Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

What is the story of your name?

What story would you like to tell?

These are the questions Juana Martinez-Neal leaves the readers with following her author’s note in her award winning picture book Alma and How She Got Her Name. In this poignant story, Alma’s father teaches his daughter the history behind each and every one of her names. She learns the special ways she is connected to her ancestors. Yet her father also teaches, “You are the first and only Alma. You will make your own story.” If you have been looking for a picture book to inspire children to reflect on their own identity and sense of belonging this is the book for you!

Teachers ask:
“What are you thinking about Alma and How She Got Her Name?”

Second grade students answered: 
“I noticed that the author changed the way she wrote Alma’s name. It showed that Alma’s feelings about her name changed in the book.”  -Max

“I wonder if the author wanted to make the pictures like an old-fashioned black and white photograph because the story was talking about Alma’s ancestors.” -Sean 

“If she wrote a second book, Alma could tell her daughter or son how they got their name.” -Molly

“I liked how the author brought in her own story to tell the story about Alma. The author wanted to tell a different story about what her name was.” – Matthew

Click here to read about the news Alma has created! You will also find a video interview of the author and educator support materials.

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