Congratulations to Ann Hagman Cardinal, Lisa Alvarado and Jane Alberdeston Coralin for their new book “Sister Chicas.”
A Latina sisterhood
Three writers approach chica lit from different angle
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
So when Cardinal came across a listing looking for proposals for young adult novels for Latinas, she dialed up her college chicas. They began writing a book they hoped would portray the everyday cultural and familial challenges of young Latinas in a way that many adult contemporary man-hungry chica-lit novels do not.
The threesome sold their book to New American Library/Penguin with the title Sister Chicas, something the women consider themselves to be.
The novel, published this spring, follows a trio of Latina teens who meet every week at a Cuban restaurant to catch up on their lives, a lot like Cardinal, Coralin and Alvarado did in Vermont. The young chicas deal with overprotective mothers, the loss of a parent, interracial dating, a love of writing and boy crushes as they plan the youngest girl’s quinceaÃ±era (“sweet 15” party.)
The women developed the kind of book they wished they could have found in their youth. Publishers are catering to that genre, calling it chica-teen lit. It’s been a growing market with the demographic explosion of young Latinas and an interest among Anglo kids as they graduate from Dora the Explorer stories to more mature material.
Each writer took on the voice of one of the characters and told her story in alternating chapters. The authors wrote the book via e-mail and phone over the span of a year because they moved to different places after graduating. Each character is loosely based on each of the Latinas’ personal experiences.
I’m putting this on my “to read” list.