Friday, April 23, 2021

New and Recent Books

Catching up on recent and new literature, this lineup features revolutionary women, two novels about art and artists, and the ongoing saga of Selena.  Something for everybody.


Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico:
Portraits of Soldaderas, Saints, and Subversives

Edited by Kathy Sosa, Ellen Riojas Clark and Jennifer Speed
Foreword by Dolores Huerta
Afterword by Norma Elia Cantú
Illustrated by Kathy Sosa and Lionel Sosa
Trinity University Press - December, 2020

[from the publisher's website]
Much ink has been spilled over the men of the Mexican Revolution, but far less has been written about its women. Kathy Sosa, Ellen Riojas Clark, and Jennifer Speed set out to right this wrong in Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico, which celebrates the women of early Texas and Mexico who refused to walk a traditional path. The anthology embraces an expansive definition of the word revolutionary by looking at female role models and subversives from the last century and who stood up for their visions and ideals and continue to stand for them today.

Eighteen portraits provide readers with a glimpse into each figure's life and place in history. At the heart of the portraits are the women of the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920)⁠—like the soldaderas who shadowed the Mexican armies, tasked with caring for and treating the wounded troops. Filling in the gaps are iconic godmothers⁠ like the Virgin of Guadalupe and La Malinche, whose stories are seamlessly woven into the collective history of Texas and Mexico. Portraits of artists Frida Kahlo and Nahui Olin and activists Emma Tenayuca and Genoveva Morales take readers from post revolutionary Mexico into the present. Each portrait includes a biography, an original pen-and-ink illustration, and a historical or literary piece by a contemporary writer who was inspired by their subject’s legacy. Sandra Cisneros, Laura Esquivel, Elena Poniatowska, Carmen Tafolla, and others bring their experience to bear in their pieces, and Jennifer Speed’s introduction contextualizes each woman in her cultural-historical moment. A foreword by civil rights activist Dolores Huerta and an afterword by scholar Norma Elia Cantú bookend this powerful celebration of women who revolutionized their worlds.


Yxta Maya Murray
TriQuarterly Books - January 15

[from the publisher's website]
In her funny, idiosyncratic, and propulsive new novel, Art Is Everything, Yxta Maya Murray offers us a portrait of a Chicana artist as a woman on the margins. L.A. native Amanda Ruiz is a successful performance artist who is madly in love with her girlfriend, a wealthy and pragmatic actuary named Xochitl. Everything seems under control: Amanda’s grumpy father is living peacefully in Koreatown; Amanda is about to enjoy a residency at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and, once she gets her NEA, she’s going to film a groundbreaking autocritical documentary in Mexico.

But then everything starts to fall apart when Xochitl’s biological clock begins beeping, Amanda’s father dies, and she endures a sexual assault. What happens to an artist when her emotional support vanishes along with her feelings of safety and her finances? Written as a series of web posts, Instagram essays, Snapchat freakouts, rejected Yelp reviews, Facebook screeds, and SmugMug streams-of-consciousness that merge volcanic confession with eagle-eyed art criticism, Art Is Everything shows us the painful but joyous development of a mid-career artist whose world implodes just as she has a breakthrough.

Yxta Maya Murray is a writer and law professor living in Los Angeles. Her novels include The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Kidnapped, The King’s Gold: An Old World Novel of Adventure, and The Queen Jade: A Novel. Her fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, the Georgia Review, the Southern Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She has won a Whiting Writer's Award and an Art Writer's Grant, and she has been a finalist for the ASME Award in Fiction. Her art criticism can be found in Artforum, ARTnews, Artillery, and other periodicals.


Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces:  A Novel
Maceo Montoya

University of Nevada Press - April 27

[from the publisher's website]
From critically acclaimed author Maceo Montoya comes an inventive and adventurous satirical novel about a Mexican-American artist’s efforts to fulfill his vision: to paint masterful works of art. His plans include a move to Paris to join the ranks of his artistic hero, Gustave Courbet—except it’s 1943, and he’s stuck in the backwoods of New Mexico. Penniless and prone to epileptic fits, even his mother thinks he’s crazy.

