Latinx Book Deals October-December 2020

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Compiled by Cecilia Cackley

This is an occasional series keeping track of the book deals announced by Latinx writers and illustrators. The purpose of this series is to celebrate book deals by authors and illustrators in our community and to advocate for more of them. If you are an agent and you have a Latinx client who just announced a deal, you can let me know on Twitter, @citymousedc. If you are a Latinx author or illustrator writing for children or young adults, and you just got a book deal, send me a message and we will celebrate with you! And if I left anyone out here, please let me know! Here’s to many more wonderful books in the years to come.

October 1

None.

October 6

Olivia Valcarce at Scholastic has bought world rights to Yamile Saied Méndez‘s Horse Country, a middle-grade series about 11-year-old Carolina Aguasvivas, who has a gift with horses and—with the help of an unexpected friend—starts a new program at Paradise Ranch. Unbridled Dreams sponsors underprivileged kids to provide them with access to the healing power of horses; each book will feature new friends and new challenges. The first of four books is scheduled for 2022; Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary did the deal.

October 8

None.

October 15

Ben Rosenthal at HarperCollins/Tegen has acquired, in an exclusive submission, The Mythics, a middle grade series by Lauren Magaziner, illustrated by Mirelle Ortega. In a universe where everyone bonds with an animal familiar at 10 years old, five very different girls who are not immediately paired discover that their familiars are mythical beasts they must find by working together. Publication is set for fall 2022. Brianne Johnson at Writers House brokered the five-book, six-figure deal, and James Burns at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.

Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has acquired, in a preempt, ¡Guerrera Warrior! by Carmen Tafolla, former State Poet Laureate of Texas. The novel-in-verse details the life and times of a courageous 12-year-old Latina who decides it will be she who defines her name, her power, her history, and her right to choose what she celebrates in life. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary negotiated the deal for world rights.

Lisa Rosinsky at Barefoot Books has bought world rights to Dumpling Day by Meera Sriram (A Gift for Amma), illustrated by Inés de Antuñano. In this multicultural counting book, 10 contemporary families cook different types of dumplings for a neighborhood potluck featuring food from each of their cultures. Publication is planned for fall 2021; Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary represented the author, and Alison Berson at Illo Agency represented the illustrator.

October 20

None.

October 22

Samantha Swenson at Tundra has acquired world rights to Lourdes Heuer‘s debut picture book On This Airplane, to be illustrated by Pura Belpré winner Sara Palacios. The book follows a child’s first experience on an airplane as they observe the passengers around them, noticing the ways the travelers are both different from them and the same. Publication is slated for summer 2022; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Minju Chang and Kendra Marcus at BookStop Literary represented the illustrator.

Jordan Nielsen at POW! Kids has bought world rights to Rat Fair, a debut picture book by Leah Rose Kessler, illustrated by Cleonique Hilsaca. The nearly wordless picture book features a group of rats who mistake a sign for an “Art Fair” for that of a “Rat Fair.” After constructing their own fair, they struggle to keep their festivities safe from humans who would sweep it away, but a compassionate child who has been watching them has a plan. Publication is set for summer 2021.

October 27

Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has bought, at auction, in a two-book, six-figure deal, Los Monstruos, the next middle grade novel by Diana Lopez (Confetti Girl). When Felice learns that she’s the daughter of La Llorona, she vows to help her mother make peace with events that have turned her into the most famous monstruo of U.S.-Mexico border lore. Along the way, Felice meets the children of other monstruos, and together, they reverse the curses that have plagued the town of Tres Leches. Publication is planned for fall 2022; Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary handled the deal for world rights.

October 29

Luana Kay Horry at HarperCollins has bought North American rights to Balloons for Papa by Elizabeth Gilbert Bedia, illustrated by Erika Meza. This picture book follows a boy who gives his father, who has depression, a bundle of brightly colored balloons. Publication is scheduled for winter 2021. Marlene Sturm at Sturm Rights did the deal on behalf of Upside Down Books/Trigger Publishing in the U.K.

Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick has acquired world rights to One Tiny Treefrog and two companion nonfiction picture book titles by Mackenzie Joy and Tony Piedra. Set in the Costa Rican rainforest, One Tiny Treefrog traces the journey of a school of tadpoles from 10 eggs, to tadpoles, to one sole frog survivor. Publication is slated for spring 2022, with the companion titles following in 2023 and 2024. Kevin Lewis at Erin Murphy Literary represented the team.

November 3

Robin Herrera, formerly at Oni Press, bought world rights to Eat Your Heart Out, written by Terry Blas and Matthew Newton, illustrated by Lydia Anslow. A young Latina from Idaho graduates from high school and is pressured by her mother to live the life she’s planned out for her. Impulsively, she runs away and finds herself in New York, where she shares adventures with new friends and learns to live a life she loves. Shawna Gore will edit; publication is slated for fall 2022. Kate McKean at Morhaim Literary represented Blas, and Newton and Anslow represented themselves.

November 5

Samantha Swenson at Tundra has acquired, in a preempt, in a two-book deal, world rights to Esme’s Birthday Conga Line by Lourdes Heuer, illustrated by Marissa Valdez. This early chapter book stars Esme, a plucky girl who lives in the uppermost floor of (what she thinks is) the topmost best building in her neighborhood, and who is sure she can plan her own birthday party when her Mimi and Pipo forget. Publication is planned for spring 2022 and spring 2023; Kelly Sonnack at Andrea Brown Literary represented the creators.

