Ernesto Quiñonez, acclaimed author of Bodega Dreams visited the White Plains High School Library Media Center on April 20th in honor of School Library Media Month. More than 200 students who had read his book, Bodega Dreams, listened to him read from the book, then participated in a question and answer session.
Mr. Quiñonez related his experiences growing up in El Barrio and how it influenced his writing. He stressed the need for students to get a good education, “Immerse yourself in art, music and movies and embrace the beauty of art and the storyteller.” He encouraged students to read and listen to music that is out of their comfort zone.
Set in Spanish Harlem, Bodega Dreams has become a landmark in contemporary literature. It is required reading in many high schools and colleges around the country and in 2004, it was heralded as a “New Immigrant Classic” by The New York Times.
Mr. Quiñonez is currently an assistant professor at Cornell University. He studied writing at CUNY and has been a fellow at Breadloaf Writers’ Conference. Mr. Quiñonez taught bilingual fourth grade in the New York City Public Schools.