Las Musas Books is thrilled to announce the first ever all-virtual Latinx KidLit Book Festival to be held on Friday, December 4th and Saturday, December 5th, 2020.
“It will be a celebration of Latinx books, authors and illustrators and the stories we hold dear,” said festival co-chair, author Mayra Cuevas. “We hope this event will bring joy to readers and educators everywhere.”
The festival’s program will include keynote events, live panels and Q&A sessions with Latinx authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, graphic novels and poetry.
“We want this festival to celebrate the vast spectrum of diverse experiences within the Latinx community,” said festival co-chair, author Alexandra Villsante. “Not only the stories of grief and loss, but also stories of love and joy, and everything in between.”
The festival is free and will be streamed live via Facebook and YouTube. Events will be available even after the festival has ended. Teaching guides and classroom resources will be available for educators on the festival’s website.
“Students, teachers and parents across the country have suffered great academic, economic and socio-emotional stress as a result of the pandemic,” said festival co-chair, author and pediatric doctor Ismee Williams. “Black and Hispanic communities have been the hardest hit. We want this festival to bring a little happiness to readers and ease the burden of educators and caregivers.”
“As authors and illustrators this is a way we can give back to our community,” said Cuevas. “Our talent as storytellers is our gift to share.”
A preliminary festival author lineup can be found on our website: LatinxKidLitBookFestival.com. The festival programming committee is now looking for panel submissions.
Details can also be found on the festival website.
The festival logo was designed by Latinx artist and illustrator Zara Gonzalez Hoang.
We are so excited to bring you an interview with Reina Luz Alegre, author of THE DREAM WEAVER!
First, here is a little bit about the book:
Twelve-year-old Zoey navigates the tricky waters of friendship while looking for a way to save her grandfather’s struggling business in this heartwarming, coming-of-age debut novel perfect for fans of Kristi Wientge, Donna Gephart, and Meg Medina.
Zoey comes from a family of dreamers. From start-up companies to selling motorcycles, her dad is constantly chasing jobs that never seem to work out. As for Zoey, she’s willing to go along with whatever grand plans her dad dreams up—even if it means never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. Her family being together is all that matters to her.
So Zoey’s world is turned upside down when Dad announces that he’s heading to a new job in New York City without her. Instead, Zoey and her older brother, José, will stay with their Poppy at the Jersey Shore. At first, Zoey feels as lost and alone as she did after her mami died. But soon she’s distracted by an even bigger problem: the bowling alley that Poppy has owned for decades is in danger of closing!
After befriending a group of kids practicing for a summer bowling tournament, Zoey hatches a grand plan of her own to save the bowling alley. It seems like she’s found the perfect way to weave everyone’s dreams together...until unexpected events turn Zoey’s plan into one giant nightmare. Now, with her new friends counting on her and her family’s happiness hanging in the balance, Zoey will have to decide what her dream is—and how hard she’s willing to fight for it.
Today, Las Musas celebrates the book birthday of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon! This YA contemporary has received some amazing reviews and blurbs. Here are just a few:
“A thought-provoking tale about navigating race and immigration issues.” – Kirkus Reviews
“A funny, perceptive, and much-needed book telling a much-needed story.” —Celeste Ng, author of the New York Times bestseller Little Fires Everywhere
“Written with humor and grace, with intimacy and empathy, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From is the perfect coming of age novel for our time.” —Matt Mendez, author of Barely Missing Everything and Twitching Heart
We are SO THRILLED to celebrate the much-anticipated release of: Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland. It has received so many wonderful reviews and praise:
“Luminous, genre-bending, and out of this world.”-starred review, Kirkus
“…a genre-defying read that is certain to keep readers engaged.” -starred review, Publishers Weekly
“Her language exhibits a stunning fluidity, depicting time and space and even mortality as a sort of continuum.” -New York Times
“… a story that blends science fiction with Mexican folklore, all within a contemporary young adult novel that explores grief, friendship, immigration, consent, and the powerful bond between mother and daughter.” -School Library Journal
Here’s a little bit about the book:
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Roswell by way of Laurie Halse Anderson in this astonishing, genre-bending novel about a Mexican American teen who discovers profound connections between immigration, folklore, and alien life.
It’s been three years since ICE raids and phone calls from Mexico and an ill-fated walk across the Sonoran. Three years since Sia Martinez’s mom disappeared. Sia wants to move on, but it’s hard in her tiny Arizona town where people refer to her mom’s deportation as “an unfortunate incident.”
Sia knows that her mom must be dead, but every new moon Sia drives into the desert and lights San Anthony and la Guadalupe candles to guide her mom home.
Then one night, under a million stars, Sia’s life and the world as we know it cracks wide open. Because a blue-lit spacecraft crashes in front of Sia’s car…and it’s carrying her mom, who’s very much alive.
As Sia races to save her mom from armed-quite-possibly-alien soldiers, she uncovers secrets as profound as they are dangerous in this stunning and inventive exploration of first love, family, immigration, and our vast, limitless universe.
Las Musas is excited to celebrate the book birthday of Anika Fajardo’s What if a Fish!
About What if a Fish
A whimsical and unflinchingly honest generational story of family and identity where hats turn into leeches, ghosts blow kisses from lemon trees, and the things you find at the end of your fishing line might not be a fish at all.
"Poetic and believable. Multilayered and convincing, the book will have readers rooting for its sweet and smart protagonist." -- Kirkus
"Fajardo’s honest, heartfelt text evokes sorrow and grief but also understanding, navigating the many complexities of identity, friendship, family, loss, and death." -- Booklist
Half-Colombian Eddie Aguado has never really felt Colombian. Especially after Papa died. And since Mama keeps her memories of Papa locked up where Eddie can’t get to them, he only has Papa’s third-place fishing tournament medal to remember him by. He’ll have to figure out how to be more Colombian on his own.
As if by magic, the perfect opportunity arises. Eddie—who’s never left Minnesota—is invited to spend the summer in Colombia with his older half-brother. But as his adventure unfolds, he feels more and more like a fish out of water.
Figuring out how to be a true colombiano might be more difficult than he thought.
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