Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Las Comadres to Host October Conference for Latino Writers

Day-Long Event to Offer Experts, Insight into Publishing Industry Opportunities 

Las Comadres Para Las Americas, the national Latina organization, will present a day-long conference on October 6 for Latino writers seeking more access into the publishing industry.

Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference will be held at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Brooklyn.  Joining La Comadres as collaborators are the National Black Writers Conference, the Center for Black Literature, the Foreign Language Department and the Latino American Association, Full Circle Literary, Marcela Landres, and Scholastic, with support from the Association of American Publishers.

Through the workshops, panels and other sessions, writers will gain an insider’s perspective into how to best navigate the challenges and opportunities of the industry. 

A highlight of the day will be a full schedule of one-on-one meetings for writers with agents and editors.  Participants currently include Johanna Castillo, Vice President & Senior Editor/Atria, Simon & Schuster: Jaime de Pablos, Director/Vintage Español, Knopf Doubleday Group; Adriana Dominguez, Agent/Full Circle Literary; Mercedes Fernandez, Assistant Editor/Dafina Books, Kensington Publishing; Sulay Hernandez, Editor/Other Press; Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor/Arthur A. Levine Books; Selina L. McLemore, Senior Editor/Grand Central Publishing; Christina Morgan, Editor/Harcourt Houghton Mifflin; Lukas Ortiz, Managing Director/Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency, Inc.;  Diane Stockwell, Founder/Globo Libros Literary Management; and Stacy Whitman, Founder and Editorial Director/Tu Books.

Scheduled panels will examine magazines and literary journals, genres, poetry, children’s/young adult writing, fiction, non-fiction, publicity and self-publishing.  There will also be a session for authors to pitch their work and get instant feedback as well as an agents/editors panel.    

Keynote speaker is author and television personality Sonia Manzano.  Having originated the role of “Maria” on Sesame Street, Manzano wrote two children’s books, No Dogs Allowed (Simon and Schuster, 2004) and A Box Full of Kittens (Simon and Schuster, 2007), and will have her first YA novel, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, published by Scholastic in Fall 2012.

Registration for writers and vendors is now open for the conference.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Join John Parra - Original Art Show at La Casa Azul Bookstore

Infinitas Gracias - Original Children's Book Art Show by John Parra

Artist reception and booksigning will take place Saturday August 11, from 5 - 7pm at La Casa Azul Bookstore, located at: 143 E. 103rd St. in New York City.

There will be over 20 original artwork illustrations from my award winning children's books on display and for sale, including art from the books: Gracias/Thanks, Waiting for the Biblioburro, P is for Piñata, and My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela

The first 10 people in line at the book signing, purchasing books, will receive a special signed art-print poster, commemorating this special event. For more info see La Casa Azul's website at: http://www.lacasaazulbookstore.com/ or check them out on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/LaCasaAzulBookstore

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Diana Lopez on NPR's THREE BOOKS series

Fight Like A Girl: 3 Books That Pack A Deadly Punch            by Diana Lopez

Olympian Diana Lopez (in blue) — not to be confused with the author Diana Lopez — competes in the 2012 Taekwondo Olympic Trials.
Olympian Diana Lopez (in blue) — not to be confused with the author Diana Lopez — competes in the 2012 Taekwondo Olympic Trials.
July 16, 2012
In seventh grade, I broke my finger pretending to be a Harlem Globetrotter with the neighborhood boys. Until then, I'd been their equal in sports, but suddenly their shoulders were battering rams, and I was the house of straw from the Three Little Pigs. I hated being a puny, weak-armed girl. But then I saw Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton going mano a mano with aliens and cyborgs, and I realized that I didn't have to be a damsel in distress. Those ladies can pummel any guy on the planet — or in outer space. Here are three books with girls who know how to fight.

The Devotion of Suspect X

In The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, the action begins with a death blow. When Yasuko's ex-husband threatens her daughter, she kills him in a rash act of self-preservation. Enter her neighbor, Ishigami, a math genius who is unfulfilled by his job as a high school teacher and also by life in general. He has a secret crush on Yasuko, and desperate to help her, he devises a plan to dupe the police. This book isn't so much a whodunit novel, but a howdunit, as the professor and Yasuko compete in an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse.


