|BASIC INFO||LANGUAGE LEVEL||COMPREHENSION-AIDING FEATURES|
|Book Title Susana está molesta|
Author(s) Terry T. Walz
Illustrator(s) Terry T. Waltz
Other Contributors Ana Andrés del Pozo
Published by Self published
Genre Comedy, Adventures
Publication date 2019
|From the author/publisher’s website|
Total Word Count
|Illustrations YES |
Guiding Questions NO
|IDENTITIES PRESENT IN THE TEXT||SYNOPSIS|
|Races, Ethnicities, and Nationalities|
Biracial American (protagonist)
White American (secondary character)
Chinese American (secondary character)
Sex and Genders
Working Class, Middle Class
Non curvy (Secondary character)
|From the author/publisher’s website |
Susana is sick of life in her poky small town, with her mom’s disastrous cooking and a computer that was made back in the Dark Ages. But she can’t figure out how to change anything, until one day a fateful encounter sets her family off on a quest for fame, fortune and…dogsleds?
|To what extent do the illustrations present positive and thoughtful representations of identities?|
The main character is depicted as coming from a diverse home. In the book, it doesn’t state the ethnicity of Susana’s parents, but the illustrations show that her father is a Person of Color. There is also mention of a boy Susana likes who is of Chinese descent. In the fourth chapter there is an illustration of this boy.
|We understand identities are complex and no single story represents the spectrum of identity-based experiences. Also, a text may address a stereotype, misrepresentation, or generalization without relying on it.|
Does any stereotype, misrepresentation, or generalization affect any positive and thoughtful representations of identities in the text?
Characters of color are assumed to have low family wealth, low educational attainment and/or low income.
|This section is for teachers who are working towards sourcing more texts within the four domains of anti-bias education. We are excited about reading all books and we understand that not all books are written for this specific purpose. |
Does this text work toward goals within any of the four domains of anti-bias education as defined by Teaching Tolerance?
Susana está molesta is an engaging story with diverse characters and well-suited to a typical level 1 Spanish course. It uses simple language and cognates to tell the story of a young girl who is annoyed by various aspects of her life.
The story presents a variety of characters, both from a racial/ethnic and social class standpoint. The main character, Susana, comes from a diverse home. The book doesn’t exactly state her ethnic background, but based on the illustrations, Susana’s father is not white (cover and chapter one). There is also mention of a boy Susana likes who is of Chinese descent (chapter three). Susana is learning Chinese, knows songs in Chinese (chapter nine), and competes in a contest by singing Chinese (chapter ten). Additionally, the story presents characters from the working and the middle class, without going over the top. There are small hints at Susana’s social class such as not having a Wii, the family not eating out a lot, and Susana having a computer, but the computer being older. And finally, when a white man from Alaska tells Susana “this is not Taiwan’s got talent, don’t you know American songs? No one likes Chinese songs”, Susana’s response about questioning why the white man from Alaska is having a visceral reaction with the Chinese language could be a great conversation starter for students about xenophobia and fostering interculturality and intersectionality.
The text provides repetitions of foundational grammar points such as “ser vs estar”, comparisons, or verbs like “gustar”+ infinitive.
Something to be noted is the normalization of consumerism and individualism behaviors and attitudes throughout the book. For example, Susana is “molesta” if she does not fly in a nicer plane, or if she does not have the tech gadgets that are cool or trendy (chapter seven). Furthermore, Susana’s friend Linda is lighter skinned, skinnier, and blonde and described as perfect and well liked by all the teachers (chapter two); she also happens to be part of the middle class. This is problematic because of the assumption that people of color are working class, while people with lighter skin colors do better in society.