Celebrating Hispanic Month At Reeves Library
By Janet Ohles
Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month every year from September 15 through October 15.
Below are a few facts about the Hispanic influence on the U.S. culture and society.
- Florida, California, Nevada, Colorado, and Montana are all Hispanic names.
- The oldest letters of explorers in the United States are written in Spanish.
- Ranching was originally Spanish. [Nadeau, Jean-Benoit and Julie Barlow. “Hispanic Heritage Runs Deep in the USA.” USA Today, 2012, p. 10A. ]
- 87% of non-Hispanics and 82% of Hispanics surveyed noted that the Americanization of Mexican food carries a great influence on American culture. [Hispanic Marketing Council. “The Hispanic Influence on American Culture.” 2012]
- Mario Molina (1943-2020) discovered that chlorofluorocarbons can destroy the ozone.
- Mendez v. Westminster was a landmark 1946 case (before Brown v. Board of Education) where a California judge ruled that the school system could not be segregated based on national origin or language ability.
- Between 250,000 and 500,000 Latinos fought for the US during World War II. [Planas, Roque. “11 Latino Contributions to U.S. History.” Huffington Post. 2013.]
There are many notable Latinix and Hispanic authors that are in the Reeves book collection. Highlighted below are a few of these authors whose prose and stories will stay with the reader long after the book is closed.
JUNOZ DIAZ was born in the Dominican Republic and his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was 7. Diaz grew up in extreme poverty in central New Jersey. His book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao¸ earned him the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2008, along with the National Book Critics Award. The accolades for his writing do not end with the prize awarding book, as he continues to receive rave reviews on his other novels. Diaz is currently the fiction editor of the Boston Review and Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Drown presents a series of stories set in the Dominican Republic and in New Jersey. In Ysrael, a boy is disfigured by a pig, No Face is on his trip to America to undergo plastic surgery, and How to Date is on the art of dating interracially. “From the beloved and award-winning author Junot Díaz, Drown is a spellbinding saga of a family’s journey through the New World. A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz’s exhilarating talents. It also introduced an unforgettable narrator–Yunior, the haunted, brilliant young man who tracks his family’s precarious journey from the barrios of Santo Domingo to the tenements of industrial New Jersey, and their epic passage from hope to loss to something like love. Here is the soulful, unsparing book that made Díaz a literary sensation.” PS3554.I259 D76 1996.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, 2007.
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the fukú–the curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim. PS3554.I259 B75 2007
This is How You Lose Her, 2012
This is a collection of stories that explores the power of love in all its forms, obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love as it is shaped by passion, betrayal, and the echoes of intimacy. On a beach in Santo Domingo, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness–and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own. In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in This is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.” PS3554.I259 T48 2012
SANDRA CISNEROS was born in Chicago, Illinios and was the only daughter with 6 brothers. The family frequently visited relatives in Mexico. While she lived for over 20 years in San Antonio, Texas, in 2013 Cisneros moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her writing career began as a teenager where she worked on a high school literary magazine and eventually became the editor. With a bachelor in English from Loyola University and an MFA (1978) from the renowned University of Iowa workshop, Cisneros was on her way to becoming a distinguished voice for Chicanas. A 1982 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship allowed her to travel to Europe where she wrote The House on Mango Street, a book that won her international recognition and the American Book Award. Sandra Cisneros’ books have been translated into over a dozen languages, including Spanish, Galician, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian, Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Greek, Thai and Serbo-Croatian. [Vine, Katy. “Sandra Cisneros: The Myth Buster.” Texas Monthly, Dec. 1, 2019, pp. 80-81.
The House on Mango Street, 1989.
Summary: In celebration of the tenth anniversary of its initial publication, and with a new introduction by the author, here is Sandra Cisnero’s greatly admired and best-selling novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children and their parents and grandparents, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics even as it depicts a new American landscape. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn’t want to belong – not to her run-down neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza’s story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become. The San Francisco Chronicle has called The House on Mango Street “marvelous … spare yet luminous. The subtle power of Cisnero’s storytelling is evident. She communicates all the rapture and rage of growing up in a modern world.” It is an extraordinary achievement that will live on for years to come. PS3553.I78 H6 1994
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, 1991.