Speaking of cat-and-mouse, even shy, harmless girls have a breaking point. In Mice by Gordon Reece, 15-year-old Shelley and her mother have both been bullied — one by the mean girls at school, the other by an ex-husband. Faced with a fight-or-flight decision, the two women run away to a new home in the country where a new bully finds them. This time though, Shelley fights back, and the pastoral setting of their Honeysuckle Cottage becomes tinged with blood. In the aftermath, she and her mother must deal with the consequences and decide whom they wish to be: frightened mice or ruthless survivors.

Bloody Jack

Bloody Jack — or Bloody Mary? L.A. Meyer's novel takes place in 18th-century England where orphaned Mary Faber cons her way onto the Dolphin as a ship's boy. She has her first period, joins The Brotherhood of Ship's Boys on His Majesty's Ship the Dolphin and gets their tattoo. She kills pirates, all while disguised as a boy. Her life gets even more complicated when she falls in love, but Mary, or Bloody Jack as she is known on the ship, is delightfully resourceful and somehow manages to put the girl back in tomboy.
The women in these books don't have special weapons, supernatural powers or black belts. They are mostly scared and violent only when pushed to their limits. Hopefully, I'll never have to face these kinds of challenges, but if I do, I hope I fight like a girl. In the meantime, I think I'll conveniently forget to correct people when they confuse me with the other Diana Lopez, the one who will compete in taekwondo at the London Summer Olympics. Now there's a girl who knows how to pack a punch.
Diana Lopez is the author of Choke and Confetti Girl.

Three Books... is produced and edited by Ellen Silva and Rosie Friedman with production assistance from Gavin Bade.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The latest collaboration by mother-and-son writing team Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizarreta is now on sale in English and Spanish! 

About the Book:

A young girl’s discovery of her cultural heritage helps her lovingly cope with loss in this tender tale from acclaimed authors Alma Flor Ada and Gabriel Zubizarreta.

Amalia’s best friend Martha is moving away, and Amalia is feeling sad and angry. And yet, even when life seems unfair, the loving, wise words of Amalia’s abuelita have a way of making everything a little bit brighter. Amalia finds great comfort in times shared with her grandmother: cooking, listening to stories and music, learning, and looking through her treasured box of family cards.
But when another loss racks Amalia’s life, nothing makes sense anymore. In her sorrow, will Amalia realize just how special she is, even when the ones she loves are no longer near?
From leading voices in Hispanic literature, this thoughtful and touching depiction of one girl’s transition through loss and love is available in both English and Spanish.

About the Authors:

Alma Flor Ada, an authority on multicultural and bilingual education, is the recipient of the 2012 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award. She is the author of numerous award-winning books for young readers, including Dancing Home with Gabriel Zubizarreta, My Name is Maria Isabel, Under the Royal Palms, (Pura Belpré Medal), Where the Flame Trees Bloom, and The Gold Coin (Christopher Award Medal). She lives in California, and you can visit her at almaflorada.com

Gabriel M. Zubizarreta draws from his experiences of raising his three wonderful daughters in his writing. He hopes his books will encourage young people to author their own destinies. He enjoys cooking, sports and being a father to his children. He lives in Northern California with his family and invites you to visit his website at GabrielMZubizarreta.com.

Praise for the Book:

“Ada and Zubizarreta (Dancing Home, 2011) reunite to focus on a young Latina girl coping with loss…. The authors tackle issues of love, loss and familial ties with a sympathetic, light hand and blend Spanish words and Latino music and recipes into Amalia’s tale. A charming story, especially for children facing the loss of grandparents.” -- Kirkus Reviews

“With sensitively drawn characters and a low-key story moving between present and past, the authors construct a portrait of a multigenerational immigrant family. The Latino culture of the family is reflected in the cooking the two do together, the memories Abuelita passes on, and all the letters she has kept from distant loved ones.” -- Horn Book Magazine

“Ada and Zubizaretta’s (Dancing Home)…collaboration focuses on the deep bond between Mexican-American sixth-grader Amalia and her grandmother…. The authors successfully depict family love and closeness across generations and distances…. In the final chapters…the book…takes on an authentic emotional poignancy, bringing a closing richness to this story of a girl’s first experience of loss.” 
-- Publishers Weekly

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NBC Latino's 5 Top Books for Boys Salutes 2 Books by Monica Brown!

