Grandma’s Gift

Book Summary: 

In this autobiographical story, Eric spends Christmas break from school with his Puerto Rican grandma. Eric and his grandma create many happy memories as she passes down customs from Puerto Rico. When Eric is assigned to view an exhibit at the National Museum of Arts, Grandma must face her fears of leaving the barrio and entering an unfamiliar part of New York City. Together Eric and his grandma discover the portrait of Juan de Pareja, a slave who worked in the studio of Diego Velázquez and would later become a painter himself.

Year: 
2011
Author: 
Eric Velasquez
Illustrator: 
Eric Velasquez
Publisher: 
Walker Childrens
Guiding Question: 

Do you have a relationship with someone in which you both help each other? If you do, describe the ways you have helped each other.

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- Although the U.S. does not have an official language, many people speak only English. Many Americans consider English our official language and some Americans disrespect people who don't speak English well. How many languages do you know? What steps could you take to learn another language?

Empathy- What do you think Eric’s grandma felt when she left the comfort of El Barrio and arrived at the museum and didn’t see anyone from Puerto Rico there, no one spoke Spanish, and everything was written in English?

Advocacy- Discover places where signs in more than one language would be helpful.

Action- Complete a project in which multi-language signs are created and displayed. You will probably need to do fund raising  and get permission to complete this project.