November 10

Holly West at Feiwel and Friends has bought, in an exclusive submission, an untitled YA fantasy duology pitched as Aztec Percy Jackson meets the Hunger Games, where a transgender demigod must enter the Firebearer Trials to save his friends from sacrifice, plus a third YA novel, pitched as “gay Titanic in space,” by Aiden Thomas (Cemetery Boys). Publication is planned for fall 2022, fall 2023, and fall 2024; Jennifer March Soloway at Andrea Brown Literary did the mid-six-figure deal for world rights.

Erin Clarke at Knopf has bought world rights to Window Fishing, a picture book by recording artist DK Dyson, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Rudy Gutierrez (Double Bass Blues). It tells the story of an overworked artist who learns to not be so cranky when the kid who lives upstairs sends down a paperclip hook attached to a fishing line. Publication is set for 2022; Edward Necarsulmer IV at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner represented the author and the illustrator.

November 12

Michelle Frey at Knopf has acquired, in a preempt, in a two-book deal, Does My Body Offend You?, plus a second novel, written by CNN special projects producer Mayra Cuevas and founding co-chair of El Refugio Marie Marquardt. This coming-of-age YA, told in dual points of view, follows a Puerto Rican teen who seeks justice after running afoul of her school’s sexist dress code—and the white girl who wants to help her lead “The Bra-bellion” but must first learn how to become an effective ally. Publication is set for spring 2022; Saritza Hernandez at Andrea Brown Literary represented Cuevas, and Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management represented Marquardt in the deal for world rights.

Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has acquired Pura Belpré Award-winning author Ruth Behar‘s The Story I Sing to You, in which daughters from several generations of a family seek freedom during revolutionary times. Publication is scheduled for fall 2022; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group did the two-book deal for North American rights.

November 17

None.

November 19

Donna Bray at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray and Andrew Eliopulos at HarperCollins/Quill Tree have signed Here’s to Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. In this sequel to What If It’s Us, Arthur and Ben are reunited by chance over a summer in New York, and find themselves once again asking “What if…?” Publication is scheduled for fall 2021; Holly Root at Root Literary and Jodi Reamer at Writers House brokered the deal for world English rights.

November 24

Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has bought, at auction, world rights to the picture book What Are Words, Really? written by photographer and author Alexi Lubomirski, illustrated by Pura Belpré Illustration Honor-winning artist Carlos Aponte (Across the Bay). Lubomirski, whose engagement photographs of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made headlines worldwide, offers young readers rhyming advice on the ways that words can affect us and how to change your words for the better. Publication is slated for fall 2022; Anne Bohner at Pen & Ink Literary represented the author, and John Rudolph at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret represented the illustrator.

December 1

Kat Brzozowski at Feiwel and Friends has acquired world rights to Andrea Mosqueda‘s debut novel Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster. The YA novel follows self-described romantic disaster Maggie Gonzalez, a bisexual Chicana living in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, as she tries to figure out whom to ask to be her escort at her little sister’s upcoming quinceañera: her charming ex-boyfriend twice over; her first crush and gorgeous best friend; or the mysterious new girl with the romantic baggage? Publication is for 2022; Lauren MacLeod at the Strothman Agency brokered the deal.

Lily Kessinger at HMH/Etch has acquired world rights to YA graphic novel Pillow Talk by Stephanie Cooke, illustrated by Mel Valentine Vargas, about Grace Mendes aka Cinderhella, a fierce competitor in the Pillow Fight Federation (PFF), an underground pillow fight league that’s part roller derby, part professional wrestling. Publication is scheduled for 2023; Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary represented the author, and the artist was unagented.

Kathy Landwehr at Peachtree has bought world rights to Octopus by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Tom Gonzalez (their second collaboration following Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon). The nonfiction picture book shares several kinds of octopuses and their fascinating features, such as lights that attract prey, legs that walk on land, and the ability to change color (and shape shift) to match their surroundings. Publication is planned for spring 2023; Karen Grencik at Red Fox Literary represented the author, and Deborah Warren at East West represented the illustrator.

December 3

Kate O’Sullivan at HMH has acquired world rights to the picture book A Perfect Fit by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree and Sibert Medalist Juana Martinez-Neal, about how Lena “Lane” Bryant came to America with nothing but a measuring tape and a dream, and changed the way women bought clothes for generations. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary represented the illustrator.

December 8

Christian Trimmer at Holt has bought world rights to All Your Shapes by debut picture book author Seth Nichols, with art by Andrés Landazábal. The story is a love letter from father to daughter in celebration of the girl’s accomplishments, as represented by various yoga poses. Publication is slated for spring 2022; the author represented himself, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.

December 10

Sarah Alpert at Algonquin has bought world rights to Our Shadows Have Claws, a YA horror anthology co-edited by Amparo Ortiz and Yamile Saied Méndez. The short stories feature mythical monsters and magical baddies from Latinx folklore, from el Chupacabra to La Llorona, the vampire and the werewolf, the pombero and Nahuelito, and beyond. The Latinx contributors include Mendez, Ortiz, Chantel Acevedo, Courtney Alameda, David Bowles, Ann Dávila Cardinal, Mia García, Gabriela Martins, Racquel Marie, Tehlor Kay Mejía, Maika Moulite, Maritza Moulite, Claribel Ortega, Lilliam Rivera, Jenny Torres Sánchez, and Alexandra Villasante. Publication is set for 2023; Linda Camacho at Gallt and Zacker Literary did the deal.

Nikki Garcia at Little, Brown has bought Lola Out Loud by Jennifer Torres, a picture book about stepping up, speaking out, and building a community, based on the childhood of labor leader Dolores Huerta, illustrated by Sara Palacios. Publication is scheduled for summer 2022; Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary represented the author, and Kendra Marcus and Minju Chang at Bookstop Literary represented the artist.