Books for boys



5 Latino-Inspired Books for Boys

If you are struggling this summer to find books that capture your son’s interest and imagination, take a look at these five extraordinary books for young boys.

The Best Mariachi in the World, El mejor mariachi en el mundo by J.D. Smith. Illustrated by Dani Jones. Raven Tree Press.
Your child will love this sweet picture book about a young boy named Gustavo, who dreams of being a great mariachi, playing the guitarrón in front of a roomful of appreciative fans. But because he cannot play the trompeta, the violín, or the guitarrón, his family won’t let him be a part of their mariachi band. So he does not get to perform with them in restaurants or at wedding parties. And, as a result, Gustavo feels like he is the worst mariachi in the world. Until one day he discovers his true talent. Written in English with Spanish words embedded in the text and a glossary in the back. Ages 4 to 8. Hardback.

Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask: A Bilingual Cuento. By Xavier Garza. Cinco Puntos Press.
This is a really fun book for little lucha libre fans. When young Carlitos attends his first lucha libre match with his Papá Lupe, he becomes mesmerized by the famous – and somehow familiar – luchador, the Man in the Silver Mask. Before long, Carlitos is a devoted fan, cheering for the other técnicos (good guys) and booing the bad guys, los rudos. Written with full text in both English and Spanish. Ages 4 to 8. Hardback.

Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del futbol by Monica Brown. Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez. Rayo.
In honor of  the UEFA 2012, why not introduce your child this summer to the Brazilian soccer legend, Pelé? With great skill, Brown tells the story of the poor boy from Brazil who loved fútbol more than anything else and became the biggest soccer star the world has ever known. English/Spanish text. Ages 4 and up. Paperback.

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People. by Monica Brown. Illustrated by Julie Paschkis. Henry Holt and Co.
A beautifully illustrated story of the prolific Chilean author, Brown’s biography of Neruda perfectly introduces children to the concept of words as art. Monica’s storytelling is at its best as she captures Neruda’s love of nature, words, people, and life. Starting with his childhood and ending with his bravery as a poet of the people, I really appreciate the historical facts that she skillfully weaves into the story. Written in English. Ages 4 and up. Hardback.

My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood by Rosemary Wells with Secundino Fernandez. Illustrated by Peter Ferguson. Candlewick Press.
The childhood story of Cuban émigré and architect, Secundino Fernandez, who was forced to leave his beloved island home twice. Dino must come to terms with his overwhelming homesickness and begin a new life in a city that is completely different. The book is divided into four sections, which chronicle his early years on the island of Cuba, a year in Madrid, followed by another three years in Havana, and ultimately, his move to New York. The text is rich with imagery and details reflecting the unique properties of each city and time period. Along the way, children are briefly introduced to the historical/ political figures of Spain’s Generalíssimo Francisco Franco, Germany’s Adolf Hitler, Cuba’s Fulgencio Bautista and Fidel Castro, and Argentina’s Ché Guevara. This seems like quite a heavy load for young readers, but Wells presents the characters in bits and pieces as they were seen and understood by a young boy, making them easier for young readers to understand. Written in English. Ages 8 and up. Hardback.

Visit NBC Latino's website for the complete feature. 

Monica Olivera Hazelton, NBC Latino contributor and  the founder and publisher of MommyMaestra.com, a site for Latino families that homeschool, as well as families with children in a traditional school setting who want to take a more active role in their children’s education. She is the 2011 winner of the “Best Latina Education Blogger” award by LATISM.

Congratulations 2012 Pura Belpré Winners!

