Welcome to YADA-YADA!

In pop culture, YADA-YADA usually means "blah, blah, blah" or "more of the same." For this blog, YADA-YADA is an acronym meaning "Young Adult Discussions About Young Adult-Designed Art." Check out my summaries and reviews of teen media. Chime in and let me know what you think!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blog No 32 - Laughing Out Loud I Fly by Juan Felipe Herrera

GENRE: Poetry (Young Adult)

Title: Laughing Out Loud, I Fly
Author: Juan Felipe Herrera

Bibliographic Information:
Hardcover, 48 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen, April 3, 1998
Ages: 12 and up
ISBN: 9780060276041
ISBN10: 0060276045

2000 Pura Belpre Award

Reader’s Annotation:
Even if you are not crazy for poetry, you will love these poems in two languages by noted poet Juan Felipe Herrera. Whether you speak Spanish or English, you will find yourself inside many of these great poems about growing up and living between two cultures.

Plot Summary:
These poems make you laugh out loud, and fly! Whether you speak Spanish, English, both languages, or are bilingual in other languages, you will be able to relate to Mr. Herrera’s works that talk about the joy, laughter and sometimes confusing emotions that come with living in between two cultures and two homes. Spanish speakers will feel at home with the rich language and descriptions of the food and the beat of the Latin culture. English speakers will feel what it might be like to live in a Latin culture—and all the joys and heartaches of living across both worlds. There are wonderful drawings by Karen Barbour that enhance this book. Expand your life and your soul, and read it.

Critical Evaluation:
Juan Felipe Herrera is one of America’s most prominent Chicano poets. His poems are like music—his words make you want to dance to the one-of-a-kind rhythms that are uniquely Latin, yet soulfully American. Food, music and life are the essence of his poems. These simple concepts are vibrant dances that explode into the reader’s soul. Even his titles are mesmerizing—imagine these: “I Was Born with a Tiny Parakeet of Hope” or “I Own Many Socks, Some with Wings.” These titles make the readers jump and sing, filling their souls with peppery language and celebrating life despite all of the turmoil. His book is all about laughing—at the obvious, the ordinary, the mundane and the extraordinary.

Reading level/Interest Age:
The publisher recommends this book for grades 9-12, but anyone who loves poetry – or wants to explore poetry that is readily accessible—will enjoy this book.

Information about the Author:
Juan Felipe Herrera, author of Crashboomlove, one of the earliest YA novels written in verse, is in love with poetry. He has taught poetry from Kindergarten through the college level, and has written many books. As a child, he traveled through many small farming towns and cities in California, before calling San Diego home.
He has won many awards for his various works. His Upside Down Boy was adapted into a musical in New York. He holds the Tomás Rivera chair in creative writing at the University of California, Riverside.

Curriculum Ties:
Good for a poetry unit, a Spanish language class, or just by themselves for fun!

Booktalking Ideas:
Poetry is fun! These poems are written in two languages, so that the worlds between Spanish and English can collide into one beautiful star. Those who speak Spanish can apprecieta the rhythm of Herrera’s words’ those who speak English can feel that same rhythm in a different language. The poems are about the everyday things made special.

Challenge Issues:

Why I Included This Book:
Poetry is my passion, and this is a wonderful book that appeals to both English and Spanish speakers alike. Herrera is a well known poet in the YA field.

Cover image courtesy of: http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780060276041/Laughing_Out_Loud_I_Fly/index.aspx

No comments:

Post a Comment