|Monday & Tuesday, October 14 & 15, 2013||9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.|
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez (Hultquist Library - PZ7 .A48 Re 2009)
Illegal immigration is a huge issue in the United States today. In the novel Return to Sender, readers can’t help but feel empathy for a family of undocumented immigrants who left their country in search of a better life. When Tyler’s father is injured in a farming accident, the family farm is in danger of being taken away. Tyler’s father hires migrant Mexican workers to help save the farm, and with these workers also come their three daughters- the oldest of which forms an unlikely friendship with Tyler. Both Tyler and his new friend Mari struggle with the issue of illegal immigration - Tyler is conflicted by his friendship with the Cruz family, the desperation of his family to save the farm, and his loyalty for his country. Mari lives in fear of being discovered. She is often bullied at school, and worst of all, her mother has been missing for 8 months after a trip to Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari remain friends through these struggles? Told by alternating perspectives of both Tyler and Mari, this coming of age novel demonstrates lessons in compassion, kindness, and generosity.
This book was the perfect choice for Hispanic Heritage month because it gives the reader a look into the culture of a Mexican family. I enjoyed this book because it is filled with positive messages of compassion, generosity, and kindness.
What is National Geographic Virtual Library?
WOW! That was my reaction when I first opened this database containing the entire archive of National Geographic Magazine from 1880 to the present – an amazing 120 years. Every page is included, so you can view photographs, maps, and even advertisements. It is an invaluable research tool, but also a wonderful place in which to lose yourself for hours (which I did!)
Where can you find it?
National Geographic Virtual Library is available from the JCC libraries’ homepage (www.sunyjcc.edu/library). Under SEARCH COLLECTIONS, choose either Databases by Title (N), or Databases by Subject (it is listed under Anthropology, History, Music and Fine Arts, Philosophy and Religion, and Science.) If you are off-campus, you can still access the database from the libraries’ homepage by using your student login.
When would you use it?
This database would be a fantastic resource for just about any research assignment. National Geographic Magazine is not considered to be an academic or scholarly journal, but it is certainly an authoritative source. For instance, I found a terrific article with stunning photography about African marriage rituals (November 1999) – Cultural Anthropology students take note!
How do you use it?
The homepage shows a selection of stories from different years. On the day I accessed the database, a featured article caught my attention from October 1952 called “Fish Men Explore a New World Undersea” by Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The article described the invention of the Aqua Lung and the development of underwater photography.
The database has a Browse Magazine page that allows you to view the cover of each issue. You can scroll down the page to travel through time! The Browse window also lets you narrow your view by date.
A search box in the upper right of the home page can be used to enter keywords. An Advanced Search feature lets you filter your search by Content Type (articles, images, advertisements), by Image Type (cartoon, map, chart), and by date. The results page is sorted by Content Type, and contains additional filters. Click on an article title to view the scanned version - I found the full-screen mode was the best way to read an article. Tools on the viewer allow you to print or email the article. There is also a citation generator (be careful!) and a list of related topics.
From the homepage, click on Term Frequency to use a nifty analytical tool. The tool allows you to enter a word or phrase, such as “global warming” to see a graph showing that National Geographic first used the term in 1983, and that the term was used most in 2007. Click on the graph nodes to see actual articles containing your term.
From the homepage, click on Browse Magazines. Using the Filter by Date tool, narrow to your birth month and year. Click on the magazine cover to open a viewer. Now you can page through the magazine issue to see articles and advertisements from the month and year you were born.
-- Maggie McElrath
Completion Day @ the Hultquist Library
Shel Silverstein was born September 25, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. He died of a heart attack on May 10, 1999 in Key West, Florida.
Silverstein is best known for his collections of poetry and drawings for children, including Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), A Light in the Attic (1981). He is also known for the children’s book classic, The Giving Tree (1964). These books have been challenged over the years, because the content was considered by some to be inappropriate for children. One example happened in 1985 at the Cunningham Elementary School in Beloit, Wisconsin. A Light in the Attic was challenged there, because one of the poems in the book “encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.”
