Not just any Monday, but the fourth Monday in May. Memorial Day. Afrobella has a great tribute to African Americans who served in the war. It can be so easy to forget the fights within the fight that people of color faced during every war beginning with the French and Indian. People of color were always present. There were Japanese American troops who saved Allied troops in the Vosage Mountains in northern France,  an African American tank battalion that freed Jewish prisoners in Germany and Native Americans who allowed their tribal languages become secret military codes. Latinos began fighting in US wars with the American Revolution and Africans fought as early as the French and Indian war.  We all have reason to celebrate and remember on this fourth Monday in May.

UnderCoverMonday is about books that I’ve found, but haven’t yet had a chance to read. So, I go under the cover and share a peak! Today, it’s Call Me Henri by Lorraine M. López. imageDB.cgi

From the back cover:

Enrique’s world is one of family obligations and hardships, of tricky nameuvers up and down the often dangerous streets of his neighborhood, and the usual travails of a middle-school student–for Enrique the hardest is having to take ESL classes. Enrique’s dream is to learn French, a language that sounds like music to him. But his dream must be deferred as he takes care of his triplet infant brothers after school, as he barely misses being shot in a drive-by, as he rescues his famiy from the violence of his stepfather, and more.

First sentence: Call me Henri, Enrique wrote after begging a pencil from his seatmate, Cake Angie.

Hay labio jabón lechuga,”, Horacio said to girls who strolled past him. He didn’t care if they were fat or skinny, tall or short, shabby or well-dressed. Horacio greeted them all with the same nonsensical phrase that sounded like I love you__Iwon’t let you go in English. Translated, it meant: There is lipsoap lettuce.

As Horacio explained it, he could never get in trouble saying this to girls, in case they turned out to have jealous boyfriends or protective brothers or if they girls themselves turned out to be tattlers. What harm was there in declaring the existence of lipsoap lettuce after all? And every once in a while, he claimed, some girl would smile and talk to him when he said this to her. Sometimes, he said it with a wink, they would even “go out” with him. Enrique had his doubts about this.

And, I’m just hearing this on MSNBC: obama_bookx-largeThere is a new book about President Obama, available only from Amazon. The book contains photos and essays. Once you order the book, you are directed to a website that will print your name as an author of your book and allow you to select your own images.  Read more! This is reminding me of books we used to get at kiosks in the mall when my children were younger. Their name, and those of their friends were written into customized books which were printed, bound and delivered, personalized books.