Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Antonio Sacre
When Antonio's father fled Cuba, he built a boat and sailed all of his family and friends safely to America. Not really, but that's the story Antonio likes to tell. The truth is that his father immigrated to the United States in the 1960s and married Antonio's Irish mother. Therefore, Antonio is an Irish-Cuban-American born in Boston. Growing up in a bilingual culture, he often felt confused and torn between his cultural identities. As a teen, Antonio rejected his Cuban heritage and lost the Spanish language altogether. Several years later, his grandmother forced him to learn it again, and Antonio was thankful she did. After that, he embraced his cultures and found the value of exploring all of his identity. Antonio became a famous storyteller. His experiences have been heard by many, and now they live on in print form for all to enjoy.
Antonio's book of short stories is a fun, quick read for a variety of ages. His message is one of acceptance of the cultures that make up the great country of America. His compelling accounts of the experiences that shaped him prompt the reader to tell their own story and explore their own heritage. Most of the stories are told in English with bits of Spanish throughout. Even a monolingual reader can appreciate the love and beauty that Sacre sees in the Spanish language. The book is not only a great read for personal growth, but a fantastic resource for secondary classrooms. The short chapters offer an easy and unique way of bringing multiculturalism into the classroom. My Name Is Cool makes the reader laugh, cry, ponder, and imagine. Overall, Antonio's message is clear: appreciate your heritage, and tell your story.