América Is Her Name by Luis J. Rodríguez

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Set in the Pilsen barrio of Chicago, this children's picture book gives a heartwarming message of hope. The heroine, América, is a primary school student who is unhappy in school until a poet visits the class and inspires the students to express themselves creatively-in Spanish or English. América Is Her Name emphasizes the power of individual creativity in overcoming a difficult environment and establishing self-worth and identity through the young girl América's desire and determination to be a writer. This story deals realistically with the problems in urban neighborhoods and has an upbeat theme: you can succeed in spite of the odds against you. Carlos Vázquez's inspired four-color illustrations give a vivid sense of the barrio, as well as the beauty and strength of the young girl América.

About Luis J. Rodríguez

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Luis J. Rodríguezgrew up in Watts and East L.A. His bestselling memoir about gang life,Always Running(now available in paperback in both English and Spanish from Touchstone Books), won the Carl Sandburg Award. HisPoems Across the Pavement(Tía Chucha Press) won the Poetry Center Book Award from San Francisco State University, and his poetry collection,The Concrete Riverwas awarded the 1991 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Poetry. Mr. Rodríguez has worked extensively with gang members to guide them in positive directions, and he is frequently featured as a keynote speaker or guest poet at national conferences and cultural centers. Rodríguez explores the Chicano experience with an unrelenting, socially conscious eye that moved Larry Weintraub of the Chicago Sun-Times to call him a poet "we need to hear."
Published April 1, 1998 by Curbstone Books. 32 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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