Ernie Lobato has just inherited his deceased uncle’s manuscript and drawings. At the urging of his colleague, an activist and history buff (Lorraine Rios), Ernie sends the materials to a professor of Chicanx literature (Dr. Samuel Pizarro). Throughout the novel, Dr. Pizarro shares his insights and comments on the uncle’s legacy in a series of annotations to his text and illustrations.

As Ernie’s uncle battles a world that is unkind to “starving artists,” he runs into other tormented twentieth-century artists, writers, and activists with ambitions to match his own: a young itinerant preacher (Reies López Tijerina); the “greatest insane artist” (Martín Ramirez); and Oscar Zeta Acosta who is hellbent on self-destruction. Will the fortuitous encounters with these prophetic figures result in his own genius being recognized? Or will his uncompromising nature consign him to what he fears most?

Told through a combination of words and images in the tradition of classic works such as Don Quixote and Alice in Wonderland, Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces features fifty-one vivid black-and-white pen drawings. This complex and engaging story also doubles as literary criticism, commenting on how outsiders’ stories fit into the larger context of the Chicanx literary canon. A unique and multilayered story that embraces both contradiction and possibility, it also sheds new light on the current state of Chicanx literature while, at the same time, contributing to it.

Propulsive, humorous, and full of life, this candid novel will be loved not only by Beat fiction fans but by contemporary fiction lovers as well.

Maceo Montoya is an award-winning author, artist, and educator who has published books in a variety of genres. His books include The Scoundrel and the Optimist (awarded the 2011 International Latino Book Award for "Best First Book" and Latino Stories named him one of its "Top Ten New Latino Writers to Watch), The Deportation of Wopper Barraza, Letters to the Poet from His Brother, You Must Fight Them: A Novella and Stories (finalist for Foreword Review's INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award) among others. Montoya's paintings, drawings, and prints have been featured in exhibitions and publications throughout the country as well as internationally. He is currently an associate professor in the Chicana/o Studies Department at the University of California, Davis where he teaches courses on Chicanx culture and literature.


Sing with Me:  The Story of Selena Quintanilla
Diana López
Illustrated by Teresa Martínez
Spanish edition translated by Carmen Tafolla
Dial Books - July 6

[from the publisher's website]
An exuberant picture book celebrating the life and legacy of Selena Quintanilla, beloved Queen of Tejano music.

From a very early age, young Selena knew how to connect with people and bring them together with music. Sing with Me follows Selena’s rise to stardom, from front-lining her family’s band at rodeos and quinceañeras to performing in front of tens of thousands at the Houston Astrodome. Young readers will be empowered by Selena’s dedication–learning Spanish as a teenager, designing her own clothes, and traveling around the country with her family–sharing her pride in her Mexican-American roots and her love of music and fashion with the world.


Manuel Ramos writes crime fiction. His latest novel, Angels in the Wind, will be published by Arte Público Press April 30.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Chicanonautica: Arizona Does It Again

by Ernest Hogan



My home state was doing so well, going for Biden early in the 2020 election, then going blue, and no comeback for Joe Arpaio and his fascist performance art disguised as law enforcement.

Could it be that Arizona would no longer be the U.S.A.’s laboratory for bad political ideas? Remember that Trump’s presidency was the old elect a businessman instead of a politician scam that crashed with two Arizona governors. Maybe we’ll be laugh at Georgia and its resurrection of Jim Crow instead.

Nope, looks like we’re going the way of Georgia.

Some of our Republican lawmakers, disgusted with the high turnout in 2020 that resulted in losses for their party have come up with three new proposed laws to make it harder for people to vote in the state.

As Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond said, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."

What about more than three? What if it’s been going on for decades?

