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Teaching Multicultural Literature : A Workshop for the Middle Grades
Workshop 1 Workshop 2 Workshop 3 Workshop 4 Workshop 5 Workshop 6 Workshop 7 Workshop 8
Workshop 2: Engagement and Dialogue - Judith Ortiz Cofer and Nikki Grimes
Authors and Literary Works
Video Summary
Teaching Strategies
Student Work
General Resources
Authors and Literary Works
Teaching Strategies
Additional Resources
Interactive Workbook -- Explore two poems using strategies from these workshops. Go.
Channel-Talk -- Share your views on the discussion board. Go.

Works By and About Author

Judith Ortiz Cofer
Nikki Grimes

Judith Ortiz Cofer

Works by the Author
Listed below are selected works by the author.

    Ortiz Cofer, Judith. An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio. New York: Orchard, 1995.

    ---. Call Me María. New York: Scholastic, 2004.
    When a teenage girl leaves her home in Puerto Rico to live in the barrio in New York, she is torn by her loyalty to both worlds.

    ---. The Latin Deli: Prose and Poetry. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993.
    This collection of autobiographical essays and poems describes Ortiz Cofer's experience as a Puerto Rican immigrant.

    ---. The Line of the Sun. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989.
    Ortiz Cofer's first novel describes the conflicts Puerto Rican immigrants face in the United States and shows the vibrancy of Puerto Rican culture.

    ---. The Meaning of Consuelo. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003.
    A Puerto Rican girl deals with loss and change as she becomes an adult.

    ---. Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1990.
    In these essays and poems, Ortiz Cofer recalls the difficulties she faced as a child moving between her home in Puerto Rico and her home in New Jersey.

    ---. Terms of Survival. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1987.
    This collection of poems describes Ortiz Cofer's struggle with her culture and its customs.

    ---. Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming a Writer. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2000.
    In this autobiographical essay, Ortiz Cofer tells how she became a writer and encourages those who wish to write but face obstacles.

Further Readings About the Author


    Colley, Rae M. Carlton. "Review of the Career of Judith Ortiz Cofer." In Contemporary Southern Writers, ed. Roger Matuz, 78-81. Detroit: St. James Press, 1999.
    This is a review of Ortiz Cofer's works in the context of Southern literary traditions.

    Dick, Bruce Allen, ed. "Judith Ortiz Cofer." In A Poet's Truth: Conversations With Latino/Latina Poets, 106-22. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003.
    Ortiz Cofer discusses her work and her place in American literature.

    Dolores Hernandez, Carmen. "Where Is Home? I Want to Go There." In Puerto Rican Voices: Interviews With Writers, 95-105. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997.
    In this interview, Ortiz Cofer discusses her work, her life, and the literary tradition from which she comes.

    Faymonville, Carmen. "Motherland Versus Daughterland in Judith Ortiz Cofer's The Line of the Sun." In The Immigrant Experience in North American Literature: Carving Out a Niche, ed. Katherine B. Payant and Toby Rose, 123-38. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999.
    Faymonville's essay deals with conflict in immigrant life in the United States.

    Magill, Frank, ed. "The Poetry of Judith Ortiz Cofer." In Masterpieces of Latino Literature, 452-56. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
    This book contains summaries, critical analyses, and background information on some of Ortiz Cofer's works.

    Sanchez-Gonzalez, Lisa. "'I Like to Be in America': Three Women's Texts." In Boricua Literature, 134-60. New York: New York University Press, 2001.
    Ortiz Cofer and other Puerto Rican writers are featured in this book.

Web Sites


    Acosta-Belen, Edna. "A MELUS Interview: Judith Ortiz Cofer -- Poetry and Poetics." MELUS (Fall 1993):83-88.
    Ortiz Cofer discusses her life as a bilingual immigrant and the social issues she explores in her works.

    Davis, Rocio G. "Metanarrative in Ethnic Autobiography for Children: Laurence Yep's The Lost Garden and Judith Ortiz Cofer's Silent Dancing." MELUS (Summer 2002):139-58.
    Davis examines social difficulties through literature and compares the immigrant experiences of Judith Ortiz Cofer and Laurence Yep as revealed by their writings.

    Faymonville, Carmen. "New Transnational Identities in Judith Ortiz Cofer's Autobiographical Fiction." MELUS (Summer 2001):129-57.
    Faymonville explores how Ortiz Cofer's characters try to find identities that are not restricted by the limiting notions of nationality.

Nikki Grimes

Works by the Author
Listed below are selected works by the author.

    Grimes, Nikki. Bronx Masquerade. New York: Dial, 2001.

    ---. Danitra Brown Leaves Town. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.
    Through poems and letters, Danitra recounts her summer at her aunt's house in the country and her best friend Zuri's summer at home in town.

    ---. A Dime a Dozen. New York: Dial, 1998.
    This collection of poems describes the experiences of an African American girl growing up in New York.

    ---. Jazmin's Notebook. New York: Dial, 1998.
    In this novel, Jazmin, an African American teenager, writes poetry and keeps a record of the events in her life in order to give herself strength.

    ---. Malcolm X: A Force for Change. New York: Fawcett, 1992.
    Grimes gives an account of the drive and inspiration that enabled Malcolm X to be a civil rights leader.

    ---. Meet Danitra Brown. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1994.
    Poems describe the friendship between two girls, Danitra and Zuri.

    ---. Stepping Out With Grandma Mac. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.
    These poems present a child's point of view about her relationship with her grandmother.

    ---. Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman. New York: Orchard, 1998.
    Grimes writes about Bessie Coleman, the first African American licensed pilot.

    ---. What Is Goodbye? Illustrated by Raul Colón. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2004.
    Through poems, a brother and sister express their grief after losing their brother.

Further Readings About the Author


    Pendergast, Sara, and Tom Pendergast, eds. St. James Guide to Children's Writers. 5th ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 1999.
    This book includes a biographical sketch of Grimes along with a bibliography and critical analysis.

Web Sites

    Book Links: "Riding (and Writing) on a Dare"
    Grimes explains where she finds the ideas for her work and describes her writing process.

    Nikki Grimes Web site
    Grimes created this personal site, which includes information about her life as an author, her works, and guides for educators who wish to teach her works.

    Visiting Authors: Nikki Grimes
    This site offers information about how Grimes perceives herself as a poet and a writer, as well as a complete listing of her works.

    Authors on the Web: Author Roundtables
    Poet Roundtable for Young Audiences, April 2003
    The Poet Roundtable is a discussion among Grimes and other authors about their views on poetry.

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