December 17

Lily Kessinger at HMH/Etch has bought world rights to debut graphic novel Band Nerd by Sarah Clawson Willis, illustrated by Ana Hinojosa. Seventh-grader Lucy Carver is determined to make first chair flute at Windley School of the Arts, but two things stand in her way: snobby Tolli Claybourne and Lucy’s loving but dysfunctional parents. Publication is set for 2023; Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties represented the author, and Maria Vicente at P.S. Literary represented the artist.

Kaylan Adair at Candlewick has bought world rights to You. Me. We., written by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Andres Landazabal. Drawing from Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace and Maria Montessori’s method of encouraging children to embrace their inner guides, the book explores discovering, maintaining, and sharing peace—in the classroom and in our communities. Publication is set for spring 2023; Alexandra Penfold at Upstart Crow represented both authors, and Anne Moore Armstrong at the Bright Agency represented the illustrator.

December 22

Liz Bicknell at Candlewick Press has acquired world rights to Cool Green, a picture book by Pura Belpré Award Honoree Lulu Delacre. In the book, created to honor the expertise of immigrant gardeners and landscapers who often work undocumented, a Latino landscaper shares his knowledge of trees and nature with his granddaughter, celebrating the interconnectedness of trees and forests. Publication is planned for spring 2023, and the author-illustrator represented herself in the deal.

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cecilia-02-original

Cecilia Cackley is a Mexican-American playwright and puppeteer based in Washington, DC. A longtime bookseller, she is currently the Children’s/YA buyer and event coordinator for East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill. Find out more about her art at www.ceciliacackley.com or follow her on Twitter @citymousedc

April Latinx Book Releases!

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In addition to listing 2021 titles by/for/about Latinx on our master list, we will remind readers of what’s releasing each month. CONGRATULATIONS to these Latinx creators. Let’s celebrate these April book babies! Please let us know in the comments if we are missing any.

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A GARDEN TO SAVE THE BIRDS by Wendy McClure, illustrated by Beatriz Mayumi (Albert Whitman & Co., April 1, 2021). Picture Book. When a bird flies into their window by accident, Callum and his sister, Emmy, learn that from the outside, the glass looks just like the sky. They also learn that the United States has lost a lot of birds in recent years–and that there are lots of things their family can do to help. First, they set out feeders and make the windows safe. Then, for the winter, they build a little shelter and put out a heated birdbath. By springtime, all kinds of birds are visiting their yard. But with such a big problem, is there more they can do to make a difference?

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Kids learn how imagination gives them the power to connect to themselves and the world around them.

ALL YOU CAN IMAGINE written and illustrated by Bernardo Marçolla (Free Spirit Publishing, April 6, 2021). Picture Book. Where can imagination take you? All You Can Imagine encourages readers to open their hearts, minds, and eyes to the world around them to let imagination in, foster connections, and explore all the possibilities of the universe. 

Imagination and creativity give us the power to connect to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us. All You Can Imagine helps children embrace and expand their ideas and imagination, whether these ideas arrive slowly, piece by piece, or suddenly, like a bird taking flight. Imaginative play is an integral foundation for social, emotional, and academic development, so fill an entire day with the power of imagination and all the ways it can be shared and expressed. 

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DEAR SUPER-VILLAINS by Michael Northrop, illustrated by Gustavo Duarte (DC Comics, April 6, 2021). How did Gorilla Grodd get so smart? Did Harley Quinn ever try a career in comedy? Why does Catwoman always lose to Batman?

Each chapter highlights members of the Legion of Doom in a sympathetic way that is relatable to kids. But look closely and you may notice the baddies are up to something big! Will the Justice League show up in time to stop them? You’ll have to write in to the Tip-line of Evil to find out!

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FEARLESS by Mandy Gonzalez (Aladdin, April 6, 2021). Middle Grade. The Ethel Merman Theater is cursed. No one is sure how or why, but the evidence speaks for itself. Show after show has flopped and the theater is about to close. Enter twelve-year-old Monica Garcia, who has been cast to star in a Broadway musical revival of The Goonies, the theater’s last chance to produce a hit before it shutters its doors for good.

The kids in the cast each have their own reasons for wanting to make the show a success, and all eyes in the theater world are on them. Will this show finally break the curse of the Ethel? The kids aren’t quite sure if the curse is even real, but when their first performance doesn’t quite go as planned, it certainly feels that way.

Then they realize the ghost light—the light that is always kept on at every theater in order to appease the ghosts—wasn’t lit! When the kids rush to flick the switch back on, they find themselves locked in the theater—but that’s the least of their problems when the ghost of the Ethel makes her debut appearance!

Can the cast overcome their fears and reverse the ghost’s curse before opening night so they can save the show—and their dreams?

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MERCI SUÁREZ CAN’T DANCE by Meg Medina (Candlewick, April 6, 2021). Middle Grade. Seventh grade is going to be a real trial for Merci Suárez. For science she’s got no-nonsense Mr. Ellis, who expects her to be a smart as her brother, Roli. She’s been assigned to co-manage the tiny school store with Wilson Bellevue, a boy she barely knows, but whom she might actually like. And she’s tangling again with classmate Edna Santos, who is bossier and more obnoxious than ever now that she is in charge of the annual Heart Ball.

One thing is for sure, though: Merci Suárez can’t dance—not at the Heart Ball or anywhere else. Dancing makes her almost as queasy as love does, especially now that Tía Inés, her merengue-teaching aunt, has a new man in her life. Unfortunately, Merci can’t seem to avoid love or dance for very long. She used to talk about everything with her grandfather, Lolo, but with his Alzheimer’s getting worse each day, whom can she trust to help her make sense of all the new things happening in her life?

