi and Mami to New York City, and begin the long, never-ending process of assimilating into American culture. The story is as much a coming of age tale as it is a feminist, Latino perspective on American culture, beautifully conveyed with a sprinkling of Spanish vocabulary here and there.

The sisters are adults at the beginning of the book, and going back in time, the reader experiences their divorces, marriages, college years, teenage angst and confusion, and efforts to learn English while attending American public schools. Their father’s involvement in a plot against the dictator, the subsequent investigations by the authorities, and the escape with the help of friends and family are all experienced by the reader alongside Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofia. Alvarez did a good job of keeping me hooked. The why’s and the how’s unfold further and further the closer the reader gets to the end of the book--which is actually the beginning of the story. 
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