Photo credit: Alma Ramos-McDermott
Los ganadores from left to right Rafael López, Xavier Garza, Duncan Tonatiuh, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Margarita Engle - and Sara Palacios who was not able to attend. June 24, 2012

The 2012 American Library Association Conference in Anaheim celebrated the 16th annual Pura Belpré Award. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. 
In this wonderful LA BLOGA post "Pura Belpré Ganadores" the authors and illustrators share their thoughts on what the award means to them. Enjoy!  

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Petit Collage Founder Lorena Siminovich's Picture Book on Sale Today!

Monkey See, Look at Me! 

A playful and eye-catching story about showing off and sharing. 

The founder of popular children's décor brand Petit Collage brings her signature collage style and modern, kid-friendly sensibility to picture books with this story of an attention-seeking little monkey with a great big imagination. When Monkey jumps high, he decides he must be a rabbit. When he roars, Monkey just knows he must be a lion--until Lion shows him how loudly a real lion can roar. In this playful game of "monkey see, monkey do," Monkey and his animal friends share what makes each of them special just the way they are.

Early Praise for Monkey See, Look at Me!

"Siminovich's story is the soul of simplicity, with naïf digital collages set against sunny, softly textured backgrounds ... Similarly, her message is proffered lightly: one-upmanship can be good-natured fun, so long as everybody gets a chance to be the one who's up." —Publishers Weekly

"Never mean-spirited, the animals’ exchanges ... invite young children to anticipate the text’s pattern while enjoying the friendly illustrations. A sweet new title about friends and imaginative play."—Kirkus Reviews

Monday, July 02, 2012

New Teen Novel from Diana López!

“López (Confetti Girl), a former middle school teacher writing from personal experience, weaves facts about the choking game into her story and includes a list of online resources. Readers will relate to Windy’s struggle, which is honestly related. An educational, issue-driven read that could be a useful discussion starter.” –Publishers Weekly

"An urgent and necessary story, Choke also presents a realistic portrait about the pressures of belonging and how troubled peers can speak louder than good parenting and even wise friends. Though the novel exposes a frightening practice, it does so without reprimand or alarm, but rather through a sensitive tale about how young people make mistakes and attempt to correct them." ---Rigoberto González El Paso Times
We are thrilled to announce Scholastic will launch Diana López’s new teen novel today. A heartfelt novel about the disturbing "choking game" trend -- and one girl's struggle for self-acceptance. Inspired by an experience with her own middle grade students, the author of acclaimed debut novel Confetti Girl presents an unforgettable story about peer pressure and the meaning of friendship.

Excerpt from Choke:
I knew it was a stupid question, but I had to ask. "Is this how you become a breath sister?" 

Nina laughed a little, and I felt like a kid who still believes thunder is the sound of angels bowling. "I thought you knew what a breath sister was," she said. 

"I do. It's like being a blood brother, right?" 

"The concept's the same." 

I stared at her, waiting for more. 

She stopped blowing on my nails but still held my hands. Then she asked, "Have you ever heard of the choking game?"
Read more about Choke and other books by Diana Lopez on her website and Scholastic’s This Is Teen website. 

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Books, Bats & Breakfast Tacos!

Where else but deep in the heart of Texas (Austin Texas, that is) can you attend intensive workshops on writing and marketing books, eat delicious breakfast tacos, and watch thousands of bats fly off into the sunset? I was thrilled to be part of the 2012 Writers League of Texas Conference last week where editors, agents and authors gathered to enjoy all of this and much more.

As part of the conference 's Young Adult A to Z program, FCL author Diana Lopez taught a craft workshop titled “How to Sound Like a Teen Even if You’re One (or Four) Decades Older” and welcomed her new teen novel, CHOKE, releasing this week from Scholastic. A panel of Writers League success stories including Newbery Honor author Jacqueline Kelly was so inspiring!

Writers looking for a top-rate professional conference mixed with a fabulous writing community and some warm Texas-style hospitality should check out the Writers League conference and other events held throughout the year. Visit their website for more information about this Conference and other  Writers League of Texas programs.

Full Circle looks forward to being part of the Writers League of Texas  Conference again next year---see ya’ll again soon! --Stefanie

Full Circle Literary © 2011

Blogger Templates by Splashy Templates