Fiction. Cultural Writing. Ankiza is the fifth novel in Gloria Velasquez's Roosevelt High School series, which features a group of students who must individually face troubling personal and social worries (such as violence, racial prejudice, and emerging sexuality) that are inescapable for many young adults today.
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Gloria Velasquez is an award-winning writer of poetry and fiction. She is the author of two poetry collections. I Used to Be a Superwoman (1997) and Xicana on the Run (2006), and the Roosevelt High School Series: Teen Angel (2003), Ankiza (2000), Rina's Family Secret (1998), Maya's Divided World (1995), Tommy Stands Alone (1995), and Juanita Fights the School Board (1994), all from Pinata Books. Velasquez is currently a Professor in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.From School Library Journal :
Grade 7 Up-In this fifth book in the series, Ankiza, who is black, starts dating Hunter, who is white. Her friends and parents, his parents, and other students at Roosevelt High School in Laguna, CA, do not approve. At first, the teen is shocked, and then hurt, confused, and angered by their reactions. It is only when Ankiza gets a nasty, anonymous letter that her friends and family rally around her. The characters are a diverse group and are true to the age group they represent. The author tackles a powerful social issue with compassion and honesty. A good discussion starter with a satisfying ending.
Cathy Coffman, Peoria Public Library, AZ
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