May 18, 2015
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh is one of this year’s 2015 Américas Award winners.  Margarita Engle, author of Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal also wins this year’s 2015 Américas Award.  The award links the Americas to reach beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere.  
The awards are administered by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) and coordinated by both Tulane University’s “Stone Center for Latin American Studies”: and Vanderbilt University’s “Center for Latin American Studies.”:  Generous support is also provided by “Florida International University”:, the “University of Florida”:, “University of New Mexico”:, “Stanford University”:, and the “University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.”:
Award Winners
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, published by Abrams Books is the story of a young girl and her family fighting for desegregation during a time of racial discrimination against Hispanics and minorities in general.  The book explores the experience of eight year old Sylvia Mendez  in what led to the landmark desegregation case of 1946 Mendez v. Westminster. 
Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt explores “the young ‘silver people’ whose backbreaking labor built the canal to the denizens of the endangered rain forest itself.”
The Américas Committee selected two Honor Books; Migrant written by José Manuel Mateo and illustrated by Javier Martínez Pedro published by Abrams Books for Young Readers and Strike! The Farm Workers’ Fight for their Rights by Larry Dane Brimner published by Calkins Creek.
Commended Titles
Thirteen commended titles were selected this year by the committee: A de Activista written by Martha González and illustrated by Innosanto Nagara, and published by Triangle Square; Abuelo by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by Raúl Colón, published by HarperCollins Publishers, Caminar by Skily Brown, published by Candlewick Press; Dalia’s Wondrous Hair/El Cabello Maravilloso de Dalia by Laura Lacámara, published by Piñata Books; Frida & Diego: Art, Love, Life by Catherine Reef, published by Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt; Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, published by Cinco Puntos Press; Green is a Chile Pepper: a Book of Colors  written by Roseannae Greenfield Thong and illustrated by John Parra, published by Chronicle Books; Letters from Heaven by Lydia Gil, published by Piñata Books; Low Riders in Space written by Cathy Camper and illustrated by Raúl the Third, published by Chronicle Books; Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes written by Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Raúl Colón, published by Penguin Group; The Secret Side of Empty written by Maria E. Andreu, published by Running Press; Twas Nochebuena written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by Sara Palacios and published by Penguin Group.
Complete annotations of the Américas Award 2015 will be posted on the CLASP website.
CLASP’s mission is to promote all facets of Latin American studies throughout the world.  Its broad range of activities include the encouragement of research activities, funding of professional workshops, advancement of citizen outreach activities, and development of teaching aids for the classroom. 
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For more information on the Américas Award make sure to go to the site.
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