My wife and I have been voting by mail for years because of shenanigans like polling place locations being shifted around and the number of them being lowered. Combine this with a long drive from our home, we applied for mail ballots and they have been working fine.

It’s as if they’re afraid of a little good, honest democracy.

And what repugnant trio of proposed laws these are:

SB 1485 would purge voters who haven’t cast a ballot in both primary and general elections for two consecutive primary and general elections. My advice is vote in every election, and make sure you’re registered.

SB 1593 will narrow the window for us mail voters to get out ballots and require that they be postmarked on or prior to the Thursday before an election, which could make it difficult on the Native American reservations—some of them have no home mail service. My wife and I fill out and mail our ballots as soon as we get them.

If that wasn’t all, SB 1713 requires mail voters to add more identification, voters without driver’s licenses would have to make copes of ID documents. Right now, we just have to sign an affidavit attesting our identities under penalty of perjury, and all signatures are scanned, recorded, and verified by court officials. Wouldn’t that be enough?

My wife and I recently got our Real ID driver’s licenses. I showed them my birth certificate, and two bills with my name and address on them. They didn’t even ask to see my current license. How does this make me any more identified than before?

So, what next? Any Jim Crow laws in the works?

Ernest Hogan is the Father of Chicano Science Fiction, the author of High Aztech, and a voter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

15th Annual Family Learning Conference



Many Voices, Many Stories—One Community


Welcome to the 15th Annual Family Learning Conference at the University of La Verne.




For Zoom links click


Saturday, April 14, 2021

From 9:00- 12:30 PM ( Pacific Time)




To register, click this link






8:45 am  - 9:00 am  -- Main Zoom Room Opens


9:00 am - 9:10 am  -- Welcome


9:20 am - 9:50 am  -- Session 1


Workshop 1: Building Self-Esteem and Competence

Workshop 2: Incluyendo español en la casa (presentación en Español)

Workshop 3: Celebrations Around the World

Workshop 4: ¡Celebraciones culturales! (presentación en Español)

Workshop 5: Welcoming Literacy into Your Home

Workshop 6: Author- Ron DeGenova

Workshop 7: Authors- Suzanne Lang and Max Lang

Workshop 8: Author-Greg McGoon

Workshop 9: Author-Sanjay Nambiar

Workshop 10: Author-Tyrah Majors


10:00 am  - 10:30 am  -- Session 2


Workshop 1: Building Self-Esteem and Competence

Workshop 2: Incluyendo español en la casa (presentación en Español)

Workshop 3: Celebrations Around the World

Workshop 4: ¡Celebraciones culturales! (presentación en Español)

Workshop 5: Welcoming Literacy into Your Home

Workshop 6: Author- Ron DeGenova

Workshop 7: Authors- Suzanne Lang and Max Lang

Workshop 8: Author-Greg McGoon

Workshop 9: Author-Sanjay Nambiar

Workshop 10: Author-Tyrah Majors



10:40 am  - 11:10 am  -- Session 3


Workshop 1: El origen de mi nombre (presentación en Español)

Workshop 2: Prompt Your Child to be the Storyteller! | (Join via this URL)

Workshop 3: Backpacking Through Literacy

Workshop 4: Print Hunting!

Workshop 5: Share Your Light, Keep Us Bright

Workshop 6: Puppeteer- Xavier Brown

Workshop 7: Author- Sissy Varela

Workshop 8: Author- John Archambault

Workshop 9: Author- Kim Dickson

Workshop 10: Author-Jo Ann Boyce

Workshop 11: Author- Rene Colato (Presentación bilingüe)


11:20am  - 11:50 am  -- Session 4


Workshop 1: El origen de mi nombre (presentación en Español)

Workshop 2: Prompt Your Child to be the Storyteller!

Workshop 3: Backpacking Through Literacy

Workshop 4: Print Hunting!

