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'Vanesa Gomez'

Sep 14

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month! by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on September 14, 2021 at 6:35 PM by Genesis Gaule

The changing of the seasons brings cooler weather and paints the landscape in vivid colors. As we get back into the swing of our fall routines and don our sweaters, let’s take time to celebrate Hispanic Heritage! National Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 and reminds us to celebrate rich culture, history, delicious food, as well as bring awareness to the struggles Hispanic communities face.

As with many other “national” months such as Black history month and Pride month, one of my favorite things to do is to read books written by authors on their experiences. Both nonfiction and fiction are great looks into others experiences or see yourself reflected. The joy I feel when reading children’s picture books that feature Hispanic representation is unmatched, knowing that my younger family members will learn to love their Hispanic heritage. Below are some books from our collection written by and about Hispanic people!


Easy Fiction

These picture books feature bilingual and/or Hispanic main characters, and they are a great way to learn some Spanish vocabulary!


Song of Frutas

by Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios

While visiting her abuelo in Cuba, a young girl helps him sell frutas, singing the name of each fruit as they walk, and after she returns to the United States, they exchange letters made of abrazos--hugs. Includes historical and cultural notes.


Paletero Man

by Lucky Diaz and Micah Player

Follow along with our narrator as he passes through his busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he finally catches up with him, our narrator's pockets are empty. Oh no! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now!


Junior Fiction


Esperanza Rising

by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression. // Also available en Español


Miles Morales: Shock Waves

by Justin A. Reynolds

Miles Morales is a normal kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man. After a disastrous earthquake strikes his mother's birthplace of Puerto Rico, Miles springs into action to help set up a fundraiser for the devastated island. But when a new student's father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles' fundraiser.


Nonfiction


Without a Country: The Untold Story of America's Deported Veterans

by J. Malcolm Garcia

In this book, J. Malcolm Garcia reports from across the country and abroad, profiling veterans who have been deported, as well as the families and friends they have left behind. Without a Country analyzes the political and cultural climate that has led America here and takes a hard look at the toll deportation has taken on veterans and their communities.


Spirit Run: a 6,000 Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land

by Noé Álvarez

Álvarez writes not only of overcoming hunger, thirst, and fear--dangers included stone-throwing motorists and a mountain lion--but also of asserting Indigenous and working-class humanity in a capitalist society where oil extraction, deforestation, and substance abuse wreck communities. Running through mountains, deserts, and cities, and through the Mexican territory his parents left behind, Álvarez forges a new relationship with the land, and with the act of running, carrying with him the knowledge of his parents' migration, and--against all odds in a society that exploits his body and rejects his spirit--the dream of a liberated future.


Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

by Danny Trejo

For the first time, the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo's journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood's favorite bad guy with a heart of gold..


Interested in more ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Support Hispanic creators by listening to Spanish speaking artists, appreciating art, enjoying authentic food prepared by local restaurants, and buying from small businesses!

Aug 12

Make Time for Art by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on August 12, 2021 at 1:40 PM by Genesis Gaule

It happened again. The empty feeling after you finish bingeing a Netflix series. You aimlessly search for another show to fill the void the last one left. Your first instinct might be to look up more about the show you just watched, to see if there was anything you missed, or if there’s anything similar. Or maybe you end up scrolling through a rotation of the same 5 apps until bedtime. Either way, you wish you could switch up your routine and break those habits. Incorporating creativity into your everyday life can be the perfect way to do both.

Reading through Art Before Breakfast: a zillion ways to be more creative, no matter how busy you are by Danny Gregory, it was like having a mind reader predict every question and doubt addressed as I was having it. Gregory’s conversational tone was both fun and informative, and reassured me that creating this new habit would not become just another thing to add to my to-do list, but something I would forward to each day.

Craftivism: the Art of Craft and Activism by Betsy Greer is a great way to get involved in a cause you are passionate about in a creative way. Any craft can be a tool for a good cause, whether you create to promote an organization, sell your craft to raise money, or teach others how to use their resources to support ethically sourced and produced items.

If you are looking to strengthen artistic technique, Drawing is for Everyone by Kateri Ewing is a great way to jumpstart your new creative habits. Ewing encourages readers to leave their expectations and self criticism at the door, and simply find joy in the process rather than fear in the result. With lessons and guidance in graphite, color pencil, and ink, the possibilities are endless!

What people think is natural born talent is the hard work of someone that allowed themselves to learn their skills. Creating without the fear of failing is the first step to a happier outlook. No matter what style or medium you choose to do your art in, the joy of creating will be worth it. 

More to check out:

Jul 02

These Are a Few of My Favorite Tropes! by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 2, 2021 at 2:18 PM by Genesis Gaule

While some people might think of any use of tropes as something that hurts an author’s writing, they may be surprised to find that almost every story utilizes them. They can be incorporated into a story to set up a character type, be creatively used to complicate a journey, or just used for some feel good content. If you’ve ever been waiting for a love triangle to unfold, you will either want to pull your hair out in frustration or be at the edge of your seat in anticipation. Coffee shop settings with romantic tension are either your cup of joe or make you yawn. Essentially, everyone connects with and favors some tropes over others. Here are a few books that incorporate some of my favorite tropes.

Found Family:

One of my all time favorites is the “Found family/Chosen family” trope. In these stories, a group of misfits find a home in the company of others in the group. They learn to confide, trust, and protect each other on their journey to complete a mission. It's a great way to create character arcs in a work of literature, when a ton of exposition for a large ensemble may feel out of place or unnatural. Over time we can see more of a character’s personality and background come out when they encounter difficulties. It’s also a reminder to readers that your family is made up of people that care about you, not necessarily the family you were born into.

Some books that incorporate this trope well are:

The House in the Cerulean Sea

by TJ Klune

When a group of children in an orphanage have the power to destroy the world, it’s up to Linus to investigate how dangerous they really are. Along the way, he may have to choose between saving his newfound family, or the world.
Science Fiction KLUNE

Six of Crows

by Leigh Bardugo

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first.
Junior BARDUGO

Artemis Fowl Series

by Eoin Colfer

(Slow build over the entire 8 book series) Artemis is a young boy genius with a mantra to guide him through life: “Gold is Power”. When this leads to elaborate and risky schemes to maintain his family’s wealth, those he once considered enemies will turn out to be more than he ever expected.
Junior COLFER

The Hobbit

by J.R.R Tolkien

A homebody Hobbit is reluctantly swept up into an epic journey by a wizard and thirteen dwarves.
Science Fiction TOLKIENebook

Enemies to Lovers:

When it comes to romance, “enemies to lovers” books are particularly fun to read. In these stories, people who see the worst in the other person grow to find themselves lost without them. Snarky humor and heartfelt moments of character growth? What more can you ask for!

Red,White and Royal Blue

by Leigh Bardugo

Alex Claremont-Diaz--America's Goldenboy First Son--has a beef with Prince Henry across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of state devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined... and could possibly upend two nations.
Fiction MCQUISTON

The Unhoneymooners

by Christina Lauren

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy. Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. When her eternally lucky tiwn sister Ami gets married, Olive, is forced to spend it with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.
Fiction MCQUISTONebook

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

At the end of eighteenth-century England, spirited Elizabeth Bennet copes with the suit of the snobbish Mr. Darcy while trying to sort out the romantic entanglements of two of her sisters, sweet and beautiful Jane and scatterbrained Lydia.
AUSTENebook

If you are curious to find out more about the patterns found in media, try looking up a book on Tropedia. You may find yourself surprised by the list of tropes a single novel contains, and even more surprised to see if there is a trend connecting all your favorite books.