October 22, 2017

Pura Belpré

Pura Belpré was a wonderful storyteller. She shared the oral tradition of folk-telling from her grandmother. Pura was the first Puerto Rican and Latina librarian in the New York Public Library system.
Her documentary was shared the upper grades last Friday. The documentary was fifty minutes long. It described her life, her family, her colleagues, her goals, and her storytelling. She was especially fond of the folktale “Perez and Martina” which is known in several parts of the world.
The American Library Association pays tribute to her legacy by honoring an illustrator or writer of Latin decent with an award named in her memory.
Pura realized that folktales from her native land were missing from the library shelves and decided to make a difference.  She wanted everyone to enjoy these stories. What will be your legacy?  
Happy Easter everyone.
October 22, 2017

Coming Up

Events in April

Film screening: Outlawing Dolores Huerta

Thursday, April 10, 6:00 pm to 8:00

Join us as we celebrate a legendary activist, Dolores Huerta, on her 84th birthday by screening the documentary

Outlawing Dolores Huerta: The Tuscan Diaries

In 2006, Presidential Medal of Freedom Winner and United Farm Workers Co-Founder Dolores Huerta visited Tucson High School in Arizona and delivered a speech.
As part of her speech, she stated “Republicans Hate Latinos.” The statement was used in 2010 by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and other Arizona Politicians to justify the passage of House Bill 2281-The Ethnic Studies Ban. Outlawing Doloreshas been produced with the intent to give a greater context to some of the cultural battles currently occurring in the United States, as of 2013. This is the first extended interview where Dolores Huerta addresses the 2006 comment directly.$5/ticket
Book reading by Renato Rosaldo, The Day of Shelly’s Death
Friday, April 11, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
In these poems Renato Rosaldo focuses on the shock of his wife Shelly’s sudden death on October 11, 1981 in the Philippines. Shelly died after losing her footing and falling some sixty feet from a cliff into a swollen river. Rosaldo maintains a tight focus on the events of the day of her death. He explores his own experience as well as the imagined perspectives of many others. Free event.

Book Launch Party for Larry and Friends

Saturday, April 12, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Larry and Friends is a heartening story about immigration, diversity, friendship, and acceptance, envisioned by Ecuadorian-born, New-York-based illustrator Carla Torres, who partnered with Belgian-born, Venezuelan-raised, New-York-based writer Nat Jaspar to bring the project, funded on Kickstarter, to life.The protagonist is Larry the Dog who is a juggler from Brooklyn.The story recounts why the characters end up relocating to New York City and how they become friends with Larry. The tale is truly inspiring as the characters and illustrative style bring forth the brightest possibilities of the human spirit.

Free event, perfect for families with children ages 3-8!
Live music with MV Caldera
Saturday, April 12, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Venezuelan world music singer, MV Caldera and her group will be singing to us from pop music to baladas! $10/ticket
The Peace Poet’s Listening Party
Friday, April 18, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Celebrate, dance and share with a few songs from State of the Art, the upcoming album by The Peace Poets.
Doors open at 6pm, performance begins at 7:30pm.
Free event!


Events are free, unless otherwise noted.
Please RSVP for events via email.
Email us, it helps us know how many people to expect per event, gracias!
La Casa Azul Bookstore
143 E. 103rd St
El Barrio, NY 10029
(212) 426-2626
6 Train to 103rd Street
Store hours:
Tuesday – Saturday
12:00pm – 8:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Closed Mondays


Meet Esmeralda Santiago!
Monday, April 21st
6:00pm – 7:30pm
(book signing line begins at5:30pm).Copies of all of Esmeralda’s books will be available for sale. 

This event is in partnership with World Book Night, an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person.  Each year tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free paperbacks to light and non-readers.This year, copies of When I was Puerto Rican will be given away via a World Book Night publication!

