A Magical Encounter: Latino Literature in the Classroom

A Magical Encounter: Latino Literature in the Classroom


Enhance the presence of literature in your classroom! This book offers suggestions for the uses of literature in the classroom and its application to any classroom and with any other books the teacher may prefer. The book includes numerous examples of both books in English and books in Spanish, making the book useful to the widest possible number of teachers and children. It also provides an extensive bibliography of books for children and adolescents by Latino and Latina authors, organized by genre, language, and some significant themes.

With this book, readers can feel comfortable bringing literature to the classroom as a vehicle for language and concept development, for creative expression and development of higher thinking skills, while promoting the joy of reading. A Magical Encounter: Latino Children’s Literature in the Classroom is divided in four major parts: Part One outlines theoretical principles which ground the practices suggested, offering some reflections on the role of literature for children and adolescents in the language arts curriculum. It presents the basic tenets of “Transformative Education” as they relate to books for children and adolescents, and describes the “Creative Reading” methodology and its applications. The “One Thousand Book Classroom” is outlined, as well as what a “Transformative Language Arts Classroom” would look like. Part Two overviews the evolution of Latino literature for children and adolescents in the United States. It includes an extensive bibliography of books published by Latino and Latina Authors. Part Three describes the role of the various literary genres in the classroom. Part Four offers suggestions for the application of the theory. The activities suggested are accompanied by examples using specific books.


This book is the product of forty years working with classroom teachers to bring the enjoyment of literature to their students. The activities suggested have all been developed organically in collaboration with creative teachers throughout the nation or have been the result of visits to their classes. It pleases me immensely to know that this book is currently used in many teacher preparation courses. It would be a pleasure to share some of your favorite activities in the process of developing the magical encounter between children and books.


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