What Does it Mean to Be Puerto Rican in Children's Literature?

Maria Acevedo


Under the large umbrella of Latinx children’s literature, the books and studies that specifically portray Puerto Rican characters, settings, and stories are limited, creating a gap in understanding the representations of Puerto Ricans in children’s literature. This study explores the voices of Puerto Ricans through a critical content analysis of twenty contemporary realistic picture books published from 2000-2016. The collection shows 1) a magical but limiting representation of the island; 2) a consistent absence of the African or Afro-Puerto Rican identity; 3) a complex use of Spanish in English texts and, 4) a resistance against a colonial discourse and myths that have historically described the broad Latinx population as indifferent with regards to their children’s educación.

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