More information:www.us.worldbooknight.org/

Sonia Manzano
4th annual East Harlem Children’s Book Festival     

Saturday, April 26, 2014

11:00am – 4:00pm 

Meet your favorite local authors and illustrators at this free event featuring storybooks, storytellers, book signings, music, art and dance! Produced by La Casa Azul Bookstore, the East Harlem’s Children Book Festival is a celebration of children, families, community, and literacy.
This is a free, rain-or-shine event that offers many additional fun activities throughout the day!
Guest readers include:
  • Sonia Manzano, author of The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, A box full of kittens, No Dogs Allowed
  • Carla Torres, illustrator of Larry and Friends
  • John Parra, Illustrator of Waiting for the Biblioburro, Round is a Tortilla, Green is a Chile Pepper and many more award winning titles!
  • Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor, author of Martina finds a shiny coin
  • Music by Acopladitos and a dance performance by Pasion Boliviana 
October 22, 2017

December 2013 and January 2104

Both December 2013 and January 2104 classes were well received. The children are energetically receptive to all of the types of films (both silent and language captioned).  They are becoming “critics with substance” while viewing global materials.  It’s quite exciting to witness how they can evaluate and determine sub-plots and themes without coaxing!
While more films are planned, this semester will include an opportunity for invited actors and directors to engage the children in dialogue. Children can prepare questions of these artists who can provide their motivations and experiences in the theatrical business.  
October 22, 2017

January 18, 2014

QAS Book Reading Fellowship

January 18, 2014

Diane’s Choices: 

I recently read Jane Goodall’s latest book “Seeds of Hope”. It’s wonderful! She has written an inspiring “time–to act now” piece. This book requires that each of us take responsibility for our world, and act in environmentally sound and intelligent ways.    

I’m now reading “The Quark and the Jaguar” by Murray Gell-Mann. If you like quantum physics, discussions on complex adaptive systems and nature, you’ll enjoy this book.  A very good read. Don’t be intimidated by the speed of his discussions; use his definitions to move you along if you weren’t a science major. It’s well worth the effort.  

What are you reading? 

October 22, 2017

Coming Up!

Akashic Books
Edwidge Danticat @ the Brooklyn Public Library! January 2014

Dear NYC Friends,

I’m excited to announce this Thursday (Jan 16th) acclaimed Haitian author EDWIDGE DANTICAT will appear at the Brooklyn Public Library (Dweck Center, 10 Grand Army Plaza) to celebrate the release of Haiti Noir 2: The Classics!

Haiti Noir 2 is a follow-up to Haiti Noirwhich received glowing reviews in the New York Times, Time Out, Daily Beast, L Magazine, LA Times, and others. Unlike the first volume, which was composed of all-new stories, Haiti Noir 2 represents Danticat’s handpicked selection from the canon of Haitian literature—an “amazing literary party” she writes, that “thrills me to no end.”

We very much hope you will join us on Thursday! Event details:

Thurs., Jan. 16 @ 7:00pm
Brooklyn Public Library, Dweck Center
10 Grand Army Plaza

Featuring Edwidge Danticat and contributor Michèle Voltaire Marcelin. Cosponsored by Haiti Cultural Exchange and MoCADA

I hope you will also consider joining us next week for the launch of our Kaylie Jones Books imprint andUnmentionables by Laurie Loewenstein on Wednesday, January 22 at 7 PM at Bluestockings Bookstore (172 Allen Street, Manhattan). Wine and cheese will be served.

I hope to see you soon!


Haiti Noir 2
The Classics

edited by Edwidge Danticat

Haiti Noir 2: The Classics is the best anthology of classic Haitian fiction ever assembled, unparalleled in scope.

Classic stories by: Danielle Legros Georges, Jacques Roumain, Ida Faubert, Jacques-Stephen Alexis, Jan J. Dominique, Paulette Poujol Oriol, Lyonel Trouillot, Emmelie Prophète, Ben Fountain, Dany Laferrière, Georges Anglade, Edwidge Danticat, Michèle Voltaire Marcelin, Èzili Dantò, Marie-Hélène Laforest, Nick Stone, Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell, Myriam J.A. Chancy, and Roxane Gay.

A portion of the profits from this book will be donated to FotoKonbit, a nonprofit organization created to empower Haitians to tell their own stories through photography.

RSVP on Facebook (encouraged but not required).

by Laurie Loewenstein

A powerful debut historical novel, Unmentionables launches a new imprint, Kaylie Jones Books, curated by acclaimed author Kaylie Jones!

What people are saying:

“Immensely entertaining and illuminating . . . Exceptionally readable and highly recommended.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

“Engaging first work from a writer of evident ability.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Marian Elliot Adams’ . . . tale is contagiously enthusiastic.”
Publishers Weekly

RSVP on Facebook (encouraged but not required).

