Cinco de Mayo
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today marks the incredible victory of the Spanish over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has morphed over time to also be a celebration of Mexican American heritage. To celebrate, we're featuring five books about the Battle of Puebla and books by important Latinx authors!
El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition
David E. Hayes-Bautista
From the publisher: Why is Cinco de Mayo — a holiday commemorating a Mexican victory over the French at Puebla in 1862 — so widely celebrated in California and across the United States, when it is scarcely observed in Mexico? As David E. Hayes-Bautista explains, the holiday is not Mexican at all, but rather an American one, created by Latinos in California during the mid-nineteenth century. Hayes-Bautista shows how the meaning of Cinco de Mayo has shifted over time — it embodied immigrant nostalgia in the 1930s, U.S. patriotism during World War II, Chicano Power in the 1960s and 1970s, and commercial intentions in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, it continues to reflect the aspirations of a community that is engaged, empowered, and expanding.
The Hero of Cinco de Mayo/ El héroe del Cinco de Mayo: Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín
José Angel Gutiérrez + Stephen Marchesi
From the publisher: Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin was born in Goliad, Texas, in 1829, when Texas was part of Mexico. His family lived on a Mexican fort because his father was a soldier in the army. Ignacio wanted to be a just like his father! When he was seven, Texas became independent from Mexico, and the family had to move to Matamoros, Mexico. Later they moved to Monterrey.
Ignacio tried to join the Mexican army in 1846 when the United States declared war, but he was too young. He was finally able to join the armed forces when he turned 24. An outstanding soldier, he was named the commander of the Mexican army and navy by President Benito Juarez. In 1862, he had to defend his country against the invading French army, one of the strongest in the world. The Mexican troops were mostly volunteers, including women and Zapotec indigenous people, and their weapons were no match for the French.
This bilingual picture book recounts the story of the Battle of Puebla and the Mexican army's unexpected win against a much stronger foe. Today this victory is celebrated in the United States as Cinco de Mayo, a day to commemorate the Mexican roots of many US citizens. This non-fiction picture book for older elementary school students contains realistic illustrations depicting the Mexican general and his times.
Release: May 31
Borderlands / La Frontera : The New Mestiza
From the publisher: Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in this volume profoundly challenged, and continue to challenge, how we think about identity. Borderlands / La Frontera remaps our understanding of what a "border" is, presenting it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but as a psychic, social, and cultural terrain that we inhabit, and that inhabits all of us.
From the publisher: Every year, Ceyala "Lala" Reyes' family — aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, and Lala's six older brothers — packs up three cars and, in a wild ride, drive from Chicago to the Little Grandfather and Awful Grandmother's house in Mexico City for the summer. Struggling to find a voice above the boom of her brothers and to understand her place on this side of the border and that, Lala is a shrewd observer of family life. But when she starts telling the Awful Grandmother's life story, seeking clues to how she got to be so awful, grandmother accuses Lala of exaggerating. Soon, a multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life. Like the cherished rebozo, or shawl, that has been passed down through generations of Reyes women, Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love.
Heart of Aztlan
Rudolfo A. Anaya
From the publisher: 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.