Children need to read books about characters who are different from themselves. But they also need the opportunity to read books to which they can relate, on a personal level, to the characters. Connection is important. It helps to fuel learning! Unfortunately for a huge population, it appears that their personal connection options are less than limited.
McDonald said, “I wrote the Carlos and Carmenseries to show a Latino family living an average, middle class American life. Too often, people focus on the ways that they are different from some other group of people — different income level, different skin color, different heritage. The fact is, that we are all more alike than we are different. “
“In addition, for far too long, children’s and YA (young adult) books have include Latino characters who are mostly migrant farm workers or gang members, which is just not an accurate picture of who these Americans are. I’d like for readers of my Carlos and Carmen books to see themselves in these characters, and I’d like them to find themselves wishing that they were part of the Garcia’s family.”
Four books in the easy chapter book series have been published, with four more due out in early fall 2016 and then four more in early 2017. While the Carlos and Carmen series cannot solve all the inequitable issues in learning, it is a wonderful start.
And the author just happens to be my sister!