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Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos
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Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  330 ratings  ·  65 reviews
"Middle grade readers will appreciate reading stories that reflect their lives, not their parents’ or grandparents’ stories" (, in their article "10 Exciting New Middle Grade Books with Latinx Main Characters")

Acclaimed author and Pura Belpré Award honoree Lulu Delacre’s beautifully illustrated collection of twelve short stories is a groundbreaking look at the
ebook, 256 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it

I was so happy to find this in my library and I had no idea it existed. I loved how there were portrait illustrations of the characters the short stories were about. My favorite story was GUERA because I related to it so much being Mexican-American and so light I pass for white, we struggle too sometimes and I just loved seeing someone like myself portrayed since I rarely see it in fiction. One issue I had was that some of the stories were long, to me short stories are about 1-5 pages,
Nay Keppler
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful collection of short stories based on real events in the news and events that the author had experienced peripherally. I would love nothing more than to send this book back in a time machine to a ten-year-old Trump.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse-books
Mixed feelings: of course, diverse books are great, and the illustrations were amazing, yet I was confused by some of the stories, and I felt some didn’t flow quite well.
Highly recommend for kids 8-12.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty good. I liked it a lot. I think it was really cool how Lulu Delacre wrote it. I also liked learning about different peoples families.
RVCC Library
Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos, is a series of short stories based on the real lives of various young Latinos which the author either learns about from the news or people she knows. The story topics covered are diverse and broad. The stories are all very fast and easy reads, but nevertheless still touch briefly upon deeper topics and are overall very much enjoyable. The stories are all written in the point of view of children, so the deeper meanings and sensitive topics the s ...more
Mary Louise Sanchez
I enjoyed reading these short stories about contemporary Latino kids, often based on news articles, with a short note about the inspiration for the stories, and the articles cited at the end of the book.

Hopefully readers will realize there is a great diversity even among Latinos--in their looks, where they live, their family situations, and more. However, I do wish the author had included more stories with settings in the southwest.Yet, these are universal stories for everyone.

The excellent rea
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Check out my full review on my blog:https://thereadingsofanenglishteacher...

Us in Progress is also fun because it includes original artwork from Lulu Delacre. They are mixed media portraits representing the teens that inspired the stories. Many of the stories are based on real-life events and Delacre includes those articles in the end of the anthology.

These are hands down, texts that I would share with my students both Latino and not. I think there is a lot that my students could relate to as we
Ana Luisa
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a lovely collection of short, open-ended stories leaving the reader with so much to think about. As a Latina, I was able to relate to a lot of the young people in this book. The exploration of how Latinxs identify themselves is such a critical part of this book—showing that we come from a wide range of very different backgrounds. I will try my hardest to put this book in the many hands of my students.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book does an excellent job of sharing different perspectives in the Latino community. I love the concept--stories inspired by news articles. Source notes at the end explain the inspiration for the stories and cite news articles used in research. The added bonus of breathtaking illustrations makes this book a real keeper. Every school library should have a copy.
Emily Francis
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amazing collection of stories that reaffirm and honor Latinx teens. I love the many perspectives shared through each story.
As an ESL teacher I can see many of my students strongly identifying themselves to one or more of these stories.
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Each story is a treasure! Can’t wait to read with students.
Twelve short stories capture the variety of experiences of teen Latinos/as today. The stories cover a wide array of small and large moments, from looking for a miracle to being seen as white. My favorites were "Burrito Man" in which a girl realizes just how much her father meant to his customers and then vows to make his dreams that she'd go to college come true and "90,000 Children" in which Frank comes to view immigration via the Rio Grande River very differently after meeting Romina. While th ...more
I really like the art, and I think this would pair beautifully with In The Country We Love: My Family Divided as a non-fiction comparison. My favorite story was Burrito Man; reader, I cried. I also really liked the glossary at the end, though all the italics reminded me about something I read Junot Diaz said in an interview or something that I can't quite remember. In my Googling, I found this article by another writer which feels like a solid companion read if you're curious about italicizing ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-releases
"Underwhelmed," the word that describes how I feel after finishing this book. The illustrations were so beautiful but some of the stories did not capture my attention, didn't feel like they had a purpose, or were poorly written. There were other stories that I liked but did not love, some I feel ended too abruptly or just as I was getting into it. This is a middle grade short story collection and I'm not much of a middle grade reader so that's probably why I felt such a big disconnection from th ...more
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of short stories, all the more powerful because they're all based on stories of real Latinx kids and teens in the United States. And the author's illustrations—mixed-media portraits of each protagonist—are just phenomenal, adding a really cool element to each story.

