Lend Your Ears and Fingers Please! Play the music forward and make a song wish true: Create An Audience of 80,000 Before 2013 ends. Share the Joy. :)

Am I crazy? Of course. My computer finally let me access some mail wherein I found a tweet message with the url to this great up beat song by this young guy, Aldrey, with a wonderful voice. Listen to the song and you’ll understand why I’m asking you to share it widely as quickly as possible before 2014 kicks 2013 out the door at midnight. Right now the listens on the tubes of you are at 39, 124. With some serious paying of the joy sound forward by playing, I know we can push it to 80,000. Yes, we can. Let’s play the share anyway you can game starting now! Dance, sing and smile with Aldrey and friends–now. 🙂 Let’s have some fun. Come on– Connect!


PS. If you listen on YouTube the closed captions subtitle option for English ‘works’ just fine. 🙂


Update: 6 January 2014 — 8o, 640 listens on the tubes. Let the music flow! LOL Let’s Dance.

Illegal by Bettina Restrepo–Are your papers in order?

     What would you do if you were a girl seriously wanting your father for your fifteenth birthday, quienceanera, and he’d suddenly gone silent in a strange land called Houston?

Bettina Restrepo’s Illegal places readers smack dab in young Nora’s desperate world of failing grapefruit orchard, dying village and dangerous journey to the not very welcoming land of Texas. In Houston the buildings grow tall while keeping people small and insignificant. Deepening poverty and increasing concern about the silence of Nora’s father from the land of opportunity drive the young girl and her mother into making a desperate search to a place where calling the police to report an assault is not a viable option.  No one wants to leave the once thriving village but survival dictates desperate measure for desperate times when the tax man gets impatient.

Love and family values push three generations of Mexican women to leave behind all they know and hold dear to search for the man missing from their daily lives. Deliberately or not, Restrepo presents anew the mythic threesome of the maiden, matron and crone in the forms of Nora, her mother and grandmother as they are forced to confront the reality of the economic and social death of their Mexican village. The grapefruits rotting in the once prosperous orchard reinforce the mythic imagery of a dying land unable to support the people. Even the village bank scarcely has any purpose other than to employ Hector.

    Illegal is a dark reality check of a young adult novel that many American adults would benefit from reading. What’s the Dream Act about? Who wants it and why? Well, Nora’s story might provide some clues to the answers. Hungry stomachs often go hand in hand with hungry young minds. The need to make a meaningful life wherever you find your feet planted is real and valid cause for concern. Unless they’ve experienced poverty in America many young readers might have trouble entering Nora’s world where learning to speak English is a vital concern surpassed by the need to help her mother keep it together in a hostile urban jungle where girls beat each other for entrance into gangs.

Restrepo does her best to get readers into and keep them in Nora’s changing world.  It’s not an easy task. To help raise cultural awareness she incorporates Espanol into the novel. There’s a decent little glossary at the back for readers who have no idea that cartas means a pack of cards, cabrito is a baby goat, and that a coyote can be something other than an animal–a human smuggler. Illegal is a solid novel which pulls no punches yet works to be accessible to young adult readers who are curious about what’s going with other young people beyond the boundaries of their own private worlds.

Now what would have happened if the Native Americans had thought to demand identity papers and immigration documents for all the white European invaders searching for land and riches in the New World?  Imagine that.

Visit Bettina Restrepo at http://bettinarestrepo.com/

Find Illegal and more young adult fiction published by Katherine Tegen Books:   http://www.yabookscentral.com/component/jreviews/tag/publisher/katherine-tegen-books/


Just in case you haven’t discovered Pablo

Saborio’s poetry, I’ve decided to feature his blogcasa as one of my ‘award obligations’.  I have to say that awards are one form of networking and creating interconnections in a most literal fashion.  Tread carefully into Pablo’s domain because things are not so ‘literal’ in the casa of  his beautifully bilingual imagination. Without further ado, I direct your attention to Nihilistic Poetry–and more (photography)—> 



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