Tactics of Hope in Latinx Children's and Young Adult Literature

By Jesus MontañoRegan Postma-Montaño



This important study affirms that Latinx children and young adults are uniquely positioned to change the world. Using Gloria Anzaldúa’s theories of conocimiento as a critical lens, the authors examine several literary works including Side by Side / Lado a lado; They Call Me Güero; Land of the Cranes; Efrén Divided; and Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. Using these texts and others, Montaño and Postma-Montaño demonstrate how Latinx literature for young readers reveals the oppressions that affect the everyday lives of Latinx youth in order to destabilize the racist notions that inform them. Whether it is injustices in the agricultural fields, weaponization of deportation and deportability, or forms of exclusion based on gender, ethnicity, and race, the books in this study counter by imagining and then participating in social-justice activism that seeks to transform the world. Ultimately the lessons shared in these books will allow Latinx young people to lead us into a future where equity and belonging are as endemic as they currently are rare.

Contributor Bios
Jesus Montaño is an associate professor of English at Hope College. His primary teaching interests include Latinx young adult literature and Latinx / Latin American literary confluences.
Regan Postma-Montaño is an assistant professor of English and Spanish at Hope College. She teaches a variety of courses that focus on Latinx and Latin American literary and cultural production, children’s and young adult literature, and peace and justice studies.