Some lesser known details about Silverstein’s life and career:
- Served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict in the 1950s
- Cartoonist for the Pacific edition of the military newspaper, Stars and Stripes
- Cartoonist for Look and Sports Illustrated
- Cartoonist and writer for Playboy magazine from 1956-1999
- Wrote country and novelty songs, including “A Boy Named Sue,” which was performed by Johnny Cash. He won a Grammy for the song in 1970
- Wrote several plays for adults
- Appeared in a film called “Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things about Me?” in 1971
- Two works written by him were published posthumously, including Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook (2005) and Everything On It (2011)
“Shel Silverstein.” Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Literature Resource Center. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.
For a list of Silverstein’s works that are available at the JCC Libraries, visit:
For more information about Shel Silverstein:
• Book: A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein by Lisa Rogak (2007) [
• JCC Libraries’ Literature Databases:
• The Official Website:
-- Jenn Knisley
Banned Books Week ReadOut
Hultquist Library Pit
Listen to JCC students and faculty read passages from their favorite banned books.
Pizza and pop will be provided.
The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende [Hultquist Library - PQ 8098.1 .L54 Z46 2008]
The Sum of Our Days is a memoir written by Isabel Allende to her daughter, Paula. In it, she fills Paula in on family events, issues, problems and milestones that have taken place since her death over a decade earlier. The intimate tone of this memoir invites the reader into the pain and joy of the author as she relates the details of family issues that both create lasting damage and bond family members closer together. This is a gift; one can’t help but to laugh and to cry with this award winning author whose life demonstrates that talent and success do not exempt anyone from suffering or from making mistakes. Allende’s story reads like fiction and is difficult to put down. Isabel Allende was born in Peru and raised in Chile. Her work has been translated into twenty-seven languages and has received numerous awards (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Isabel_Allende#Literary_career)
For list of Isabel Allende's works available at the JCC Libraries visit the JCC Libraries Online Catalog, at jam.sunyconnect.suny.edu:4750/F/?func=find-acc&acc_sequence=000138841.
For more books by or about Hispanic American people, visit our Multicultural LibGuide: http://sunyjcc.libguides.com/multicultural - See more at: http://www.sunyjcc.edu/node/21284#sthash.fP6lU909.dpuf
-- Linda Larkin
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Available at the JCC Hultquist Library [PZ7.M47833752 Und 2011 New Books Collection]
Told in free verse, Under the Mesquite is a first-person narrative about a Mexican-American girl named Lupita.
Lupita is the oldest of eight siblings. She and her family live in Texas, but they travel regularly to Mexico to visit their extended family. Lupita warmly embraces her cultural heritage, but she also yearns to travel, go to college, and to become an actress in the United States.
Lupita struggles with the pressures of high school and with striving toward her future dreams, as she and her family endure the hardship of her mother’s battle with cancer.
Lupita uses the healing power of words to escape the stresses of life by sitting under the shade of a mesquite tree in her backyard and writing down her feelings about her circumstances.
Under the Mesquite is a coming-of-age story. It is a heart-warming example of power over adversity and the importance of family ties and cultural values.
At the end of the book, there is a glossary of Names, Spanish Words, and Cultural References. All of the words found there are used throughout the book and aid the reader in understanding the story.
For more books by or about Hispanic American people, visit our Multicultural LibGuide: http://sunyjcc.libguides.com/multicultural
The Pura Belpré Award was established in 1996 and is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. The award was named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The winners are announced at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in January each year.
The 2013 winners are:
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert, illustrated by David Diaz, written by Gary D. Schmidt
The 2013 honor book is:
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, by Sonia Manzano
For more Pura Belpré Award winner and honor books available at the JCC Libraries, visit the JCC Libraries' Online Catalog.
For more information about the Pura Belpré Award, visit http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/belpremedal
Keep an eye on this blog to see book reviews from the JCC Libraries’ staff to honor Hispanic American Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), including a Pura Belpré award winner.
Take a look at our Multicultural Literature LibGuide for more recommended titles for Hispanic American Heritage Month: http://sunyjcc.libguides.com/multicultural