Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths

42p. YesYes. Oct. 2016. pap. $12. ISBN 9781936919451.
Gr 10 Up—This poetry book divided in chapters highlights civil rights abuses affecting Dominican people throughout history. The 21 poems are peppered with Spanish words and explore a number of high- and low-profile events: a relative of slain Florida teen Jordan Davis, a Haitian man lynched in a Dominican park, a brutal dictator. Some poems refer to specific places, names, and dates; others are more generic stories with advice to help young people stay strong in the face of injustice. The verses are well written and loaded with meaning; they are not meant to be quickly read and won't be easily forgotten. "La Ciguapa," "First Job," and "The True Story of La Negra" are excellent poems for gender studies courses, while others, like "Beloved," "The Dictator's Brujas," and "February 10th 2015," tie into history lessons.
VERDICT These short selections tackle heavy topics like rape, abuse, harassment, discrimination, and lynching in a short, poignant package. Highly recommended for upper high school and college students.

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