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OCULTA by Maya Motayne (Balzer + Bray, April 6, 2021). Young Adult. After joining forces to save Castallan from an ancient magical evil, Alfie and Finn haven’t seen each other in months. Alfie is finally stepping up to his role as heir and preparing for an International Peace Summit, while Finn is traveling and reveling in her newfound freedom from Ignacio.

That is, until she’s unexpectedly installed as the new leader of one of Castallan’s powerful crime syndicates. 

Just when Finn finds herself back in San Cristobal, Alfie’s plans are also derailed. The mysterious organization responsible for his brother’s murder, has resurfaced—and their newest target is the summit. And when these events converge, Finn and Alfie are once again forced to work together to follow the assassins’ trail and preserve Castallan’s hopes for peace with Englass. 

But will they be able to stop these sinister foes before a new war threatens their kingdom?

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SOMEWHERE BETWEEN BITTER AND SWEET by Laekan Zea Kemp (Little Brown Young Readers, April 6, 2021). Young Adult. Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans-leaving Pen to choose between disappointing her traditional Mexican American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she’s been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself.

Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for just that–a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo’s, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family and himself.

Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong in order to save the place they all call home.

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WE MOVE TOGETHER by Kelly Fritsch and Anne McGuireillustrated by Eduardo Trejos (AK Press, April 6, 2021). Picture Book. A bold and colorful exploration of all the ways that people navigate through the spaces around them and a celebration of the relationships we build along the way. We Move Together follows a mixed-ability group of kids as they creatively negotiate everyday barriers and find joy and connection in disability culture and community.

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YOUR MAMA by NoNieqa Ramos, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara (Versify, April 6, 2021). Picture Book. A sweet twist on the age-old “yo mama” joke, celebrating fierce moms everywhere. Yo’ mama so sweet, she could be a bakery. She dresses so fine, she could have a clothing line. And, even when you mess up, she’s so forgiving, she lets you keep on living. Your Mama twists an old joke into a point of pride that honors the love, hard work, and dedication of mamas everywhere.

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48 GRASSHOPPER ESTATES by Sara de Wallillustrated by Erika Medina (Annick Press, April 13, 2021). Picture Book. Whether it’s a supersonic sandwich maker or a twelve-tailed dragon, Sicily Bridges can make almost anything from materials she finds around her apartment complex. But when it comes to making friends, Sicily has yet to find the perfect fit.

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CECE RIOS AND THE DESERT OF SOULS by Kaela Rivera (HarperChildren’s, April 13, 2021). Middle Grade. Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous, especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits roam the desert and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas, much to her family’s disapproval. After all, only brujas—humans who capture and control criaturas—consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime.

When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil’s Alley, though, she’ll have to become a bruja herself—while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans and agrees to help her on her journey.

With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family—and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.

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TAG TEAM: El Toro and Friends by Raúl the Third (Versify, April 13, 2021). Early Reader. After last night’s match, the stadium is a mess! There is so much work to be done and Mexican wrestling star El Toro feels overwhelmed. Enter . . . La Oink Oink!

With the collaborative spirit they have in the ring, El Toro and La Oink Oink tackle the cleaning up together. La Oink Oink sweeps and El Toro picks up the trash. La Oink Oink washes the dishes, and El Toro dries them. Together, an insurmountable mountain of chores becomes a series of fun tasks for these two wrestling friends!

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TRAINING DAY: El Toro and Friends by Raúl the Third (Versify, April 13, 2021). Early Reader. Task #1: Getting out of bed. Usually that’s not so hard, but being the champion luchador isn’t easy. Today, El Toro is feeling uninspired. But his coach, Kooky Dooky, knows that practice makes better and it’s important for El Toro to stay in shape and keep training!

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THE MARY SHELLEY CLUB by Goldy Moldavsky (Henry Holt and Co. BYR, April 13, 2021). Young Adult. When it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear: Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times; Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to “check something out”; If there’s a murderer on the loose, do not make out with anyone.

If only surviving in real life were this easy.

New girl Rachel Chavez turns to horror movies for comfort, preferring stabby serial killers and homicidal dolls to the bored rich kids of Manhattan Prep…and to certain memories she’d preferred to keep buried.

Then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious society of students who orchestrate Fear Tests, elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and movie tropes. At first, Rachel embraces the power that comes with reckless pranking. But as the Fear Tests escalate, the competition turns deadly, and it’s clear Rachel is playing a game she can’t afford to lose.

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WE LAUGH ALIKE/ JUNTOS NOS REÍMOS by Carmen T. Bernier, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez (Charlesbridge, April 13, 2021). Picture Book. Three kids are playing at the park when three more arrive. The groups can’t understand each other because one trio speaks only English and the other only Spanish. But they can express similar thoughts in their own languages. Aquí interactúan el inglés y el español. Can they find a way to play? Of course they can! By watching each other, both groups learn that they are more alike than different and end up discovering new words and making new friends.

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GOOSEBUMPS: Secrets of the Swamp by Marieke Nijkampillustrated by Yasmin Florez Montanez (IDW Publishing, April 20, 2021). Graphic Novel. When twelve-year-old Blake is shipped away to stay with her weird aunt in Fever Swamp for the summer, she expects her weeks to be filled with video games, mosquito bites, and a whole lot of nothing. Instead, she finds herself in a spooky turf war between wolf hunters and werewolves!

Blake’s never let anything–including her prosthetic hand–slow her down or stop her from crushing her opponents in a game of Lore Hunter, but real-life monsters on all sides take danger and fear to a whole new level. Blake will need to use all of her gaming skills to escape in this all-ages scarefest.

