This important study affirms that Latinx children and young adults are uniquely positioned to change the world. Using Gloria Anzaldúa's theories of conocimiento as a critical lens, the authors examine several literary works including Side by Side / Lado a lado; They Call Me Güero; Land of the Cranes; Efrén Divided; and Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. Using these texts and others, Montaño and Postma-Montaño demonstrate how Latinx literature for young readers reveals the oppressions that affect the everyday lives of Latinx youth in order to destabilize the racist notions that inform them. Whether it is injustices in the agricultural fields, weaponization of deportation and deportability, or forms of exclusion based on gender, ethnicity, and race, the books in this study counter by imagining and then participating in social-justice activism that seeks to transform the world. Ultimately the lessons shared in these books will allow Latinx young people to lead us into a future where equity and belonging are as endemic as they currently are rare.
"This is a valuable and outstanding study of Latinx children's and YA literature that enables powerful understanding and appreciation for this literature, what it does, and what literature can do."--Phillip Serrato, associate professor of English and comparative literature, San Diego State University
Chapter One. Reading for Conocimiento Mirrors in Farmworker Kid Lit: Roots of Transformation and Activism
Chapter Two. Border Kids in the Land of Nepantla
Chapter Three. The Cultural Wealth of Diasporic Youth
Chapter Four. Kids' Agency and Empowerment in an Era of Family Deportation
Chapter Five. The Role of the Border Artista