Listeners React to Focus on Latino Vote, Kids' Books

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Hear listener feedback to stories about the significance of the Latino vote in the race for the White House and what books should be on every child's reading list.


And now it's time for Backtalk, where we lift the curtain on conversations happening on the TELL ME MORE blog and get a chance to hear from you. Lee Hill, our Web producer, joins me here in the studio as always. Hey, Lee, what's up?

LEE HILL: Hey Michel. TGIF, right?

MARTIN: You know that's right.

HILL: Well say, it's been another week of presidential primaries, and this week in our own backyard, residents in what's known as the Potomac region, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, decided that Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Senator John McCain should be their parties' nominees for the general election in November.

Well, Michel, as you know there's been a lot of talk about who's supporting whom, and there's been a lot of focus on the Latino vote. Well, we heard from Javier(ph) out in California. He takes issue with all of the hoopla about the Latino vote.

JAVIER (Blogger): As a Chicano, I have been finding the discussion about the Latino vote to be quite interesting and informative about where we as a group stand in this country. We, quote-unquote, cannot be defined any more comparatively than, say, Colin Powell and Barack Obama. Are both African-Americans? Certainly. Are both active politically? Sure. But would we go so far as to say that they vote the same way based on nothing more than their skin color or cultural heritage? This is a problem. I don't want to sound uber-sensitive, but we have to be cognizant that discussions about the Latino vote can themselves be potentially divisive.

MARTIN: Okay. Thanks, Javier.

HILL: Finally, we recently highlighted the American Library Association's picks for children's books in our regular chat with Loriene Roy, the group's president. Well, some of you wrote in with your book picks, while others of you told us about what you're doing to get your children reading, like Lea(ph) out in Georgia.

LEA (Blogger): I've always been an avid reader, and it has always been very important that I share my love of reading with my daughter. In January, 2006, I started a mother-daughter book club with my then-12-year-old daughter and five other mother-daughter pairs. All of the girls are very bright anyway, but I believe the book club has made them more confident in their intellect and abilities. I have seen so many benefits that I'll recommend this to everyone.

MARTIN: Well thank you, Lea. What a good idea. Good luck with your book club, and thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: And to see the books Loriene Roy talked about, you can go to our Web site, and as always to tell us more about what you think and see what other listeners are thinking and talking about, please go to and blog it out.

(Soundbite of music)

Coming up, the Barbershop guys on a tough cut from Team Clinton.

Mr. RUBEN NAVARRETTE (Syndicated Columnist): What Anybody can see that Patti Solis Doyle didn't blow those elections. Those elections were blown by Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton. They don't need a campaign manager. They need a new candidate.

MARTIN: The guys on politics and more. That's coming up next. I'm Michel Martin, you're listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

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