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THE RICE IN THE POT GOES ROUND AND ROUND by Wendy Wan-Long Shangillustrated by Lorian Tu (Orchard Books, April 20, 2021). Picture Book. Sing along to this delicious twist on “The Wheels on the Bus” and celebrate the food, laughter, and love of a multigenerational family meal! At the table where this family gathers, they share food, laughter, and, most of all, love. Readers of all ages are sure to delight in this joyful, expressive sing-along, slurping noodles, squishing tofu, and tapping chopsticks as they sing along to this familiar tune.

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13th STREET #5: Tussle with the Tooting Tarantulas by David Bowles, illustrated by Shane Clester (HarperCHapters, April 27, 2021). Chapter Book. Malia, Dante, and Ivan are ready to take on the evil forces controlling 13th Street. But then Ivan is kidnapped by giant—and stinky!—spiders. Can Malia and Dante save him from their sticky webs?

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BALLONS FOR PAPA by Elizabeth Gilbert Bediaillustrated by Erika Meza (HarperCollins, April 27, 2021). Picture Book. Arthur’s gloomy father rushes him through the park every morning, through gray and rainy weather. Arthur just wants a bright balloon from the park’s vendor, but Papa always says no. One morning, the balloons magically appear at their doorstep, and Arthur figures out the perfect way to bring the sunshine out—and Papa’s smile back—even if only for a few moments.

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SPIRIT UNTAMED: THE MOVIE NOVEL by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 27, 2021). Middle Grade. Lucky Prescott never really knew her late mother, Milagro Navarro, a fearless horse-riding stunt performer. Like her mother, Lucky isn’t exactly a fan of rules and restrictions. When her aunt Cora moves them from their East Coast city to live in Miradero with Lucky’s father, Lucky is decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy little town. She has a change of heart when she meets Spirit, a wild Mustang who shares her independent streak, and befriends two local horseback riders, Abigail Stone and Pru Granger. When a heartless horse wrangler plots to capture Spirit and his herd and auction them off to a life of captivity and hard labor, Lucky enlists her new friends and bravely embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to rescue the horse who has given her freedom, a sense of purpose, and who has helped Lucky discover a connection to her mother’s legacy.

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Latinx Book Deals July-September 2020

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Compiled by Cecilia Cackley

This is an occasional series keeping track of the book deals announced by Latinx writers and illustrators. The purpose of this series is to celebrate book deals by authors and illustrators in our community and to advocate for more of them. If you are an agent and you have a Latinx client who just announced a deal, you can let me know on Twitter, @citymousedc. If you are a Latinx author or illustrator writing for children or young adults, and you just got a book deal, send me a message and we will celebrate with you! And if I left anyone out here, please let me know! Here’s to many more wonderful books in the years to come.

July 2

Emily Seife and David Levithan at Scholastic have bought Concealed by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (the Moving Target duology). The middle grade novel features a 12-year-old girl who discovers that her family’s constant moving and ever-changing names as part of the Witness Protection Program are actually an elaborate hoax covering up the truth about her real identity. Publication is slated for fall 2021. Author agent: Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Trisha de Guzman at FSG has acquired Cuba in My Pocket by Adrianna Cuevas (The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez). The middle grade historical novel, based on the author’s father, follows a 12-year-old boy as he immigrates to Miami by himself, leaving his family behind in Cuba as he adjusts to life in the U.S. with only a small reminder of his home ever-present in his pocket. Publication is set for fall 2021. Author agent: Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary.

Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman has acquired world rights to Rose Viña‘s Dancing Through Darkness: The Alicia Alonso Story, a picture book biography about the Cuban ballerina and choreographer who became one of the greatest dance legends of all time, despite an eye condition that caused her to become partially blind. Gloria Félix will illustrate; publication is slated for fall 2021. Author agent: Alexandra Weiss at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency Illustrator agent: Emily Coggins at Astound US.

July 7

Stephanie Owens Lurie at Disney/Rick Riordan Presents has bought world English rights to J.C. Cervantes‘s Throne of Sand, first in a middle grade duology in which Ren Santiago, a shadow bruja, discovers that some rogue godborns have joined forces to make themselves into gods, and she must unite with her friends to defeat them in a time race as they search for a lost key that unlocks the legendary Aztec land of Aztlan. Publication will begin in 2021. Author agent: Holly Root at Root Literary.

July 9

Carolina Ortiz at HarperAlley has bought, at auction, Frontera by Julio Anta and Jacoby Salcedo. In a supernatural borderland story that combines social commentary with a touch of magical realism, the debut YA graphic novel follows Mateo as he makes the dangerous journey back home to Arizona through the Sonoran Desert with the help of a new friend, a ghost named Guillermo. Publication is set for summer 2023. Author agent: Jessica Mileo at InkWell Management.

Zachary Clark at Scholastic has bought The Buried by Melissa Grey (Girl at Midnight and Rated). Three families lock themselves in a bunker to hide from a mysterious danger that threatens the outside world. But what if the danger is imagined, and the real evil is on the inside? Publication is planned for fall 2021. Author agent: Catherine Drayton at InkWell Management.

Nancy Paulsen at Penguin/Paulsen has bought world rights to Jam, Too?, a picture book by JaNay Brown-Wood, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara, in which an African American boy figures out a way to join in a jam session, even though he doesn’t have an instrument. Publication is scheduled for summer 2023. Illustrator agent: Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary.

July 16

Jenna Lettice at Random House has acquired Gabe Cole Novoa‘s The Wicked Bargain. The #OwnVoices YA fantasy follows a trans masculine Latinx teen pirate hiding magical abilities who, after a deal with the devil comes to a violent end, is rescued by the Caribbean’s sole remaining pirate crew. But with the Spanish armada hunting the last of the pirates down, the magic they’ve been keeping secret may be their only redemption—or it could mean certain death. Publication is slated for fall 2022. Author agent: Louise Fury at the Bent Agency.

July 21

None.

