San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Goodnight Middle School 7th grader Jose Hernandez performs a “grito” (the cry) with Texas State University mariachi band. PHOTO by JANET ARMSTRONG

STAFF REPORT

Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade English Language Learner (ELL) students from Goodnight Middle School attended the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award ceremony at Texas State University on Oct. 20.

Alex Sanchez received the 2011 award for his young adult novel, Bait. The award honors literature that portrays the lives and cultures of Mexican Americans without damaging stereotypes. Sanchez spoke of his own life, his earlier award-winning novels, and about Bait.

“Because the guests from Goodnight are English-language learners, they could connect to the struggles of Sanchez’s immigration from Mexico and the negative feelings that may come from it,” said Janet Armstrong, Goodnight Middle School librarian. “Many students purchased the book Bait, and all students left with the understanding that being different should not be hidden or shamed, but that everyone’s differences should be accepted.”

The presentation opened with the university’s mariachi band, Mariachi Nueva Generacion, whose members asked the Goodnight students to perform “el grito” (the cry) in front of the audience. Jose Hernandez, Goodnight Middle School seventh grader, rose to the occasion and punctuated the chorus of the mariachi music with his outstanding grito, said Armstrong.

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