Workshop 5: Share Your Light, Keep Us Bright

Workshop 6: Puppeteer- Xavier Brown

Workshop 7: Author- Sissy Varela

Workshop 8: Author- John Archambault

Workshop 9: Author- Kim Dickson

Workshop 10: Author-Jo Ann Boyce

Workshop 11: Author- Rene Colato (Presentación bilingüe)



12:00pm - 12:30 pm  -- Jackson Grant, Author of The Donut that Roared




Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Plague-time Casualty Rebound: Backyard Floricanto

Michael Sedano

In past years, Casa Sedano has hosted numerous authors in our Living Room Floricanto and Backyard Floricanto. We had to cease celebrating with the pandemic. We're shut-ins, so that cessation had an extra sting.

Pandemic recovery appears on track to allow a resumption of non-family gatherings of people who follow mask and distance safeguards. What a relief. Zoom offered a telecommunication-transportation trade-off that was cool--todo el mundo had living room floricantos on the phone. 

Nothing supplants the immediacy, la cultura, of readers and audiences sharing a poem or story. And this Summer, they're back. 

Here's a column from 2016 when Casa Sedano hosted Jesus Salvador Treviño's launch party for his short fiction collection, Return to Arroyo Grande. A great time we had, and the joy multiplied later when Treviño's book went on to win an American Book Award that year.

The spate of heavy rain exhausted itself and overnight the weather turned Southern California gorgeous. And since it looked like Spring had sprung early and was here to stay, people planned outdoor events, like the publication party for Jésus Salvador Treviño’s Return to Arroyo Grande.

As the day for the gathering of friends and readers approached, Pasadena skies clouded and rain threatened to wash out the reading and move it indoors. The hosts, Barbara and Michael Sedano, were bummed because Plan B, moving indoors, would challenge space and seating plans.

Treviño appreciated Sedano’s La Bloga review of Return to Arroyo Grande, the most recent in the author’s trilogy of speculative and fantasy stories. Treviño shared the column at Latinopia, where Treviño publishes excerpts from his exhaustive video and film archives, while advancing Chicana Chicano arts and literature through essay, interview, and review.

In the process of sharing the file we agreed that Treviño would do a reading at Casa Sedano. Treviño would record it and share it at Latinopia. Pick a date. That was in November.

Time, weather, hour, planning, calendars, all came together just right. The slight overcast that day offered perfect illumination for photography; clean clear light with no hard shadows.

This was a party of friends, most of them writers and storytellers.  Guests had come intending to  relax, hear a reading, and celebrate the writer's achievement.

Nonetheless, the afternoon calls to mind the importance in a book’s life of marketing. Hitting the hustings doing readings and signing books gets the book in front of its readers and launches good word-of-mouth. All manner of salutary effects on writer, reader, and book result from a relaxed event and a good reading.

Treviño put a lot of work into the reading, crafting his presentation with a flair. He selects a gruesome outer limits-style story and does characters. He growls with practiced vocalics in an author’s endeavor to extract every ounce of drama from the scene. One imagines Treviño wrestling with that text when he was writing it, now he's wrapping it around his tongue for rapt listeners, he ponders has he muted the horror enough but given it possibility?

The story and the author’s interpretive reading draw appropriate shivers and “Uyy” responses from the attentive guests. They talk about it afterward.  Another day, when they read the story, they will hear the author's voice again, re-experience this moment of delight.

Jesus Salvador Treviño's Return to Arroyo Grande should already be on the shelf of any reputatbly stocked independent bookseller. The bookseller, or you, can get your copies directly from Arte Publico Press.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Children's Day/Book Day Celebrates 25 years! We Catch Up with Pat Mora

La Bloga has the distinct privilege to speak with author and educator Pat Mora on the 25th anniversary of Children's Day/Book Day. Below is our conversation.

Pat, give us some background on Children's Day/Book Day.

This literacy initiative is a collaboration of national and state library and literacy organizations, educators, presses, and readers creatively striving to share bookjoy and its importance. Culminating April 30th, it is a year-long celebration of reading and the love of books. Children’s Day, Book Day encourages April book fiestas, in libraries, schools, homes, parks, etc.