July 23

Nick Thomas at Levine Querido has bought The Immortal Boy, written by Francisco Montaña Ibáñez and originally published in Colombia, to be translated by Pura Belpré Honor-winning David Bowles. The novel tells two intertwining stories of Bogotá: one of a family of five children left on their own; the other of a girl in an orphanage who will do anything to befriend the mysterious Immortal Boy. Publication is slated for spring 2021. Author agent: Pablo Eduardo Montaño de la Vega on behalf of Babel Libros.

July 28

None.

July 30

Meghan Maria McCullough at Levine Querido has acquired world rights to What the Jaguar Told Her by debut author Alexandra V. Méndez. The middle grade magical realist novel follows Mexican American Jade O’Callaghan, who comes to terms with her identity in the American South with the help of an elderly storyteller named Itztli, who has the power to transform into a jaguar. Publication is scheduled for spring 2022.

August 4

Margaret Raymo and Kwame Alexander at Versify have bought, at auction, I WILL! A Book of PledgesI AM! A Book of Reminders, and I FEEL! A Book of Feelings, a picture book series by Pura Belpré Award winner Juana Medina. These three picture books pair illustrations with simple text about moods, declarations of worth, and commitments to ourselves and others. Publication is set for fall 2021, spring 2022, and fall 2022, respectively. Illustrator agent: Gillian MacKenzie at MacKenzie Wolf.

August 6

Elizabeth Lee at FSG has bought Spare Parts: Young Readers’ Edition by Reyna Grande, a middle-grade adaptation of the bestselling adult nonfiction book by Joshua Davis. Against all odds, four Mexican American teenagers join together to build an underwater robot that wins a national competition. Publication is planned for fall 2022. Author agent: Johanna Castillo at Writers House.

August 11

Michelle Frey and Christopher Myers at Make Me a World have acquired, at auction, Lucha by Tehlor Kay Mejia, author of the We Set the Dark on Fire duology. The YA fantasy novel follows Lucha Moya, a bounty hunter living on the border of an ancient, mythical forest—the only source of a highly addictive drug that’s destroying her community and her family. As the first member of her community in a generation to possess magic, she vows to defeat the evil that surrounds her. Publication is set for fall 2022. Author agent: Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.

Rachel Poloski at Little, Brown has acquired The Secret Garden on 81st Street, a middle-grade graphic novel modern retelling of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett with text by Ivy Noelle Weir, illustrated by Amber Padilla. Entitled loner Mary Lennox moves to her uncle’s house in New York after losing her parents in a car accident and makes friends who help her restore her uncle’s abandoned rooftop garden and teach her to grieve and grow. Publication is set for September 2021. Illustrator agent: Dara Hyde at Hill Nadell Literary.

August 13

Trisha de Guzman at FSG has bought, in an exclusive submission, world rights to cultural critic Mathew Rodriguez‘s debut YA graphic novel, Carlos Alejos Has to Lose His Chichos, with Charlot Kristensen illustrating, about a queer Puerto Rican teen of size as he grapples with body image, friendship, and his burgeoning sexuality in suburban New Jersey. Publication is slated for winter 2023. Author agent: Melissa Edwards at Stonesong Literary.

August 20

Alessandra Balzer at Balzer + Bray has acquired, at auction, Lulu & Milagro’s Search for Clarity, a debut YA novel by Angela Velez. Pitched as a Latinx Booksmart, it follows two sisters—one vying for a prestigious internship and the other reeling from a dramatic breakup—as they become begrudging partners on their school’s cross-country field trip to college campuses. Over the course of one week, they’ll uncover family secrets, confront weighty expectations for their futures, and maybe even discover the true meaning of sisterhood. Publication is set for winter 2022. Author agent: Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary.

Sylvie Frank at S&S/Wiseman has bought the tentatively titled Leaving Cuba, a middle-grade novel by Alexandra Diaz (Santiago’s Road Home). Based on the author’s family history, it tells the story of Victoria’s privileged and idyllic life in Cuba, which abruptly ends when Fidel Castro’s communist regime comes to power. Fleeing to Miami with just five dollars, Victoria and her family struggle to survive their new life in exile, facing racial and cultural prejudices, worry for those left behind in Cuba, and the search for a new home. Publication is set for summer 2022. Author agent: Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary.

Rotem Moscovich at Knopf has bought world rights for two picture books by Minh Lê. The first, The Blur, will be illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, fellow collaborator on Drawn Together, and follows a baby with superhero-like abilities and the parents who are racing to keep up. The second, Real to Me, to be illustrated by Raissa Figueroa, follows a surprising development after an imaginary friend disappears. Publication is set for summer 2022 and summer 2023, respectively. Illustrator agent: Tracy Marchini at BookEnds Literary.

August 27

Eileen Rothschild at Wednesday Books has acquired, in a preempt, Isabel Ibañez‘s YA fantasy, Together We Burn, inspired by medieval Spain. A city plagued by dragons hosts popular dragon fights in rings where the beasts are slain by the legendary Dragadors; a talented flamenco dancer must work with a disgraced dragon hunter to learn the ways of a Dragador in order to save her ancestral home. Publication is slated for 2022. Author agent: Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Tiara Kittrell at HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has bought, at auction, world rights to Mariana in México, a picture book debut by Mónica Mancillas, illustrated by Erika Meza. A girl visits her abuela for the first time in Ensenada, and though she doesn’t speak perfect Spanish, the love of her family cannot be misunderstood. Publication is planned for summer 2022. Author agent: Melissa Edwards at Stonesong. Illustrator agent: Claire Cartey at Holroyde Cartey.

