Note from Elena Reads: Family is really important to Rosie Montalvo. In the photo she and her siblings are celebrating her mother’s 70th birthday. Left to right: Monica, Rosie, Mom (Eva), Lucy, Joey.
Growing up in an Hispanic household, Rosie Montalvo learned Spanish and English and followed American and Puerto Rican rituals.
She said her grandmother taught the importance of working hard, respecting one another and doing everything possible to help others.
“Today we are a family with a strong bond,” Rosie Montalvo said. “We value our traditions and continue sharing our culture with our children and others, just like my grandmother taught us.”
She said her grandmother used to sit them down and share stories of what it was like in her days. Now that she is a grandmother, Rosie Montalvo likes to share stories and her love of books with her own grandchildren, who are also avid readers.
Besides spending time with her family, she also enjoys sharing her culture with everyone because she says it’s important to appreciate diversity.
Here is more about today’s Book Lover, Rosie Montalvo:
Question: Why do you love reading?
Answer: I love reading because it provokes my imagination, my emotions, and my intellect in the most amazing ways.
Question: What kind of books are you into? (Fan fiction, realistic fiction?)
A: Besides the Bible, I enjoy reading autobiographies (literary non-fiction) and realistic fiction books. I lean towards stories of human perseverance and triumph.
Q: What is your favorite book overall and why?
A: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo is probably my favorite book. The fictional story is about a young man’s journey to find a treasure. Through his expedition, he faces many difficulties, yet never gives up and eventually finds his treasure.
The book is about perseverance, taking risks, believing in yourself, and learning from your journey. It’s a good book for anyone to read.
Q: Do you have a favorite book by an Hispanic author and why?
A: Yes, the book is titled, When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago; I was so intrigued by the title that I had to read it.
It’s an autobiography describing the author’s ordeals while coping with a new culture after her family moved to New York. It gives readers a view into the inner struggles of holding on to your identity while trying to be included.
Q: What books do you read to your grandchildren?
A: I loved reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar in both English and Spanish “La Oruga Muy Ambrienta” when they were small. The One and Only Ivan was a favorite as they grew. Today they are avid readers and are currently reading a few books, including Percy Jackson’s Sea of Monsters, Shake it Off by Suzanne Nelson and Rules for Thieves by Alexandra Ott.
Q: You recently helped with the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at the school where your daughter is the parent engagement liaison. It is cool that it was featured in the local paper. Why is it important to share your culture?
A: Understanding our ethnicity and embracing our culture can make us strong and confident about ourselves. We also learn to appreciate diversity not just because we have differences but because those differences make us who we are.
Q: Since it’s Hispanic Heritage Month, what is something unique about being Hispanic?
A: (Well, we do tend to turn any occasion into a party 😊 )
There is one thing about Hispanic names, which is a bit different. If you are born in a Spanish speaking country, you will get two surnames on your birth certificate. The first surname would be the father’s first last name, and the second surname is the mother’s maiden name.
My Father: Jose Montalvo Viera
My Mother: Eva Pagan Marrero
Me: Rosie Montalvo Pagan
In many cases, children also get a middle name. Can you imagine having to learn to write — Ana Maria Salgado Carrasquillo, in kindergarten!