In 1996, I learned about the Mexican tradition of celebrating April 30th as El día del niño, the day of the child. I thought, “We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We need kids’ day too, but I want to connect all children with bookjoy, the pleasure of reading.” I was enthusiastically assisted to start this family literacy initiative by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. The Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has also been an active partner. Another enthusiastic national partner is First Book, who serve as judges for the Estela and Raúl Mora Award.

 Tell us about your love of reading and the origins of Bookjoy.

Well, I am a very lucky woman for many reasons, and one of the big reasons is I come from a wonderful family.  I had wonderful parents, very devoted parents both. I'm going to talk particularly about my mom when I talk about reading. My mom, who was born in El Paso, as was I and all my kids, was a reader as a little girl. Neither of her parents spoke English, but she was just a little girl on fire when she discovered books. And in fact, her father would call out in the evening and say to her, you know, turn off the light because she'd get on you just like in the story. She would get under the covers with her flashlight and be reading. So I'm a writer, thanks to my mom. I'm a reader, thanks to my mom.  Reading is a necessity, not a luxury. 

What message do you have for teachers as a major resource for reading and literacy?

Well, as all good teachers know and I taught early In that case, then we're trying to introduce them to new kinds of books and to the subtleties of reading. How do we support them without having them feel deficient? And I think that's a real challenge, you know, and I think gifted teachers and I have through the years have a way of connecting with students.  Affirming what they are, what they know, and then supporting them to put that on the page. And that can happen with a third-grader.

Often individually, if a teacher was working with elementary school students, they can meet with parents individually and talk about how to create a space at home for study. Now, that's very basic, but there are things we take for granted, right? I mean, and encouraging parents, whether they speak English or not, to expect the child to read every day. 

I mean, I'm a grandmother now, and I am after my granddaughter on FaceTime, because they need to become readers. So it wasn't so much reading as a chore. It was reading as a joy ride. And just, you know, wherever I think kids can connect and find their joy in that world begins to expand for them. And then you have all the attention, skills, building out from that. And teachers have a lot of material to work with.

Talk about Children's Day/Book Day, its evolution at age twenty-five.

So I was just working on a piece because on the website, we're going to do something big for the twenty-fifth and actually, now we call it Children's Day/Book Day.  It was previously known as El día de los niños/El día de los libros. I realized we had to be more inclusive. When I was visiting schools for a local celebration and  I saw students who did not speak Spanish I could see on their faces, they did not feel part of the celebration.

So the reality is that it's wonderful to be bilingual and whether that's Mandarin or Spanish or Pakistani, whatever. But the reality is that English is the official language of the United States. This is a national celebration, Children's Day, Book Day, every day of the year. And then the celebration, April 30th. Great, and again, I think this is an important evolution that is more inclusive, reaching out to African-American students, Anglo students, Asian students, and Native American students. The joy of reading is for all.

Pat Mora Reads Book Fiesta on Vimeo


Thursday, April 15, 2021

As the Story Goes: Mexico's Children



Nicolas Gonzalez, kidnapper or pawn in his father's game

     When Eusevia Villalovos was fifteen years old, she and her sisters were washing clothes in the river near their home, a poor, tired rancho, Las Palmas, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Her boyfriend sat on a tree overhead watching. In 1909 having a boyfriend or girlfriend probably meant nothing more than an attraction towards one another. Parents and the Church held a tight rein on children, especially girls.

     In his novel, Al Filo del Agua, Agustin Yanez paints a portrait of rural Jalisco as dark, bleak, and barren, trapped in the Gothic past. “Village of Black-Robed Women…old women, matrons, maidens in the bloom of youth, young girls; they may be seen on church steps, in the deserted streets…glimpsed through very few, furtively open doors” (Yanez, 1955), echoes of Federico Garcia Lorca’s 1930s dark classic Bodas de Sangre, depicting sexual repression and violence in rural Spain.

