Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Crayons & Pura Belpre Predictions

I can't believe I forgot to post my Pura Belpre Predictions. My issue with these awards are the exact same as my issues with the Coretta Scott King Awards (and I've discovered, the Lamda Awards) but I still look forward to finding out who the finalists are. I only wish I could watch the Internet tomorrow to find out (I'll sneak it at school).

Author Award: The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan (I totally agree with Doret on this one. It's a spectacular book and it has Newberry potential in my opinion)

Author Honors: Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes, The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Efrain's Secret by Sofia Quintero, When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer and The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

If I'm being honest with myself, Stars and Last Summer don't stand such a great chance becuase they don't exactly "celebrate the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth." In those books the main characters just happen to be Latinos, but their cultural heritage is still a part of what defines them. They certainly qualify as an 'outstanding work of literature' for teens so I'm keeping them on the list and crossing everything I can.

New Crayons (hosted by Color Online)

From the Abuelas' Window by Nancy Toomey

It is Chile, 1974. Pinochet has taken over the presidential palace and the government far away in Santiago. The village school in a remote farming community has been closed and converted into a detention center for political prisoners. Maribel, a young girl in the village, is protected by her mother from the truth about her father who is among the prisoners but has been moved to an unknown place. Three nosy old neighbors, the abuelas, love to peek out their window and watch Maribel and her sisters play their innocent games in their mother’s beautiful garden. They are rumored to have strange, magical powers, but stubborn and restless Maribel doesn’t believe the rumors. She just wants her Papa, who she believes is visiting sick relatives, back so her mother doesn’t depend on the abuelas for help. A gift from the abuelas sets the story in motion and in a curiosity-driven moment, Maribel learns the truth about her father. The gift, an old red bicycle, takes her beyond the confines of her mother’s garden and into the reality her mother can no longer keep from her. Maribel responds by helping her mother bring food to the prisoners in her old school. She keeps a list of names of the innocent, hoping somewhere, someone is doing the same for her father. The military comes in force to their village. Others are arrested, including the children’s mother. The sisters discover a young girl, Sandra, hiding in their orchard. Her parents have been taken. Books are burned, songs are banned, but the village festival is held as usual, although under the watchful eye of the captain of the guard. Maribel and her sisters take the power of love and magic, learned from the crafty old abuelas, into their own hands to change the course of fate for their family, their friends and a group of innocent strangers. Someone, somewhere, does the same for Papa.

-Sent to me from the author, thank you so much! My interest in Chile developed after reading Gringolandia and I'm eager to see how magical realism is twisted into this story.

Some Kind of Black by Diran Adebayo

A coming of age story about Dele, a young student, and his sister Dapo whp glide through love, politics and violence; Diran Adebayo's debut is funny, street-smart fiction which puts language through hoops to create an exhilarating odyssey through the London scene.

-Short summary but I like that it has to do with the 'streets' of London. Growing up I read quite a bit of historical fiction about the rich people of England and now I'd like to read more about the not-so rich and royal/noble people of the UK. Especially the poc in the UK. Received from my good friend Tricia, a little while ago, I just forgot to post about it. Thank you so much! Oh and at first I thought it was a cell phone on the cover. But it's actually cards. lol

So what do you think of my Pura Belpre predictions? What picture books stand a good chance for the author and illustrator? And of course, tell me about your new titles for the week!


  1. Haven't read The Dreamer so I can't comment on its odds, but I agree The Red Umbrella and Efrain's Secret should definitely get honored. I'm pretty sure Margarita Engle's Firefly Letters will at least get an honor, if not win the award outright, since she won in 2008 and 2009.

    I haven't read a lot of the winners, but at first glance it looks like there's a lot less historical fiction on that list than there is on the CSK list. How interesting!

  2. I didn't have any way of contact with you so I am leaving this post. I am Aurora from your SS this year and I was reading over some of your posts and came across your wonderful thank you write up about the SS books you received this year ♥ You post was sweet and I am so glad you liked your book and treats. I really enjoyed sending all of mine out.


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