Summary: A tour-de-force second collection (after The House on Mango Street, 1989–not reviewed) by a Chicana poet who writes of life in Southwest border towns. Cisneros’s tactile prose brings to vibrant being the sights, smells, joys, and heartaches of growing up female in a culture where women are both strong and victimized, men are unfaithful, and poverty is mitigated only by family, community, and religious ties. For now you are here, you are mine.” Catholicism is another force operating here, brought alive in the ex votos of “Little Miracles, Kept Promises,” and the smart-alecky “Auguiano Religious Articles Rosaries Statues.” A collection that heralds a powerfully original talent–all the more appreciated given the all-too-often carbon-copy feel of much of today’s fiction. PS3553.I78 W66 1991
My Wicked Ways, 1992.
Hailed as “not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one” (The New York Times Book Review), Sandra Cisneros has firmly established herself as an author of electrifying talent. Here are verses, comic and sad, radiantly pure and plainspoken, that reveal why her stories have been praised for their precision and musicality of language.
Loose Women, 1994.
A candid, sexy and wonderfully mood-strewn collection of poetry that celebrates the female aspects of love, from the reflective to the overtly erotic. “Poignant, sexy. . . lyrical, passionate. . . cool and delicate. . . hot as a chili pepper.”–Boston Globe.
Have You Seen Marie?, 2012.
The internationally acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street gives us a deeply moving tale of loss, grief, and healing: a lyrically told, richly illustrated fable for grown-ups about a woman’s search for a cat who goes missing in the wake of her mother’s death. The word “orphan” might not seem to apply to a fifty-three-year-old woman. Yet this is exactly how Sandra feels as she finds herself motherless, alone like “a glove left behind at the bus station.” What just might save her is her search for someone else gone missing: Marie, the black-and-white cat of her friend, Roz, who ran off the day they arrived from Tacoma. As Sandra and Roz scour the streets of San Antonio, posting flyers and asking everywhere, “Have you seen Marie?” the pursuit of this one small creature takes on unexpected urgency and meaning. With full-color illustrations that bring this transformative quest to vivid life, Have You Seen Marie? showcases a beloved author’s storytelling magic, in a tale that reminds us how love, even when it goes astray, does not stay lost forever.
A House of My Own: Stories from my Life, 2015.
Ranging from the private (her parents’ loving and tempestuous marriage) to the political (a rallying cry for one woman’s liberty in Sarajevo) to the literary (a tribute to Marguerite Duras), and written with her trademark lyricism, these signature pieces recall transformative memories as well as reveal her defining artistic and intellectual influences. Poignant, honest, deeply moving, this is an exuberant celebration of a life in writing lived to the fullest.
CRISTINA HENRIQUEZ was born in 1971 in Delaware. Henriquez’s third novel, The Book of Unknown Americans, a New York Times 2014 notable book, puts her in a category of authors to watch. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Ploughshares, among other publications. Her non-fiction works have also appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and The Oxford American. Henriquez has been a guest on NPR and was featured in The Virginia Quarterly hailed as one of ‘Fictions New Luminaries.’
The Book of Unknown Americans, 2015
Summary: The Book of Unknown Americans tells the story of recent arrivals from Paraguay, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Puerto Rico and Mexico who live in a dingy apartment complex, enduring the back-breaking labor of harvesting mushrooms. Sometimes, after a 12-hour shift in the dark, they eat only oatmeal for dinner.
JULIA ALVAREZ. Born in the Domican Republic, Alvarez came to the U.S. at age 10.
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, 1991
Summary: In the 1960s, political tension forces the García family away from Santo Domingo and towards the Bronx. The sisters all hit their strides in America, adapting and thriving despite cultural differences, language barriers, and prejudice. But Mami and Papi are more traditional, and they have far more difficulty adjusting to their new country. Making matters worse, the girls–frequently embarrassed by their parents–find ways to rebel against them. PS3551.L845 H66 1991
Woman I Kept to Myself, 2004
The works of this award-winning poet and novelist are rich with the language and influences of two cultures: those of the Dominican Republic of her childhood and the America of her youth and adulthood. They have shaped her writing just as they have shaped her life. In these seventy-five autobiographical poems, Alvarez’s clear voice sings out in every line. Here, in the middle of her life, she looks back as a way of understanding and celebrating the woman she has become.