These stories are varied, representing all different kinds of kids from all over the country with all different backgrounds and all different kinds of worries and wonders. I really enjoyed all the stories. t
This is such a good selection of short stories! I love the way many different parts of Latino characters are explored. All of the stories are based on true events and really gives readers an unlikely glimpse into the lives of Latino children. The author does a great job of communicating the difficulty of living in two worlds and having different cultural identities within your own world. This book would be a great edition to any teacher's collection. Great way to expose readers to more complex w ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like many books of short stories, not all of the stories are equal levels of quality. I enjoyed most of them a lot, but a few of them could have benefited from being longer. The last story especially really made some jumps in no time at all that came out of nowhere (the main character goes from being a little puke to being a nice kid in like one page). Things I especially liked-all the notes at the end, giving context for each story. Also the fact that there was so much diversity within the stor ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!

This is a wonderful collection of 12 short stories featuring (fictional) lives of Latino/a people living in the United States. I loved the variety of family stories, kid personalities, family backgrounds (Mexico, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Nicaragua), story tone, and more. The kids' conflicts were both relatable and informed readers of how varied our stories are in the United States.
A few short stories are better written than others, but all are appropriate for upper middle grade and o
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Despite some great writing in most parts, Us, In Progress seemed to be filled up with repetitive or overlong stories that left me confused or underwhelmed. It left me wondering because almost every story had the same plot points. As a White Hispanic, I felt many of the short stories did not explore different Hispanics or Latinos like myself and many others, ones who don't speak Spanish or are at risk of being deported. But nonetheless, this book has strong moments that makes it a worthwhile read ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun isn't the proper descriptor for this impactful Juvenile/YA lit book that tackles real issues, but the style is so honest and approachable it almost feels like that could work. The artwork in tandem with each story is enchanting and I very much appreciated the backstory in the final appendix that showed the nonfiction inspiration for each story. It only took me two days and change to cover, but I had to put it down for a good week between day one and finishing, so I was surprised at how quick ...more
Delacre started with a true story that a family friend shared with her. She thought more people needed to hear it. Then she found other stories: in newspapers, on the radio, etc. They all tell of Latinos and their varied experiences in the US. They range from immigration to soccer to piano recitals, food, and so much more. They are beautifully illustrated with layered pictures that elaborate the message of diversity, incompleteness, and the need for understanding.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can’t speak to the real authenticity of these stories, but they felt very real, and the backmatter (which I appreciated greatly) reinforces that impression. Short stories aren’t usually my thing, but these were excellent. You get to know the characters quickly, and it’s easy to empathize with them and care about their situations. Most of the stories were thought-provoking and will definitely stay with me. Altogether, I would say the author accomplished what she set out to do. Very well done.
Mary Thomas
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A diverse and mostly enjoyable collection of short stories about Latino Youth is various parts of the country. Many based on news stories or true events. I think middle schoolers will enjoy them and will be able to relate to the range of topics covered. Some of the plot arcs seemed underdeveloped, but I don’t read a ton of middle grade short stories. I’ll be interested to hear student opinions. The art is BEAUTIFUL and a highlight for sure.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short stories featuring Latinx young people. Beautiful portraits accompany each story and the author includes a Spanish/English (and K'iche) glossary. Delacre also includes notes on each story -- some were inspired by current events like the Dream Act or the large number of unaccompanied minors crossing into the US from Mexico. This collection is beautifully written and will give readers much to think about and discuss. ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The short stories outlined in this book are beyond amazing! There are so many different aspects of Latinx communities that most people don't even realize, occur. I enjoyed the different types of stories and there were time when I had tears in my eyes, because yes, no one sees that, but it happens all the time! Overall, thank you so much Lulu for writing these beautiful words! ☺ ...more
Ted Graham
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed most of these stories. They all had good character development and the author did a great job showing the perspective of the main characters. The thread that connected all the stories was the complexity of humanity. I think this book provided some interesting insight into lives I don’t live and would definitely be a good middle grade read.
I really liked some of the stories, but I thought the collection overall was somewhat uneven. Definitely a needed addition to the options out there, however. My school is 95% Hispanic so it's great to have some fresh stories to choose from (we are going to use a couple with our 6th graders in the next few weeks!). ...more
Lisa Flores
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book offers an opportunity to see into the lives of Latino teens and the issues they face in their lives. Some issues only they can experience and yet some that all teens can relate to. A wonderful collection of stories for others to read and get a perspective into the lives of those that have been so harshly judges.
A lovely mix of short stories of Latinx characters with illustrations inspired by the incomplete story of any young adult and the largest group in America. It touches on issues like immigration and loyalty, family and religion. Short and accessible.
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I create my books out of love and the conviction that they are sorely needed, and I’ve seen them succeed. I’ve measured their success in the proud smiles of many Latino children as they join hands with their schoolmates and myself, in the game song of Arroz con Leche. Or as we all sing vejigante chants behind paper masks when recreating a carnaval. For when these Latino children feel their classma ...more

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