Opinion: Why our children need to see their faces in the literature they read

NBC Latino

As a child, I never read a single book about a Hispanic girl like me. I was a voracious reader and grew up on books by Madeleine L’Engle, Judy Bloom, Ellen Conford, and John Bellairs. Classics, mysteries, westerns, and romance all found a place on my bookshelf at one point or another. But not a single book reflected my own face or experience.

And then, when I was in high school, I took a class on multicultural literature and read Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima for the first time. I remember sitting down and reading the whole thing in one sitting. It absolutely amazed me that someone had written a book that echoed my own childhood experience at home. Family members who I had so desperately loved but had now passed away were right there in print between the covers of a book. The experience was so moving, it still…

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