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Living Beyond Borders
Cover of Living Beyond Borders
Living Beyond Borders
Growing up Mexican in America
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*"This superb anthology of short stories, comics, and poems is fresh, funny, and full of authentic YA voices revealing what it means to be Mexican American . . . Not to be missed."—SLC, starred...
*"This superb anthology of short stories, comics, and poems is fresh, funny, and full of authentic YA voices revealing what it means to be Mexican American . . . Not to be missed."—SLC, starred...
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Description-

  • *"This superb anthology of short stories, comics, and poems is fresh, funny, and full of authentic YA voices revealing what it means to be Mexican American . . . Not to be missed."—SLC, starred review
     
    *"Superlative . . . A memorable collection." —Booklist, starred review

    *"Voices reach out from the pages of this anthology . . . It will make a lasting impression on all readers." —SLJ, starred review
    Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience.
     
    With works by Francisco X. Stork, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, David Bowles, Rubén Degollado, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Diana López, Xavier Garza, Trinidad Gonzales, Alex Temblador, Aida Salazar, Guadalupe Ruiz-Flores, Sylvia Sánchez Garza, Dominic Carrillo, Angela Cervantes, Carolyn Dee Flores, René Saldaña Jr., Justine Narro, Daniel García Ordáz, and Anna Meriano.

    In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican Americans. Living Beyond Borders is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today's young readers.
     
    A powerful exploration of what it means to be Mexican American.

Excerpts-

  • From the book I Want to Go Home
    Justine Narro

    I want to go home.

    I can still see it, still feel it
    The cuts and bruises on my knees,
    the dirt under my fingernails,
    and the sweat in my hair
    from countless days and nights

    of picking naranjas from my backyard tree
    BBQs where I would go outside
    to pick the chile piquín for the pico de gallo
    and my tíos sat outside drinking Tecate and Modelo
    while my dad cooked the fajita

    of chasing light bugs
    fireflies
    lightning bugs
    o luciérnagas, como dice mi abuelo

    I want to go home.

    A place you have never stepped foot on
    but call it your land
    A place you know nothing about
    but say you have more right to

    A piece of paper
    And it is yours?
    Because it is now “technically” legal

    The gringos trick us
    Promise us better
    All for what?

    To kill mi abuelo’s abuelo
    For a price
    Because it is fair
    Because it is now yours?

    I want to go home.

    The barrio where I was raised
    A stucco home
    with three bedrooms and one bath
    Chickens and cabritos in the back
    Our own natural lawn mowers

    At five years old
    when I helped place the now cracked tiles
    in our new house

    Where I swept the dirt off the concrete porch
    not two inches above the ground
    and played in the six-inch puddle of water on the edge of the house,
    where the land indented from years of our makeshift driveway

    I want to go home.

    You say it is yours
    because it is America’s land
    because it is on dirt
    that is exactly the same on the other side of the river
    with a different name

    The cactus plants that housed the tortoises
    The aloe vera that I would cut for sunburns
    The leaves from the Mexican olive trees that I would collect
    None of which you know how to use

    I want to go home.

    The place where I met every friend
    My first day of school
    and the boy next to me gave me a toothy grin
    and ten years later asked me to prom

    You say I don’t belong
    because it is your choice to make
    where every memory is
    where all my love is
    where my life waits