September 3

Joanna Cárdenas at Kokila has acquired Tumble, a middle grade novel by Celia C. Pérez (The First Rule of Punk and Strange Birds). Adela “Addie” Diaz has a big life decision to make when her stepfather proposes adoption, but before she makes it, she reaches out to her estranged biological father—a lucha libre legend in New Mexico—and the eccentric extended family of wrestlers she has never met, which brings her closer to understanding the expansive definition of family. Publication is slated for spring 2022. Author agent: Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary.

Feather Flores at Chronicle has bought world rights to Maria Mariposa by Karla Arenas Valenti, a bilingual story about a girl who receives a gift from her home in Mexico, on her first day of school in the U.S.—and how she finds a way to share the magic of that gift with everyone around her. Ana Ramírez González will illustrate; publication is scheduled for fall 2023. Author agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator agent: Andrea Morrison at Writers House.

Asia Citro at the Innovation Press has bought world rights to Queen of Leaves by Stephen Briseño, a picture book biography of Mexican-American botanist Ynes Mexia, illustrated by Diana Toledano. Publication is set for fall 2022. Author agent: Natalie Lakosil at Bradford Literary. Illustrator agent: Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary.

Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has bought world rights to Stand as Tall as the Trees: How an Amazonian Community Protected the Rain Forest, a picture book autobiography by Patricia Gualinga, environmental and Indigenous-rights defender of the Pueblo Kichwa de Sarayaku, a community in the Ecuadorian Amazon, co-written with Laura Resau. Ecuadorian artist Vanessa Jaramillo will illustrate. Simultaneous publication in English and Spanish is slated for summer 2022. Author agent: Erin Murphy at Erin Murphy Literary.

September 10

Karen Greenberg at Knopf has acquired, at auction, Vanessa L. Torres‘s debut YA novel The Turning Pointe, plus a second untitled work. The book follows Rosa Dominguez, a dancer in 1980s Minnesota, as she navigates complex family expectations, a new romance, and her own ambitions to dance for the Purple One himself, Prince. Publication is planned for spring 2022. Author agent: Louise Fury at the Bent Agency.

September 15

None.

September 17

Julie Rosenberg at Razorbill has acquired, in a seven-house auction, Flirting with Fate and a second untitled novel by bestselling author J.C. Cervantes (The Storm Runner series). Flirting with Fate is a contemporary YA romance set in Los Angeles that introduces three tight-knit sisters, the ghost of their grandmother, and a fifth-century saint charged with aiding them in setting their fate right. Together, they must help the youngest sister find the mysterious boy who intercepted the deathbed blessing her grandmother meant for her. Publication for the first book is planned for 2021. Author agent: Holly Root at Root Literary.

September 22

Kait Feldmann at Orchard has bought, in an exclusive submission, In the Spirit of a Dream, a nonfiction picture book anthology created by Alina Chau celebrating stories of American immigrants of color. Aida Salazar will write and the poems will be illustrated by Alina Chau, Bianca Diaz, Dion MBD, Fahmida Azim, Gaby D’Alessandro, Jose Ramirez, Ken Daley, Nicole Xu, Paulo D. Campos, Rahele Jomepour Bell, Tracy Guiteau, Vanessa Flores, and Yas Imamura. Publication is slated for fall 2021. Author agent: Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker.

Kate DePalma at Barefoot Books has acquired Run, Little Chaski! An Inka Trail Adventure, by Peruvian-born author Mariana Llanos (l.), illustrated by Argentinean illustrator Mariana Ruiz Johnson. In this historical fiction picture book set in the ancient Inka empire, Little Chaski faces a challenging first day as the king’s newest royal messenger. Publication is scheduled for spring 2021. Author agent: Clelia Gore at Martin Literary & Media Management.

September 24

None.

September 29

Nancy Mercado at Dial has acquired, in an exclusive submission, A Seed in the Sun by Aida Salazar (The Moon Within and Land of the Cranes). The middle grade historical fiction novel follows a 12-year-old girl from a migrant farm-working family with big dreams of becoming a carpa ringmaster. She meets Dolores Huerta and joins the United Farm Workers’ Delano Grape Strike of 1965 with the hope of working with the Teatro Campesino to help change the future for her family and others. Publication is set for spring 2022. Author agent: Marietta Zacker at Gallt and Zacker Literary.

Ann Kelley at Random House Studio has bought world rights to Plate of Hope by Erin Frankel, illustrated by Paola Escobar (Digging for Words). This picture book biography follows the life of chef José Andrés, who, through his World Central Kitchen organization, is fulfilling a vision to feed people in need all over the world. Publication is set for fall 2023. Illustrator agent: Amy Kitcherside at Pickled Ink.

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Cecilia Cackley is a Mexican-American playwright and puppeteer based in Washington, DC. A longtime bookseller, she is currently the Children’s/YA buyer and event coordinator for East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill. Find out more about her art at www.ceciliacackley.com or follow her on Twitter @citymousedc

A BOOK GIVEAWAY! Enter to win a copy of Panda Roja y Oso Lunar by Jarod Rosselló

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Before you enter a chance to win a copy of Panda Roja y Oso Lunar, read the review of Jarod Roselló‘s graphic novel by clicking HERE.
Then, read this great interview with Jarod and his translator, Eva Ibarzabal, by clicking HERE.

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Now, CLICK ON THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK BELOW to enter to win a copy of Panda Roja y Oso Lunar. The author has five copies to give away. You can enter once each day, and you don’t have to do anything extra to enter to win. We will pick the five winners on Monday. Good luck!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e39d5a2721/?

