Us, in Progress
Delacre, Lulu. (2017). Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos. NY: Harper Collins Publishers.
Fiction. (ages 8-12)
I was so impressed with this book. Delacre tackles many topics in a strong and powerful way, not to mention her amazing illustrations that accompany each story. Readers will read stories that reflect their lives in poignant and varied ways.
Through the twelve stories, there are fictionalized narratives of young Latinos drawn from news and personal stories. The topics found throughout the tales include dysfunctional families, border issues, health, cultural identity, immigration, deportation, misunderstandings, and revelations.
Spanish words are found throughout the stories and are defined in the back. Refranes introduce each piece, also translated/defined in the back. Delacre's mixed-media portraits accompany each entry, and the original articles that inspired each offering are listed and discussed.
My favorite story is "90,000 Children". In this story a young man of "privilege" and son of a border agent, learns about himself, his family, and the power of understanding and compassion. I thought the way Delacre tells this story adds an intriguing and strong angle to a difficult story of unaccompanied minors and prejudice.
This is a wonderful collection of stories. I recommend US, In Progress for young and old alike. The pieces should provide for some important discussions.
Review by: Cassandra E. Osterloh, NHCC Librarian
Available at the NHCC Library YA PZ7 .D3696 Us 2017