Once Upon a Guinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA, 2007
Summary: The quinceañera, the fifteenth birthday celebration for a Latina girl, is quickly becoming an American event. This legendary party is a sight to behold: lavish ball gowns, extravagant catered meals, DJs, limousines, and multi-tiered cakes. The must-haves for a “quince” are becoming as numerous and costly as a prom or wedding. And yet, this elaborate ritual also hearkens back to traditions from native countries and communities, offering young Latinas a chance to connect with their heritage. Writer Alvarez explores this celebration that brings a Latina girl into womanhood, attending the quince of a young woman in Queens, and weaving in interviews with other quince girls, her own memories of coming of age as an immigrant, and the history of the custom itself. The result is an enlightening, accessible, and entertaining portrait of contemporary Latino culture. GT2490 .A45 2007
A Wedding in Haiti, 2013
In a story that travels beyond borders and between families, acclaimed Dominican novelist and poet Julia Alvarez reflects on the joys and burdens of love for her parents, for her husband, and for a young Haitian boy known as Piti. In this intimate true account of a promise kept, Alvarez takes us on a journey into experiences that challenge our way of thinking about history and how it can be reimagined when people from two countries traditional enemies and strangers become friends.
Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of Afterlife, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves—lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack—but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words. Afterlife is a compact, nimble, and sharply droll novel. Set in this political moment of tribalism and distrust, it asks: What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially— members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?
In the Time of Butterflies, 2021
It is November 25, 1960, and three sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of the dictatorship of General Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas–the Butterflies. In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters–Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and the survivor, Dedé–speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from secret crushes to gunrunning, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo’s rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez’s storytelling, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage, love, and the human cost of political oppression.
RUDOLFO A. ANAYA (1937-2020): No list of Hispanic authors can be complete unless it mentions Bless Me Ultima by Anaya who grew up in rural New Mexico. Written in 1972 this memoir recalls his grandfather and other elders with whom he grew up and the wisdom and values that they shared with Anaya. He began school only speaking Spanish and went on to receive two masters degrees. He began his career as a public school teacher in Albuquerque, moved to a director of counseling position at the University of Albuquerque and ended his career teaching at the University of New Mexico.
Heart of Atzlan, 1988
The Albuquerque barrio portrayed in this vivid novel of postwar New Mexico is a place where urban and rural, political and religious realities coexist, collide, and combine. The magic realism for which Anaya is well known combines with an emphatic portrayal of the plight of workers dispossessed of their heritage and struggling to survive in an alien culture.
Bless Me Ultima, 1994
Anaya is perhaps best loved for his classic bestseller, Bless Me, Ultima… Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past-a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world…and will nurture the birth of his soul.
Tortuga: A Novel, 2004
Tortuga is set in a hospital for crippled children and is based on Anaya’s swimming accident. He explores the significance of pain and suffering in a young boy’s life and the importance of spiritual recovery as well as medical. Tortuga, or Turtle, is the name of the oddly shaped mountain near the hospital, but “Tortuga” also points toward the rigid cast that encases the young hero’s body.
Albuquerque: A Novel, 2006
Alburquerque is a rich and tempestuous book, full of love and compassion, the complex and exciting skullduggery of politics, and the age-old quest for roots, identity, family. . . . There is a marvelous tapestry of interwoven myth and magic that guides Anaya’s characters’ sensibilities, and is equally important in defining their feel of place. Above all, in this novel is a deep caring for land and culture and for the spiritual well-being of people, environment, landscape.
The Sonny Boca Novels:
- Zia Summer, 2008
Anaya continues to shine brightest with his trademark alchemy: blending Spanish, Mexican and Indian cultures to evoke the distinctively fecund spiritual terrain of his part of the Southwest. Here Sonny Baca, a 30-year-old fledgling PI, investigates the murder of his . . . cousin [Gloria] who many years before had introduced him to love. Gloria’s husband is worried most about the effect of the gruesome death (Gloria’s body is found drained of blood, with a zia sun sign carved on her stomach) on his mayoral campaign in Albuquerque. Sonny believes Gloria’s spirit calls to him for vengeance and pursues the case throughout New Mexico’s South Valley, from the cocktail-party circuit of the arts community and the company of monied business developers to an assemblage of witches in an environmentalist commune in the mountains.