Book Review: Red Panda and Moon Bear/Panda Roja y Oso Lunar by Jarod Roselló

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Review by Dora M. Guzmán

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK (from the front cover): Red Panda and Moon Bear are the defenders of their community! Dressed in their magic hoodies, these brave siblings rescue lost cats, scold bullies, and solve problems, all before Mami and Papi get home. But lately… the mysteries have been EXTRA mysterious. All of RP and MB’s powers may not be enough to handle ghosts, evil robots, alien invaders, and portals in space-time! It’ll take all their imagination- and some new friends- to uncover the secret cause behind all these mysteries…before the whole world comes to an end!

MY TWO CENTS: A humorous tale of two Latinx siblings fighting crime, while at the same time, making sure they do not get in trouble. Red Panda and Moon Bear are each filled with positivity which reassures their community members that they will get the job done! Of course, Red Panda and Moon Bear take all their mysteries seriously, but as an adult reader, I often laughed at the quirky characters and the sibling bond. Each mystery, no matter how small, is met with enthusiasm and a teamwork approach, especially when they have to make their own time machine. It is this same bond that spreads positivity throughout all of their monstrous and robotic encounters in this much needed graphic novel.

Red Panda and Moon Bear is a long-awaited, action-packed graphic novel, now in English and Spanish. My bilingual, bicultural readers are obsessed with early graphic novels filled with humor, and I cannot wait to get this book in their hands!

TEACHING MOMENTS:

Many of these teaching moments can be implemented in a grades K-5 setting.

  • A writing mentor text for teaching dialogue, onomatopoeia, and punctuation
  • A reading mentor text for teaching prediction and character development
  • An inspiration for students to create own graphic novel
  • A read aloud for all ages!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR-ILLUSTRATOR: Jarod Roselló is a Cuban-American cartoonist, writer, and educational researcher from Miami, Florida. He teaches comics and fiction in the creative writing program at the University of Southern Florida in Tampa. Check out his website (https://www.jarodrosello.com/) and follow him on Twitter @jarodrosello

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ABOUT THE REVIEWER: Dora M. Guzmán is a bilingual reading specialist for grades K-5 and also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Children’s Literature and Teaching Beginning Literacy. She is also a current doctoral student in NLU’s  EDD Teaching and Learning Program with an emphasis on Reading, Language, and Literacy.  When she is not sharing her love of reading with her students, you can find her in the nearest library, bookstore, or online, finding more great reads to add to her never-ending “to read” pile!

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Book Review: Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia

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Review by Dr. Cris Rhodes

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK: There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history.

But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands.

So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

MY TWO CENTS: Born from a magical collaboration between Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore, Miss Meteor follows the rekindled friendship between Lita Perez and Chicky Quintanilla as Lita, who has an urgent and extraterrestrial secret, decides to spend her final days on earth entering the Miss Meteor pageant. In the opening chapter, Lita tells the reader, “I don’t remember the moment I turned from star-stuff thrown off a meteor into a girl,” but her corporeal body is slowly deteriorating, leaving her “turning back into the stardust [she] once was” (1, 6). Lita explains that this isn’t the beginning of losing herself; in fact that process started years before when her friendship with Chicky Quintanilla deteriorated. Chicky, for her part, is an anomaly in her family–nothing like her boisterous sisters, Chicky prefers no makeup and keeping to the margins. But, as Lita’s body increasingly returns to stardust, she resolves to enter the pageant and to enlist Chicky to manage her success. 

If Miss Meteor were just to follow the rekindled friendship between Lita and Chicky, it would be an uplifting and touching story–but add in Mejia and McLemore’s characteristic magic and intrigue, it is an out of this world adventure. Lita’s literal otherworldliness is well-tempered by her somewhat geeky love of cacti and her clumsiness. Chicky’s rebellion is grounded by her devotion to her family’s struggling restaurant, “Selena’s,” named for the Tejana superstar who shares their last name (and a woman whom Chicky, despite her standoffish exterior, secretly idolizes). Together, Chicky and Lita’s campaign to climb to the top of the pageant allows each to excavate the parts of themselves they had long buried. Confronting the realities of their failures and shortcomings allows them to grow individually and together. 

As the great Selena Quintanilla once said, “if you have a dream, don’t let anybody take it away. And you always believe that the impossible is always possible.” This wisdom holds true for Miss Meteor, as Chicky and Lita defy the odds throughout the book. In alternating chapters, the two narrate their story of overcoming and the power of friendship. The text itself is relatively accessible, in keeping with both Mejia and McLemore’s traditionally immersive prose. While the pace is sometimes a bit slow, I was always invested in the characters and their pursuits. Further, the normalized queer content of the book is something that I have found to be a key part of Mejia’s and McLemore’s oeuvres. 

Tehlor Kay Mejia exploded onto the Latinx literature scene with her We Set the Dark on Fire series and Anna-Marie McLemore’s opulent books like When the Moon was Ours have been captivating readers for years. So, then, a collaboration between the two clearly sparks magic. Co-authored books like Miss Meteor run the risk of sounding too disparate, not cohering the dual narratives. While it is clear that Chicky belongs to Mejia and Lita is McLemore’s, the two blend well together. Chicky’s attitude and personality are emblematic of the gritty and industrious characters in Mejia’s other books. Likewise, Lita’s supernaturality and light share McLemore’s trademark magical realism. The balance in the narrative was equal between the two, and I was invested in both Chicky and Lita. Both characters were equally intriguing and I can see readers developing an affinity for either depending on their own personality and interests. Overall, Miss Meteor is a beautiful book, a fun read, and a shining addition to Mejia and McLemore’s bibliographies.

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Cris Rhodes is an assistant professor of English at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. She teaches courses of writing, culturally diverse literature, and ethnic literatures. In addition to teaching, Cris’s scholarship focuses on Latinx youth and their literature or related media. She also has a particular scholarly interest in activism and the ways that young Latinxs advocate for themselves and their communities.