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.
We are absolutely thrilled to celebrate Adrianna Cuevas’ book birthday for THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ! We have a great interview with the author!
But first, a little bit about the book…
In this magical middle-grade debut novel from Adrianna Cuevas, The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez, a Cuban American boy must use his secret ability to communicate with animals to save the inhabitants of his town when they are threatened by a tule vieja, a witch that transforms into animals.
Las Musas wishes the happiest book birthday to RUNNING by Natalia Sylvester!
"Sylvester's YA debut embodies the theme of our decade: to stand up and speak up for what we believe in." — Mahjabeen Syed, Booklist
In this thoughtful, authentic, humorous, and gorgeously written novel about privacy, waking up, and speaking up, Senator Anthony Ruiz is running for president. Throughout his successful political career he has always had his daughter’s vote, but a presidential campaign brings a whole new level of scrutiny to sheltered fifteen-year-old Mariana and the rest of her Cuban American family, from a 60 Minutes–style tour of their house to tabloids doctoring photos and inventing scandals. As tensions rise within the Ruiz family, Mari begins to learn about the details of her father’s political positions, and she realizes that her father is not the man she thought he was.
But how do you find your voice when everyone’s watching? When it means disagreeing with your father—publicly? What do you do when your dad stops being your hero? Will Mari get a chance to confront her father? If she does, will she have the courage to seize it?
A wonderful, happy, very inspired book birthday to Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse by Chantel Acevedo!
The first in a middle grade fantasy duology about a Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology.
Callie Martinez-Silva didn’t mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she’s the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity’s fate in secret.
Whisked away to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.
When their first assignment turns out to be Callie’s exceptionally nerdy classmate, Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn’t just need inspiration, she needs saving from vicious Sirens out to unleash a curse that will corrupt her destiny.
As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time to thwart the Cassandra Curse . . . or will it undo them all?
When we put out the call for Las Musas to come together for Black Lives Matter statement, madrina Lisa Alvarado (Poet. Chicana. Italian. Jew. Finding God in nature. Aleyo. ) sent us the the poem below to share with you all!
In her words, she offers this because Black brothers and sisters are our family.
ANTHEM by Lisa Alvarado
The poem is a blessing. The poem is contraband. The poem is Molotov cocktail. The poem is balm. The poem is napalm. The poem is a slap. The poem is a kiss. The poem is a curse. The poem is revelation. The poem is revolution.
The poem is Sunday church supper. The poem is the lash. The poem is a firebrand. The poem is The Underground Railroad. The poem is a night stick. The poem is someone who will not break. The poem is the tree never bearing strange fruit. The poem is a rope that spells freedom.
The poem is wet feet and the Rio Grande. The poem is the back of a truck. The poem’s other name is coyote. The poem is La Migra handcuffed to a chair. The poem is papeles. The poem is a wall that keeps crumbling. The poem es una poema.
The poem is a broken swastika. The poem is a shredded brown shirt. The poem is a white hood with no eyes. The poem is yelling Basta ya! The poem spits out bullets.
The poem is a panhandler. The poem is a Walmart cashier. The poem is a hotel maid. The poem is a factory worker. The poem is a time clock. The poem is a paycheck. The poem is child labor. The poem is a striker. The poem is an eight-hour day.
Las Musas is thrilled to announce the cover reveal of Yamile Mendez's Shaking Up the House!
But first, a little about Shaking Up the House...
Ingrid and Winnie Lopez have lived there for eight years, but a new family is moving in, and the Lopez girls are determined to combine Ingrid’s comedic timing and Winnie’s quick thinking to give the new First Kids a proper White House welcome.
Skylar and Zora know a lot of things about the White House—Zora loves history, and Skylar’s thrilled to begin her new A-list lifestyle. What the sisters don’t know is that incoming presidents’ families are often pranked by the folks they’re replacing, and Ingrid and Winnie take that tradition very seriously.
When what is meant to be a friendly goof sets off an epic prank war, though, it’s only a matter of time before things spiral out of control. Can the four girls call a truce before an innocent trick sparks an international incident? Or will their battle go down in American history?
From acclaimed author Yamile Saied Mendez comes a laugh-a-minute friendship story full of hijinks, misunderstandings, and loads of glitter.
Coming January 5, 2021! Pre-order now!
And now, read an excerpt...
Las Musas Speak
Welcome to our blog!