     Bursting through the bushes from the opposite bank, 25 year-old Nicolas Gonzalez, a rich kid, a rancher's son, along with his friends, emerged on horseback, and in one fell swoop, lifted Eusevia from the water and onto his horse. She screamed, struck out, and tried to resist him, but he was too strong. From the tree, her boyfriend, helpless, could only watch. 


Eusevia Villalovos Gonzalez, 1950, victim, martyr, or woman warrior

     Nicolas carried Eusevia to his family ranch, Mitic, and deposited her with his mother, Micaela de los Santos Gonzalez. There, Eusevia remained, eventually submitting, marrying Nicolas, and by 1918 bearing seven children, one, the baby, Juanito, drowning in a Riverside canal, on the family's trek north.

     This is the meager story my family passed down through the years regarding the union of my grandparents, factual, no analysis, and no discussion,. I may have been the first to question the circumstances. My aunts and uncles told me “that’s the way it was back then,” "Mama never talked about it," and, “it was a different time,” but was it, really? 

     In Mexico, many young couples married back then in the traditional way, the boy respectfully asking his father to talk to the girl’s father and propose marriage. Kidnapping, brutal, violent, and destructive, was rare.

     When I told a friend the story, she answered, “Your grandfather kidnapped your grandmother, raped her, and forced her bear his children.” What went though my mind was, "Therefore, your mother and her siblings are all illegitimate, born of rape."

     I argued it wasn’t rape, not really. They were married, legally. My friend answered, “It doesn't matter. Your grandmother had no choice. She was forced to marry him. So, if she bore his children and didn’t want to be with him, that is rape, even if they were legally married.” 

     On my grandparents’ marriage certificate, after my grandmother’s name the words appear, “Vecina accidental de este lugar,” translation, “Accidental female neighbor of this location.” What could that mean? It's a phrase I've never seen on a certificate. I don’t know the legal designation, but it sounds like my grandmother married against her will. (Maybe a Bloga reader knows what this means.)   

     The young couple, along with their children, fled Mexico during the last of the revolution and settled in Santa Monica, California, where Nicolas found a job in the brickyard and Eusebia, a stern disciplinarian, raised the children. By 1940, the couple had a total of eight children, two born in Santa Monica. 

     According to most people, and his children, Nicolas was a loving father, a hard worker who rarely drank, was committed to his family, and had strong values he passed down to his children. He died in 1940, in his early 50s, from emphysema, a slow, painful death, too many years breathing brick dust. I never met him but feel like I had. 

     When I was a child, each month, my aunt would take me to visit his grave in Santa Monica's Wood Lawn Cemetery. No one else in the family is buried there, not even my grandmother, only him, solitary, a few feet from a tall palm tree near the corner of 17th Street and Pico boulevard, but surrounded by his Santa Monica neighbors, many from the same region in Mexico as he. 

     Now, I'm the only one in the family who still visits. Most of his descendants hardly know he existed. I took my grandson, Nicolas, to visit one time and told him about his great-great grandfather. His name is but a coincidence.

     When I first heard the story of my grandparents, I asked, without much thought, “How could my grandfather just steal my grandmother without her father and brothers saving her, bringing her home? Why would Juan Gonzalez, Nicolas' father, considered wealthy, allow his son to marry a girl from a poor family, no dowry, and nothing to contribute to the family?”


Esther Gonzalez Cano, the youngest, changing bloodlines

     One aunt said my grandmother Eusevia’s family was so poor, the father could barely feed them, so Pablo Villalovos figured she’d be better off with the Gonzalez family, and he didn’t complain or go to the authorities. An uncle offered another explanation. Eusebia’s family had very light skin and Nicolas’ family dark skin, Indians. Juan Gonzalez figured Eusebia's light skin would lighten the bloodline, maybe for generations. I heard the two fathers, Juan and Pablo, became good friends over the years, visiting each other regularly.

