On Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima and Becoming a Lifelong Reader, and How I Nearly Blew It as a Teacher: An Extended Testimonio

  • René Saldaña, Jr. Texas Tech University


This article, written in large part as a testimonio, argues that the use of culturally relevant texts with struggling, minoritized readers will increase their opportunity at literacy and academic success. The author recounts the story of when he discovered Cisneros’ The House On Mango Street (1991) that then led, unexpectedly, to Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima (1972), two novels that caused him to fall in love with the reading act once again. The article also argues that educators must intentionally act on behalf of their struggling, minoritized readers by providing them numerous opportunities at discovering themselves in class-sanctioned literature by restructuring their required reading lists.


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