October 22, 2017

Queen of All Saints Church Book Reading Fellowship (BRF) Format Change

The QAS Author’s Forum / October, 2013 

Author: Debbie Boswell  

Biography and Works: Debbie was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. and has a B.S. in Accounting and an Enrolled Agent license. She is the owner/manager of Crafts by Grace, a cottage industry craft business. Ms. Boswell co-wrote and co-produced the first screenplay OPEN/CLOSE through the Brooklyn Young Filmmakers Center. She has authored two books Miriam’s Journey and House of Mirrors.

You can contact Debbie Boswell at  craftsbygrace@msn.com

October 22, 2017

QAS Film Forum / June/2013

Earlier this month, QAS school children (Kindergarten through 5th grade) were introduced to the QASFF.

In April eighty-five, children (Grades 6- 8) completed Film Forum evaluation forms.  Here are a few of their comments. The questions appear underlined.

What do you think of the QASFF? “We learn about cultures, and what people go through in life”, “Cool”, “Makes you think, very interesting, a fun way for students to become more diverse when it comes to film choices, good, funny” “I liked this program a lot. “I got to watch movies in not only other language but with no sound as well, funny and sad short plays”, ”Fun for students and good for the school, “An amazing program that provides great entertainment and knowledge “Heart touching”, “Broadened my knowledge of film”, “Creative”.

How can we improve the QASFF?  “Ask us about our culture”, “Maybe should be in after-school”,” Let’s write a script and act it out ourselves”, “More frequent”, longer films”, “Include foreign music.”

Do you watch foreign language films/television at home? If you answered yes, what do you watch?

“Spanish, Italian, French, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Russian, African and Japanese. “

Are you multilingual? If you answered yes, what languages do you speak?

“Spanish, French, Tagalong, Haitian Creole, Italian, Japanese, Guyanese, Dutch, Portuguese, and African”.

Can you recommend any films? “Action Films, Fantasy films, “The Boy in the Stripped Pajama”, “Doodlebug”, Hermano”, Finding Nemo”, Jungle Book”, “Life is Beautiful”, Military films that show our troops at work, More silent films, “The Benjamin Carson Story”, “Oz the Great and Powerful”

Would you encourage your family and friends to view a foreign language film? _

Three responded affirmatively. One child commented that she would like to learn a language together with her family and they would converse together.

Now the entire school has participated in the QASFF!  In addition to continuing to highlight foreign language and silent movies, we have drafted projects in response to the children’s suggestions (and some surprise additions) for next semester.

Thank you QAS School staff for your patience and encouragement every time the QASFF is scheduled. Thank you children for your honesty, and enthusiasm.

Enjoy the summer everyone.

Looking forward to our continuing work / joy together Ms. Attianese.   Peace, Diane.

October 22, 2017

February Book

Book: What Jesus Saw From the Cross by. Fr. Sertillange.
Author/Playwright Women’s Month (March): D.  Boswell.
What Jesus Saw from the Cross

In Gethsemane,
Jesus begged His disciples
to “watch one hour”
with Him.

Another Lent begins next week.
Before it ends, will you finally manage
to watch one hour with Jesus,
and in that hour, to grow closer to Him in prayer…
as He yearns for you to do?

If you’re not confident, you should
consider this remarkable book,
written in Jerusalem in the 1920s
by a Dominican priest who lived there.

This Lent, it will make it easy for you
to watch not just one hour with Jesus,
but many.

“By means of this book,”
said Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
“we enter right into the Heart of Jesus and discover
how precious we are to Him and how much
He longs for our love in return.”


The late John Cardinal O’Connor
called this book “beautiful, devotional, and insightful.”


Fr. Benedict Groeschel
proclaimed it “a powerful aid to meditation.”


Dr. Alice von Hildebran says,
“This book should be in the hands of every single Christian.”

That’s because its author,
Rev. A.D. Sertillanges (1863-1948),
wrote with the care of a scholar, the eye of a cinematographer,
and the tenderness of a saint.

In the pages of this book, What Jesus Saw from the Cross,
you’ll be jostled by crowds as you enter Jerusalem with Jesus,
choke on the dust of the narrow streets,
breathe the rich smells of the city at festival time,
and share the Last Supper with the disciples.

