Friday, September 24, 2010

Latino USA: A Cartoon History by Illan Stavans Illustrated by Lalo Alcaraz

If you are only going to read only one book on something relating to Latin America during Hispanic Heritage month, please consider picking up Latino USA: A Cartoon History by Ilan Stavans and Illustrated by Lalo Alcaraz. In 167 pages this author/illustrator team demonstrate in high-contrast black and white drawings the grand sweep of Latino/a history in the United States. Beginning with definitions of their terms (What is a Latino? What is America?) the authors proceed to raise the curtain in 1492. Guided by a teacher, a skeleton, an author and a toucan, the reader travels a tour of history, often encountering one or two notable personae or groups or events per page. A thorough table of contents and full index facilitate searching for historical figures, historic periods, or social movements. A great starting point for identifying biographies of interest for further research, for developing a timeline of Latino history in the U.S., or for the culminating question: What can we learn from history?

Stavans, Ilan. Illustrated by Lalo Alcaraz. Latino USA: A Cartoon History. New York: Basic Books, 2000.

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