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Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share Their Holiday Memories

by Esmeralda Santiago and Joie Davidow
Illustrated by Jose Ortega

Published by Knopf, 1998
198 pages
ISBN: 0-375-40151-2

Age 14 and older

In 1996 the editors of Sí magazine invited prominent Latino fiction writers to submit brief pieces to the magazine for a Christmas issue that was meant to celebrate the different ways the December holidays are observed in the various Latin American countries and by Latino families in the United States. They were so overwhelmed by the number and tenor of the submissions that the editors decided to compile them into a book, and the result is this collection of 24 original short stories and essays, based on the authors' memories of childhood Christmas celebrations. Although the stories are intended for an adult audience, mature teenagers will appreciate the reminiscences, sometimes poignant and often humorous, that deal with the elevated sense of emotion and family strife holidays often bring. Many teenagers will recognize names familiar in young adult literature, such as Judith Ortiz Cofer, Victor Martinez and Gary Soto; others will be happy to discover authors such as Julia Alvarez, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, and Michael Nava. Recipes for favorite Christmas dishes and the lyrics to traditional songs, remembered from childhood, are interspersed throughout the book. CCBC categories: Seasons and Celebrations; Fiction for Teenagers.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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