By: Marcela Saldivia
For: Red Rock News
Date: October 12, 2012
Upcoming Events for Youth
- No registration needed for story times. Call 282-7714, ext 19 to sign up for other programs
- Tuesday, October 16, at 10:30 a.m.: Story time. For ages 3 and up
- Wednesday, October 17, at 3:30 p.m.: Learn the programming language Scratch to create stories, animation and more. For ages 8 - 12
- Thursday, October 18, at 10:30: Story time. For newborn through age 3.
- Saturday, October 20, at 11 a.m: Story time and craft. For ages 3 and up.
- Saturday, October 20, at 1 p.m.: Tween Book Club with mystery author Laurie Cameron. For ages 9 - 12.
Reading Esmeralda Santiago and Isabel Allende During Hispanic Heritage Month
The origins of National Hispanic Heritage Month can be traced back to 1968, when President Lyndon Johnson inaugurated “Hispanic Heritage Week.” Twenty years later, under President Ronald Reagan’s administration, the celebration was expanded to a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. In addition, Mexico celebrates its Independence Day on September 16, and Chile on September 18. This period also covers October 12, which is Columbus Day, or “Día de la Hispanidad.” This annual celebration is observed in libraries, schools, colleges, bookstores, and other institutions and businesses nationwide.
Sedona Public Library honors Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of programs organized by the Latino Services Department. For the last four years, around September 16, we’ve celebrated Mexican Independence Day, along with the independences of the Central American countries and Chile. This year, on Friday, September 14, the Hispanic community of Sedona gathered in the Si Birch Community Room to enjoy a potluck of traditional Mexican dishes, a piñata for the children, and dancing and singing along with a mariachi band. Also part of Hispanic Heritage Month at the Library is the building of the traditional Ofrenda del Día de los Muertos (Day of Dead Altar), which is normally displayed by the fireplace from mid-October to the first week in November. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Altar will be displayed, and it has already become an attraction for both locals and tourists alike. Come and see it for yourself!
In the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month, and for your reading delight, I’d like to recommend the works by two Latina authors in English. For one, Puerto Rican author Esmeralda Santiago has a number of enticing fiction books. If you enjoy historical novels, you might like Santiago’s “Conquistadora,” as she takes you into the nineteenth century’s turbulent history of the sugar empire in the Hispanic Caribbean. Santiago’s heroine is a strong, intelligent, and enigmatic woman—Ana Cubillas, the privileged daughter of Spanish aristocrats. She marries a wealthy Spaniard and convinces him and his family to move to Puerto Rico, where they expect to make a fortune from a sugar cane farm. Critics remarked that Santiago “nicely weaves in the viewpoints of slaves and masters and gives an overall good history.” The character of Ana in “Conquistadora,” who is resented by her parents for not being the male heir they desired, has been called “a feminist before her time”. Other works by Santiago include “The Turkish Lover”—a memoir which chronicles her personal struggle with a controlling partner and how strong-willed women fight to break free from male chauvinism—and the novel “América’s Dream,” in which a housekeeper flees an abusive relationship by immigrating to the United States.
“Island Beneath the Sea,” by Chilean author Isabel Allende, is another provocative historical novel. It also explores the theme of slavery in the times when the Caribbean was the world’s sugar empire. Allende’s plot immerses the reader in the life of eighteen-century Saint-Domingue, a French colony on the island of Hispaniola, which was the richest refined sugar exporter in the world. Unlike Santiago’s heroine, who belongs to the white privileged elite, Allende’s is a black slave girl—Zarité, or Teté. The novel follows the saga of Teté through the bloodiest slave uprising ever known in the Caribbean, which resulted in the independence of Haiti in 1804. If you want to read other works by Allende, the library owns almost every book by this author in English translation. Just come by the Library, browse our shelves, and enjoy reading books by these two excellent Latina writers during Hispanic Heritage Month!
The Sedona Public Library is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, supported by donations and grants. Your tax deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Marcela Saldivia, Ph.D. is Latino Services Librarian of the Sedona Public Library.