     Of course, everything I learned I was told by relatives who had to jog their memories to remember, like my aunt who told me, “I don’t think my mother ever loved my father, and she made him pay for what he did.” My mother told me, “She never forgave him and we could tell.” Another aunt said, “In the Santa Monica, Mama (that's what everyone called her) was the boss and my daddy went to work every day, came home, and gave her the money.” My grandfather, when he had earned enough money, wanted to take the family and return to Mexico, to Mitic, the family ranch, where he was still Juan Gonzalez's son. My grandmother would never return to live, and only once to visit.

     I ask myself how much of this history is true, how much is calculated, and how much is imagined? When I think of everything I was told, and everything I learned and studied about Mexico, I wonder if my grandfather really did kidnap my grandmother.

     I recall talking to a family friend, Bart Carrillo, a WWII vet, who owned a number of restaurants on L.A.'s Westside during his lifetime. Bart told me when he was ready to marry his girlfriend, he asked his father, born in Mexico, how he should go about it. Bart wanted to ask his girlfriend's father directly, out of respect. Bart’s father said it had to be decided by the parents. He would ask the girl’s father, an intermediary, for his son. Father to father. It turned out the two men were good friends.

     When days passed, and his father didn’t come back with an answer, Bart, embarrassed, had to ask his dad if he had talked to his girlfriend's father and what had happened? His father said, "Oh, that. Yes, everything is taken care of. He gave his permission." 

     Bart was peeved. Why did they make him wait so long for an answer? His father laughed and told Bart the fathers had agreed the first day they talked, but they decided to play a small joke on the couple and let them sweat it out a few days. The two men had a good laugh over that, which got me to thinking. Could Juan Gonzalez and Pablo Villalovos have planned the kidnapping and marriage? 

     Pablo Villalobos knew his daughter, Eusevia, would not agree to marry Nicolas since she had a boyfriend and didn’t even like Nicolas. Juan Gonzalez didn’t want to see his son rejected by any girl, let alone one from a poor rancho, so, it makes sense the two men might encourage Nicolas to take matters into his own hand and simply take the girl, with impunity. No one would object, not the parents, and not the authorities. The fathers may have thought she’d get over it after a few days.


The great-great-great grandchildren

     In the end, the two men, the elders, responsible for their families, may have concluded, the families were more important than the two children. With Eusevia married to Nicolas, it would lessen his own burden on having to provide for his large family. Eusebia would be taken care of, and her own children would be the grandchildren of wealthy rancher. On the other hand, Juan’s offspring would have light skin and, perhaps, change the family bloodline forever, giving his descendants a easier path into the upper echelons of Mexican society, where color mattered.

    I mean, it makes sense and is logical, as the story goes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

2021 Children's Bilingual Book Festival



For more information visit



National Hispanic Cultural Center

 a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs




April 15 - 18, 2021


9am - 5pm (MDT) Via Zoom



No Registration Required

A Free, Multi-Generational, Community Event.


Four days of author readings, book events, workshops and more, featuring children's bilingual books in Spanish and English and Native languages and English.  Free and open to the public.

Cuatro días de lecturas de autores, eventos de libros, talleres y más con libros bilingües para niños en español e inglés e idiomas nativos e inglés. Gratis y abierto al público.



This is the list of authors and illustrations/ Esta es la lista de los autores e ilustradores.



Alexandra Diaz         

Amy Córdova y Boone         

Ana Siqueira 

Anna M. Nogar          

Cathy Camper          

Concepción Saucedo Martinez        

Enrique Lamadrid   

Eric Velasquez          

Jessica Gonzez           

Maria Gomez 

Matt de la Peña        

Naibe Reynoso          

Raynelda Calderon  

René Colato Laínez   

Robert Liu-Trujillo   

Rocío Cervantes Garcia        

Traci Sorell    

Viviana Torres          

Xavier Garza 

Xóchitl Guerrero       

Yolpaki Xihuit