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When the Spirits Dance Mambo: Growing Up Nuyorican in El Barrio
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When the Spirits Dance Mambo: Growing Up Nuyorican in El Barrio

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  80 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
When rock and roll was transforming American culture in the 1950s and �60s, East Harlem pulsed with the sounds of mambo and merengue. Instead of Elvis and the Beatles, Marta Moreno Vega grew up worshipping Celia Cruz, Mario Bauza, and Arsenio Rodriguez. Their music could be heard on every radio in El Barrio and from the main stage at the legendary Palladium, where every ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 16th 2004 by Three Rivers Press (first published November 1st 2004)
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Kafilah Muhammad
May 24, 2016 Kafilah Muhammad rated it it was amazing
Vibrant. Lively. I loved reading about Marta's life in El Barrio and the wonderful culture of the people she grew up around. Growing up in an Afro-latino community, I thought she depicted life being surrounded by several influences and characters vivaciously. Pretty dope that she also inserted excerpts about Yoruba // Santeria traditions that she was influenced by in her upbringing.
Sumayyah
Marta Moreno Vega takes us on a tour of el barrio in Spanish Harlem during the 1950s. She shares with us events from her childhood/formative years to better explain the intersections of culture, race, and spirituality. A wonderful, wonderful read.
Kimberly
Aug 21, 2008 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
This is a great book. In reading it you really gain a sense of intimacy with the characters and become emotionally involved with their triumphs and struggles. Its a very engaging read and helps you relate to people who are from another culture and yet live so close to us.
Seven
Jun 09, 2008 Seven rated it really liked it
If you are puerto rican and grow up in NYC you are going to relate to this book. She went into more of her childhood in this book. Cute
Kat
Sep 03, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it
A very moving coming of age story of life in El Barrio, NYC, for 2nd and 3rd generation Puerto Ricans. Extremely well written.
Arianna
Jan 11, 2010 Arianna rated it really liked it
id say this book is a 4.5 :) Also I would suggest this book to girls only!
Bekka
Feb 28, 2014 Bekka rated it really liked it
Great personal testimony of growing up in El Barrio as an Afro-Latina female. Strong cultural connections & a narrative which portrays the problems of discrimination and machismo.
Tianna L.
Jun 05, 2010 Tianna L. rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting. The reason why I read this book was because the author came to our school in 9th grade and signed books for us. Recommended to teens.
Kelly Sosa
Jul 01, 2009 Kelly Sosa rated it really liked it
Great book, I could really relate to it.
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