Vidas Impactantes

BASIC INFOLANGUAGE LEVELCOMPREHENSION-AIDING FEATURES
Book Title Vidas impactantes (Impactful Lifes)
Author(s) Kristy Placido
Illustrator(s) Online photos; Cover Design by Mi Enn
Portraits by Andrea Bacca
Other Contributors
Published by Fluency Matters
Genre History and Biographies
Publication date 2017
#Ownvoices NO
Level
From the author/publisher’s website
Level 3


Total Word Count
8,000


Illustrations                 YES 
Glossary                       YES  
Guiding Questions      NO  
Context                        YES
Other                   


       
IDENTITIES PRESENT IN THE TEXTSYNOPSIS
Races, Ethnicities, and Nationalities
Latinx
Afro-Latinx
White 
Puerto Rican
Spanish
Cuban
Argentinian
Chilean
Peruvian 
German

Languages spoken
Spanish

Sex and Genders
Female
Male

Ages
Adult

Social classes
Poor
Working class
Middle Class
Upper Class
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual
Not enough information

Abilities
Impaired
Non-disabled
Non-Impaired
Neurotypical

Religions
Catholic

Family Structures
Heteroparental
Extended family
Co-parenting

Body Type
Athletic
Curvy (though not reflected in the illustrations)
Non-curvy




From the author/publisher’s website 

Explore the fascinating stories of six influential and inspirational Spanish speakers whose lives have been impactful. A baseball star who gave his life helping others, a Cuban exile turned superstar, a mother who never gave up the search for her missing son, a paralyzed soccer star who fought his way to the top in a new profession, a woman who revealed the secrets of history after getting fired from her job, and a shift supervisor in a mine who didn’t realize his shift would last 70 days! You may have heard of these impactful individuals, but after reading their stories you are sure to feel inspired.
















ILLUSTRATIONSSTORYSOCIAL JUSTICE
To what extent do the illustrations present positive and thoughtful representations of identities?

The cover art is an illustration in color  showing all of the people in the biographies and the beginning of each chapter contains a penciled black and white portrait of the individual being discussed. All of the other images used in the book are photographs. The majority of the illustrations present positive and thoughtful representations of identities because they represent the diverse images of the biographies being mentioned. However, on the cover, Celia Cruz has the same skin tone as the other people and does not reflect her identity as an Afro-latina. In contrast, Roberto Clemente, an Afro-latino, is seen shaded darker than the other people in the cover. Historically, colorism and mainstream standards of beauty have been catered to lighter skin tones.

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?

Azucena is mentioned as going to a lot of meetings and not preparing food for the family (p. 16). This is not mentioned for the males in the book, despite them also being absent at times from their families. 





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 Learning for Justice

Identity: Promote a healthy self-concept and exploration of identity
Diversity: Foster intergroup understanding
Justice: Raise awareness of prejudice and injustice





LLLAB’s REVIEW
Vidas impactantes by Kristy Placido is a collection of six biographies, five of which are Hispanic and one German that lived in Peru. This is suitable for level 3 during Hispanic Heritage Month or anytime of the year to help promote non-fiction stories. All of the stories are compelling and deliver a variety of cognates and past tense structures.

The variety of genders, ethnicities, and social classes being represented promote a healthy self-concept and exploration of identity for readers. For example, readers learn about Celia Cruz, an Afro-Latinx from Cuba, who rose to fame and glory while also trying to escape a dictatorship (p. 29). Then, readers learn about Julio Iglesias, who was born to a wealthy family in Spain and had a promising career as a famous soccer player until he was paralyzed from the waist down (p. 38). Finally, other strong Latinx are portrayed and their journeys are described. From Roberto Clemente to Azucena Villaflor, we see Puerto Ricans and Argentinians fighting for justice. 

There is one example of language imperialism on page 10, “Clemente estaba en el pico de su carrera”. This is supposed to mean that Clemente was at the peak of his career, however, the direct translation does not make sense in Spanish. The author could have said “Clemente estaba en el mejor momento de su carrera” and “mejor momento” could have been asterixed as “the peak of his career”. 

In addition, Azucena is mentioned as going to a lot of meetings and not preparing food for the family (p. 16). This is not mentioned for the males in the book, despite them also being absent at times from their families, and represents sexist attitudes towards women’s roles in society. 

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