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Living Beyond Borders book cover

Living Beyond Borders: Growing Up Mexican in America

Mexican American authors share short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics that explore the Mexican American experience.
Living Beyond Borders book cover

Share this book

In Living Beyond Borders, authors share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they navigate. Have students explore the issues that surround crossing the borders that divide our society and their lives by writing a narrative poem. A narrative poem is a poem that tells a story with characters, setting, and a plot driven by conflict. While the border theme can be broadly interpreted, discuss approaches for this poem by getting students to think and talk about:

  • what borders or limits you have set for yourself
  • what holds them back or prevents them from being themselves
  • how your identity or cultural roots cross borders
  • how barriers of race, class, or culture affect you and how you want to live your life

Have students use this brainstorm to generate the stories they want to tell. Encourage them to use precise imagery and dive right into the action. After final drafts are completed, plan to have students perform their poems and/or publish an anthology of their poetry.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

  1. What do you think the title “Living Beyond Borders” means?  What does the phrase crossing borders mean to you?
  2. What did you learn about Mexican and Mexican American communities by reading this book? How do the authors share their truths while subverting stereotypes?
  3. As you read and learned how varied the Mexican American experience is, how has your understanding of those who are caught between two different cultures changed or expanded?
  4. The theme of having to “defend who we are, where we were born, and prove to others that we are, in fact, Americans” runs through several works in this anthology. Why does this happen? Has this ever happened to you?

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