Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Lulu Delacre
Us, in Progress is a collection of short stories written from the perspectives of twelve diverse young Latinos who live in the United States. The stories cover topics including health issues, prejudice, personal identity struggles, dreamers, and cultural and family pressure. Each story is based on news reports or personal stories related directly to the author, Lulu Delacre. The struggles and victories contained within the stories help to paint a broader understanding of the Latino community in the US today.
Delacre has told each story, accompanied by original multi-media portraits, with a unique voice that suits the situation and individual. Her choice to reflect the stories of Latino youth enables her to touch on large, often overwhelming and divisive, issues with the quiet power of the rising generation. While looking at these highly-charged issues through the eyes of children helps to diffuse tension, Delacre doesn’t shy away from the problems faced by the Latino community, from within as well as without. Each story is left largely open-ended, but each suggests the existence of hope and the possibility for this “in progress” generation and community to find the answer of belonging within their own families, cultures, and this nation. This volume would be well used in classrooms to help students, especially those not frequently exposed to a broader cultural mix, to begin to understand the unique situation of those who are often torn between two worlds.