- Rio Grande Fall, 2008
When a woman dies after falling from a hot-air balloon at Albuquerque’s world-famous balloon fiesta, private investigator Sonny Baca’s intuition tells him it’s murder. His intuition also tells him that the murder is the work of the Raven, the leader of a violent cult that murdered Sonny’s cousin, and a man Sonny thought he’d killed. The murder jeopardizes the millions of tourist dollars connected with the fiesta, but Sonny knows the Raven has more on his mind than simple mayhem. This is a completely entertaining mystery novel, but Anaya actually offers two parallel lands of enchantment. One is temporal New Mexico; the other is Nuevo Mexicano, a land of santos, milagros, spirits, visions, and even brujas (witches). It’s a land of old ways, old values, and old wisdom. And it’s a land where small farms and multigenerational families are fast being wiped out by modernity.
- Shaman Winter, 2009
This third installment of Rudolfo Anaya’s Sonny Baca mystery series has the private detective confined to a wheelchair. Brutal battles with his nemesis Raven have taken their toll and Baca is struggling to regain his health. Nights of fitful sleep and intermittent dreams introduce Owl Woman, one of Sonny’s ancestors and the sixteenth-century daughter of a shaman. As Sonny sleeps, Raven abducts Owl Woman and soon, one by one, each of Sonny’s forebears begin to disappear. Immobilizing Sonny physically was Raven’s first goal; now he wants to destroy Sonny’s soul by erasing his history.
- Jemez Spring, 2015
In a race against the clock Sonny encounters ghosts and sorcerers, beautiful women and environmental activists, and developers and politicians who are quarreling over the state’s most precious resource, its water.
Serafina’s Stories, 2013
New Mexico’s master storyteller creates a southwestern version of the Arabian Nights in this fable set in seventeenth-century Santa Fe. In January 1680 a dozen Pueblo Indians are charged with conspiring to incite a revolution against the colonial government. When the prisoners are brought before the Governor, one of them is revealed as a young woman. Educated by the friars in her pueblo’s mission church, Serafina speaks beautiful Spanish and surprises the Governor with her fearlessness and intelligence.
The two strike a bargain. She will entertain the Governor by telling him a story. If he likes her story, he will free one of the prisoners. Like Scheherazade, who prevented her royal husband from killing her by telling him stories, Serafina keeps the Governor so entertained with her versions of Nuevo Mexicano cuentos that he spares the lives of all her fellow prisoners. Some of the stories Serafina tells will have a familiar ring to them, for they came from Europe and were New Mexicanized by the Spanish colonists.
Some have Pueblo Indian plots and characters – and it is this blending of the two cultures that is Anaya’s true subject.
NONFICTION (a few of many favorites)
Balsera, Viviana Diaz and Rachel A. May. La Florida: Five Hundred Years of Hispanic Presence, University of Florida, 2014.
Summary: Commemorating Juan Ponce de León’s landfall on the Atlantic coast of Florida, this ambitious volume explores five centuries of Hispanic presence in the New World peninsula, reflecting on the breadth and depth of encounters between the different lands and cultures. The contributors, leading experts in a range of fields, begin with an examination of the first and second Spanish periods. This was a time when La Florida was an elusive possession that the Spaniards were never able to completely secure; but Spanish influence would nonetheless leave an indelible mark on the land. In the second half of this volume, the essays highlight the Hispanic cultural legacy, politics, and history of modern Florida and expand on Florida’s role as a modern transatlantic cross roads.
De La Torre, Miguel A. The Politics of Jesus: A Hispanic Political Theology, Rowan & Littlefield, 2015.
The Politics of Jesús is a powerful new biography of Jesus told from the margins. Miguel A. De La Torre argues that we all create Jesus in our own image, reflecting and reinforcing the values of communities–sometimes for better, and often for worse. In light of the increasing economic and social inequality around the world, De La Torre asserts that what the world needs is a Jesus of solidarity who also comes from the underside of global power. The Politics of Jesús is a search for a Jesus that resonates specifically with the Latino/a community, as well as other marginalized groups.
The book unabashedly rejects the Eurocentric Jesus for the Hispanic Jesús, whose mission is to give life abundantly, who resonates with the Latino/a experience of disenfranchisement, and who works for real social justice and political change. While Jesus is an admirable figure for Christians, The Politics of Jesús highlights the way the Jesus of dominant culture is oppressive and describes a Jesús from the barrio who chose poverty and disrupted the status quo. Saying “no” to oppression and its symbols, even when one of those symbols is Jesus, is the first step to saying “yes” to the self, to liberation, and symbols of that liberation. For Jesus to connect with the Hispanic quest for liberation, Jesús must be unapologetically Hispanic and compel people to action. The Politics of Jesús provocatively moves the study of Jesús into the global present. BT304.918 .D4 2015
Garcia, Mario T. and Sal Castro. Blowout ! Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice, University of North Carolina Press, 2019.
Summary: This fascinating oral history transcribed and presented in Castro’s voice by historian Mario T. García, is a compelling, highly readable narrative of Castro, a young boy growing up in Los Angeles who made history by his leadership in the blowouts and in his career as a dedicated and committed teacher.
Gibson, Carrie. El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic America, First Grove Atlantic, 2019.
Summary: Because of our shared English language, as well as the celebrated origin tales of the Mayflower and the rebellion of the British colonies, the United States has prized its Anglo heritage above all others. However, as Carrie Gibson explains with great depth and clarity in El Norte, the nation has much older Spanish roots–ones that have long been unacknowledged or marginalized. The Hispanic past of the United States predates the arrival of the Pilgrims by a century, and has been every bit as important in shaping the nation as it exists today. El Norte chronicles the sweeping and dramatic history of Hispanic North America from the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century to the present–from Ponce de Leon’s initial landing in Florida in 1513 to Spanish control of the vast Louisiana territory in 1762 to the Mexican-American War in 1846 and up to the more recent tragedy of post-hurricane Puerto Rico and the ongoing border acrimony with Mexico. Interwoven in this stirring narrative of events and people are cultural issues that have been there from the start but which are unresolved to this day: language, belonging, community, race, and nationality. Seeing them play out over centuries provides vital perspective at a time when it is urgently needed. In 1883, Walt Whitman meditated on his country’s Spanish past: ‘We Americans have yet to really learn our own antecedents, and sort them, to unify them,’ predicting that ‘to that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of the most needed parts.’ That future is here, and El Norte, a stirring and eventful history in its own right, will make a powerful impact on our national understanding. New Books E40 .G53 2019
Ovalle, Priscilla Pena. Dance and the Hollywood Latina: Race, Sex and Stardom, Rutgers University Press, 2010.
Summary: Dance and the Hollywood Latina asks why every Latina star in Hollywood history began as a dancer or danced onscreen. Introducing the concepts of “inbetween-ness” and “racial mobility” to further illuminate how racialized sexuality and the dancing female body operate in film, this book focuses on the careers of Dolores Del Rio, Rita Hayworth, Carmen Miranda, Rita Moreno, and Jennifer Lopez and helps readers better understand how the United States grapples with race, gender, and sexuality through dancing bodies on screen.
Sotomayor, Sonia. My Beloved World. Knopf, 2013.
Summary: An instant American icon–the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court–tells the story of her life before becoming a judge in an inspiring, surprisingly personal memoir. With startling candor and intimacy, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a progress that is testament to her extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. She writes of her precarious childhood and the refuge she took with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. She describes her resolve as a young girl to become a lawyer, and how she made this dream become reality: valedictorian of her high school class, summa cum laude at Princeton, Yale Law, prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.’s office, private practice, federal district judge before the age of forty. She writes about her deeply valued mentors, about her failed marriage, about her cherished family of friends.
Villavicencio, Karla Cornejo, The Undocumented Americans, One World, 2020.
Summary: Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn to report the extraordinary stories of her fellow undocumented Americans. Her subjects have every reason to be wary around reporters, but Cornejo Villavicencio has unmatched access to their stories. Her work culminates in a stunning, essential read for our times. Born in Ecuador and brought to the United States when she was five years old, Cornejo Villavicencio has lived the American Dream. Raised on her father’s deliveryman income, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted into Harvard. She is now a doctoral candidate at Yale University and has written for The New York Times. She weaves her own story among those of the eleven million undocumented who have been thrust into the national conversation today as never before. Looking well beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMERS, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented as rarely seen in our daily headlines. In New York, we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited in the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami we enter the hidden botanicas, which offer witchcraft and homeopathy to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we witness how many live in fear as the government issues raids at grocery stores and demands identification before offering life-saving clean water. In her book, Undocumented America, Cornejo Villavicencio powerfully reveals the hidden corners of our nation of immigrants. She brings to light remarkable stories of hope and resilience, and through them we come to understand what it truly means to be American. New Book JV6483 .C59 2020