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Other titles in the Pinata Bilingual Picture Books series:
Benjamin and the Word / Benjamin y La Palabraby Daniel A Olivas
Synopses & Reviews
While Benjamin waits for his father to pick him up from school, he doesn?t hear the screams of the kids playing dodge ball on the playground. The only thing he hears is, ?a word. The word.? Earlier that day, Benjamin beat his friend James while playing handball, and James retaliated by calling Benjamin ?the word.?
With soft, watercolor illustrations that compliment the text, Benjamin and the Word / Benjamín y la palabra is a gem of a picture book. When confronted with James? epithet, Benjamin and the reader set off on a poignant journey to understanding and forgiveness. Exploring tough issues of bigotry, racial dualities, and cultural difference, Benjamin, James, and the reader will never be the same after bigotry on the playground.
Originally published as a five-part series in the Los Angeles Times? Kids? Reading Room section, Olivas? book has already won acclaim from readers and even received a letter of praise from the Anti-Defamation League. A perfect discussion-starter both in the classroom and at home, Benjamin and his struggle will enrich the way that readers aged 4 to 8 think about diversity and tolerance.
?In the pressure-cooker of elementary school, where high stakes testing is winning out over funding for anti-bias education, Olivas helps us understand the effect name-calling has on young people and how parents can effectively talk to their children about hate.? Abraham Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League
"The father-son relationship and their discussions...are warm and open, and Benjamin's conclusion that he still wants James to be his friend is encouraging and believable....A quiet look at prejudice, forgiveness and friendship." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Daniel Olivas is the author of Devil Talk: Stories (Bilingual Press, 2004), Assumption and Other Stories (Bilingual Press, 2003), The Courtship of María Rivera Peña (Silver Lake Publishing, 2000), and a children?s book, Benjamin and the Word (Arte Público Press/Piñata Books, 2005). He is currently editing an anthology of Los Angeles fiction by Latino/a writers.
Olivas's short stories, poetry, essays and book reviews have appeared in many publications including the Los Angeles Times, the Jewish Journal, THEMA, the MacGuffin, Moorishgirl.com, Exquisite Corpse, the Pacific Review, Bilingual Review, and the Multicultural Review. He holds a degree in English Literature from Stanford University and law degree from UCLA. He now practices law in Los Angeles with the California Department of Justice where he specializes in environmental enforcement and land use. Olivas makes his home in the San Fernando Valley with his wife and son.
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