Esmeralda Santiago, also known as Negi, describes her childhood growing up in Puerto Rico and her eventual move to New York with her mother and siblings.
Below are some reading passages that we have hand picked to supplement this book. Be sure to read the passage summaries and our suggestions for instructional use.
In Julia Alvarez’s short story “Names/Nombres,” the author explores the various names she has received over the years.
In Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve’s short story “The Medicine Bag,” Martin’s grandpa visits him and passes down a medicine bag to him, an important object in their family.
In Nikki Grimes’s poem “David’s Old Soul,” a speaker describes himself growing up as he takes on more responsibility.
In Gwendolyn Brooks’ short story “Home,” a family may be forced to leave their home.
In Pedro Pietri’s epic poem “Puerto Rican Obituary,” Pietri describes the experiences of five Puerto Ricans in America.
In June 2014, NPR published this story about Rashema Melson. At the time, Melson was a homeless high school senior at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C. She is now a student at Georgetown University.
In Nikki Giovanni’s poem “Mothers,” the speaker describes the different ways she has seen her mother throughout her life.