You’ll weep in Gethsemane,
witness the kiss of Judas and the lying accusations
made before Herod and Pilate.
You’ll stumble with Jesus through narrow streets,
bumped by pack animals and hawkers selling wares
to the thrill-seeking crowd,
sneering at the Cross Jesus bears.

You’ll weep as soldiers drive home the nails
and tremble as darkness covers the earth
when Jesus dies.

So intense is Fr. Sertillanges’ account of Jesus’ last days
— and so faithful to the Gospel —
that generations of Catholics have used
What Jesus Saw from the Cross
to prepare themselves for Easter.


The late Fr. John Hardon, Servant of God, said that:

“Father Sertillanges’ book immerses us
into every detail, every event, and every emotion
that accompanies the drama
of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice on the cross.
After reading this book, every Christian will experience
the vivid sense of being an eyewitness
to the death of His Lord
and view the Crucifixion as a personal event
that touches his daily life.
This is a book for all times, for all places, and for all people, especially our own age.”


Will your faith grow this Lent,
or will it be another Lent
in which you just
“manage to get by?”

Join Mother Teresa, Cardinal O’Connor,
Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand,
and countless other good Catholics
who have nourished their faith with
What Jesus Saw from the Cross.


“I am happy to recommend
What Jesus Saw from the Cross.

— Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

What Jesus Saw from the Cross
is the perfect book to take to prayer
during Lent and throughout the year.”

— Lay Witness

“For families seeking spiritual reading,
this book will be a valuable source of inspiration
and of great value to parents
when teaching their children about
the central mystery of our faith.”

— Family Life

“This book deserves the attention
of all serious Christians.”

— The Priest

A. G. Sertillanges

Antonin Gilbert Sertillanges entered the Dominican order in France when he was twenty, was ordained a priest in 1888, and devoted the rest of his life to study and prayer.

A gifted teacher and a prolific scholar, Fr. Sertillanges published many books and over a thousand articles in the areas of philosophy, theology, art, and spirituality.

Fr. Sertillanges was admired for his skill as a preacher, spiritual director, and apologist, and had considerable success explaining the Catholic faith to the young and the unconverted.

No “ivory tower” intellectual, but a passionate son of the Church, Fr. Sertillanges’s works bridge the gap between theology and the Christian experience of ordinary laymen.


Also for Lent

In the book of Thessalonians,
Christ urges us to pray without ceasing,but when we try to do so,
most of us simply
cease without praying.

We’re distracted by troubles,
or duty, or we quit because
it’s late already and we’re tired.

Now there is a remedy
that actually works.


Written nearly a century ago,
and used since then by generations
of grateful Catholics,
this no-nonsense prayer manual
dispels the false notions of prayer
we all have and shows how we can,
in fact, pray without ceasing —
even at times when
exhaustion cripples us and
cares threaten to sweep us away.

Drawing on the experience of dozens
of saints, Fr. Raoul Plus explains
sure ways we can recollect ourselves
before prayer
so that once we begin to pray,
our prayers will be richer
and more productive.

He teaches us how to practice interior
silence habitually, even in the rush
and noise of the world.

And he explains each of the
kinds of prayer
and shows when we should —
and should not —
employ each.


The result?

Even in the midst of busy days,
we’re soon able to pray always
by keeping our wills
united to God
even when our minds
must be directed elsewhere.

In a word, How to Pray Always 
is one of those rare books
that actually fulfills the promise
of its title:
in just over a hundred pages,
it shows us how to love God
and to live prayerfully and constantly
in His loving presence.


How to Pray Always 

144 pages
4.8 Star Rating

Order online now or call

Some of the many saints whose
teachings are found in this book:

St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591), St. Anthony (251-356),
St. Augustine (354-430), St. Bernard of Clairvaux
(1090-1153), St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622),
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), St. Francis Xavier
(1506-1552), St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556),
St. Jerome (c. 342-420), St. John Berchmans (1599-1621),
St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), St. John Vianney
(1786-1859), St. Leonard of Port Maurice (1676-1751),
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690),
St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi (1566-1607),
St. Paul of the Cross (1694-1775), St. Philip Neri
(1515-1595), St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Raoul Plus, S.J.

Raul Plus, S.J. wrote more than forty books
to help Christians understand
God’s love for the soul.
His works stress the vital role of prayer
in the spiritual life
and show how you can live the truths of the faith.