    I want to go home.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2021
    Twenty original contributions by Mexican American authors about growing up in the U.S. In a note to readers, editor Longoria describes feeling compelled to create this anthology as she saw Mexican Americans being attacked and derided in the media. The result is this collection of short stories, personal essays, graphic stories, and poems by Mexican American authors. The standouts here pack a real emotional punch. Awareness of the impact of socio-economic status often takes center stage, and several pieces are set in the Rio Grande Valley. Protagonists vary in age from middle school through adult and are predominantly mestizx. "The Body by the Canal," by David Bowles, is not to be missed and, along with "Coco Chamoy and Chango," by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, brings queer representation to the project. The opening story, "Ghetto Is Not an Adjective" by Dominic Carrillo, successfully cannonballs into the deep end of the social justice pool, while "Morning People" by Diana Lopez wades into the murky waters of the taboo. "Yoli Calderon and Principal Hayes" by Angela Cervantes offers an exemplary use of the first person, and both "This Rio Grande Valley" by Daniel Garc�a Ordaz and "Sunflower" by Aida Salazar are full of beautiful imagery. "Ode to My Papi" by Guadalupe Garc�a McCall and "La Princesa Mileidy Dominguez" by Rub�n Degollado both tug at the heartstrings. The variety of narrative styles contributes to the broad appeal of this volume. Well worth reading; a welcome addition to any bookshelf. (contributor bios) (Anthology. 13-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2021

    Gr 8 Up-Twenty Mexican American authors share what it is like to be a part of two worlds and not be accepted by either. Entries range from realistic fiction to fantasy and include poetry, personal narratives, and art-all of them reminding teens of the complexity of the Mexican American experience. Voices reach out from the pages of this anthology, tugging at readers and pushing them to see the difficulties and beauty of what it means to live as a Mexican American in the United States. These selections explore how it feels to be seen as "other," even while having been a part of this land for generations. The stories encourage Mexican American readers to listen to their inner voice and not let it be silenced. Each selection offers something distinct in this multifaceted work that doesn't prioritize the white gaze. It will make a lasting impression on all readers. VERDICT Highly recommended for school and public library collections.-Selenia Paz, Harris County P.L., Houston

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 9, 2021
    In this enriching anthology, editor Longoria opens with an impassioned note, sharing how she wants each contribution “to educate others and celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the Mexican American culture.” Featuring a diverse array of short stories, personal essays, poems, and comics from 19 creators of Mexican American descent, the collection invites readers to “see a side of life, inside culture, that is not often portrayed in the media.” Though each offering has merit individually, the anthology’s kaleidoscopic range of identities and viewpoints shines especially bright. Third-person short stories center queer teens grappling with identity and attraction in “The Body by the Canal” by David Bowles and “Coco Chamoy y Chango” by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, while expressive b&w comics focus on Mexican storytelling and myth in “Tell Me a Story/Dime un cuento” and “La Llorona Isn’t Real” by Xavier Garza. Vivid, emotionally rich imagery distinguishes first-person poems “Ode to My Papi” by Guadalupe García McCall and “La Migra” by René Saldaña. Longoria’s careful curation imbues a fuller understanding of Mexican American experiences. Ages 12–up. Agent: Andrea Cascardi, Transatlantic Agency.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from August 1, 2021
    Grades 7-11 *Starred Review* This superlative collection of fiction, essays, poetry, and graphic vignettes is as varied as its contributors. The experiences portrayed in this anthology are deeply personal with sharp, heartfelt ruminations on the experience of living on the "cusp of two cultures," as Longoria notes in the introduction. The pieces foray into the past and reflect on timeless themes like dignity, as in Guadalupe Ruiz-Flores' "My Name Is Dolores" and Francisco X. Stork's "Filiberto's Final Visit," and present a vivid picture of contemporary experiences, exemplified by David Bowles' magnificent "The Body by the River" and Rub�n Degollado's soaring "La Princesa Milady Dominguez." The Texas-Rio Grande region is the primary setting, representing the "best of both worlds," enlivened by Spanglish colloquialisms (chamba, carnal) and cultural superstitions. Justine Narro succinctly captures the push and pull of identity, "a place you have never stepped foot on / but call it your land" (in her poem "I Want to Go Home"), that will resonate with readers across cultures who are contemplating their own identities. Aida Salazar, Xavier Garza, Anna Meriano, and Angela Cervantes also contribute standout pieces to this memorable collection and worthy companion to other anthologized works such as Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance (2019) and Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America (2020).

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Growing up Mexican in America
Margarita Longoria
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