Thursday, January 12, 2017
Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Latin@ Science Fiction & Fantasy
As my oldest child enters junior high and prepares for high school, I've been researching more and more upper-level materials. And I know that many MommyMaestra readers have more than one child, some with teens who are navigating high school. So when Wings Press reached out to me about reviewing their new title for young adults, I agreed.
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Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Latin@ Science Fiction & Fantasy is a collection of two dozen stories centered around Latino sci-fi. What was that? I imagine you asking. For most families, this is something rare and intriguing. Although there are more and more science fiction books or series for children emerging with Latino protagonists, this is not a genre commonly found on bookshelves in libraries or bookstores. This particular book is best geared for older teens and adults.
What makes this particular anthology so fascinating (aside from the incredible stories themselves) is the list of U.S.-based established and new authors who have contributed such mind-blowing pieces. They are diverse with roots in eight different Latino cultures. Ana Castillo, Kathleen Alcalá, and Junot Díaz are just a few of the talented authors whose work is featured in this book. Here's a peek at the table of contents to give you an idea of the contributors and the titles of their works to whet your appetite:
Editor Matthew David Goodwin, an assistant professor in English at the University of Puerto Rico, has done a remarkable job assembling this collection. Rich in science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism, these short stories will challenge the imaginations of readers. In one story, a woman travels to a small town in northern Spain to learn about her family's heritage only to be transported back in time. In another, a sheriff is called out to the outskirts of a small town in New Mexico to investigate a UFO siting. And in one tale, we get a glimpse into the lives of vampires. Latin American folklore shows up in a modern U.S. city and the result is creepy and mysterious. From Texas to the Dominican Republic to outer space, this book takes us on an adventure through space, time, and cultures.
Some of the tales left me spellbound and I couldn't stop reading until I had finished the story. But I'll admit that some left me scratching my head wondering what in the world just happened. Ha!
I love that the book is so creative in terms of presentation. Not all of the stories are written the same way. Some are short stories, others are poems, one is a play, and there is even a story told through pictures.
It's important to note that this book is not for younger children. A few of the stories have strong language and there are some graphic scenes.
But if you have a teen who reads and studies Latino literature, this is a must-have. The diverse voices and writing styles represented help young readers to explore literature and introduce them to the limitless imaginations of writers.
Best of all, it shows that the Latino experience can be expressed in any genre; there is no limit on authors and illustrators. And likewise, your child's culture goes with her no matter where her interests lie.
Homeschoolers and high school classrooms alike will benefit from incorporating this title into their required reading.
This book is available on Amazon: