When her identity is challenged, Tulipán, the Puerto Rican giraffe, ponders whether being Puerto Rican is a look or a feeling, whether it is in her blood or in her mind and heart. Her journey of self-identification takes her beyond simplistic and narrow definitions of the self.
A vivid portrayal of a close-knit Hispanic community Felita’s parents promise she will love their new neighborhood. Only Abuelita, her grandmother, understands how much Felita will miss her old block, and her best friend Gigi. But her new neighbors taunt and tease Felita and her family because they are from Puerto Rico. First published twenty years ago, Felita’s compelling story has resonance for kids today.”An honest, realistic view of an important aspect of contemporary American life.” –The Horn Book* An NCSS-CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies* A Child Study Children’s Book Committee Children’s Book of the Year* A Puffin Novel * 112 pages * Ages 8-12
Maria is a girl caught between two worlds: Puerto Rico, where she was born, and New York, where she now lives in a basement apartment in the barrio. While her mother remains on the island, Maria lives with her father, the super of their building. As she struggles to lose her island accent, Maria does her best to find her place within the unfamiliar culture of the barrio. Finally, with the Spanglish of the barrio people ringing in her ears, she finds the poet within herself. In lush prose and spare, evocative poetry, Cofer weaves a powerful novel, bursting with life and hope.
The author describes his boyhood summers spent at his grandmother’s apartment in Spanish Harlem where she intoduced him to the sounds and steps of the merengue and the conga and told him stories of Puerto Rico.