The 24th International Latino Book Awards Winners!

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From the organization’s press release:

The 24th International Latino Book Awards Ceremony showcased the flourishing talent of the fastest-growing group in the U.S., with four ceremonies held on August 19th and 20th at Los Angeles City College. These Awards are by far the largest Latino cultural distinction in the country, honoring 249 winners in 105 categories this year. The grand total of authors and publishers honored over the last two decades now stands at 3,719, proof that books by and about Latinos are in high demand in both English and Spanish. Gold, Silver, and Bronze-place winners in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s books, translation, and many more were announced over the two-day event.

Here are the winners–gold, silver, and bronze medals–in the children’s books categories. Click on the book covers for more information:

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The Alma Flor Ada Best Latino Focused Children’s Picture Book Award – English

GOLD MEDAL Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua, Gloria Amescua, Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

SILVER MEDAL Tía Fortuna’s New Home, Ruth Behar, Illustrated by Devon Holzwarth

BRONZE MEDAL Bisa’s Carnaval, Joana Pastro, Illustrated by Carolina Coroa

The Alma Flor Ada Best Latino Focused Children’s Picture Book Award – Spanish

GOLD MEDAL ¡Corre, pequeño Chaski! Una aventura en el camino Inka, Mariana Llanos, Illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson

SILVER MEDAL Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Libraries Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories, Annete Bay Pimentel, Illustrated by Magaly Morales

Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book – Bilingual

GOLD MEDAL Let’s Be Friends / Seamos Amigos, René Colato Laínez; Illustrated by Nomar Perez

SILVER MEDAL Isabel and Her Colores Go to School, Alexandra Alessandri, Illustrated by Courtney Dawson

Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book – English

GOLD MEDAL Abuelita and Me, Leonarda Carranza, illustrated by Rafael Mayani

SILVER MEDAL Tía Fortuna’s New Home, Ruth Behar, Illustrated by Devon Holzwarth

BRONZE MEDAL May Your Life Be Deliciosa, Michael Genhart, Illustrated by Loris Lora

Mejor libro ilustrado de ficción para niños

GOLD MEDAL Pitu le Baila al Mar, Gama Valle; Illustrated by Yamel Figueroa

SILVER MEDAL La Jirafa que no Cabía en su Cuento, Haydée Zayas Ramos

BRONZE MEDAL El monstruo más feo del mundo, Luis Amavisca, Illustrated by Erica Salcedo

Best Children’s Nonfiction Picture Book – English

GOLD MEDAL One Whole Me, Dia Mixon, Illustrated by Natalia Jiménez Osorio

SILVER MEDAL In the Spirit of a Dream: 13 Stories of American Immigrants of Color, Aida Salazar, Illustrated by Alina Chau

BRONZE MEDAL Alphabet & Affirmations with The Black Unicorn, Sandra Elaine Scott

Best Children’s Nonfiction Picture Book – Spanish or Bilingual

GOLD MEDAL Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Libraries Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories, Annete Bay Pimentel, Illustrated by Magaly Morales

Best Educational Children’s Picture Book – Bilingual

GOLD MEDAL Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Libraries Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories, Annete Bay Pimentel, Illustrated by Magaly Morales

SILVER MEDAL Popol Vuh Stories for Children, Denis O’Leary

BRONZE MEDAL Lala and the Pond by the Rock / Lala y el Charco de la Piedra, Susana Illera Martínez

Best Educational Children’s Picture Book – English

GOLD MEDAL Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua, Gloria Amescua, Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

SILVER MEDAL We Move Together, Kelly Fritsch, Anne McGuire, Illustrated by Eduardo Trejos

Best Educational Children’s Picture Book – Spanish

GOLD MEDAL Morderse las uñas, Paula Merlán, Illustrated by Brenda Figueroa

Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book – Bilingual

GOLD MEDAL Pura’s Cuentos: How Pura Belpré Libraries Reshaped Libraries with Her Stories, Annete Bay Pimentel, Illustrated by Magaly Morales

SILVER MEDAL The Last Butter!y / La última mariposa, Regina Moya & Carmen Tafolla

Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book – English

GOLD MEDAL Courageous Camila: A story about finding your inner warrior, Naibe Reynoso & Giselle Carrillo; Illustrated by María Tuti

SILVER MEDAL The Voices of the Trees, Elisa Guerra y Fernando Reimers; Illustrated by Ana RoGu

BRONZE MEDAL Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua, Gloria Amescua, Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book – Spanish

GOLD MEDAL Tienes un color especial, Lorena Sierco Espino; Mr. Momo, Lantia Publishing Group

SILVER MEDAL Memoria de un abedul, Daniel Cañas, Illustrated by Blanca Millán

BRONZE MEDAL Peque y yo, Alicia Acosta, Illustrated by Mercé Galí

Best Learn to Read Book

GOLD MEDAL The Awesome Reading Adventures of Super Sammy and Marvelous Megan, Vanessa Caraveo

Best Youth Latino Focused Chapter Book

GOLD MEDAL Falling Short, Ernesto Cisneros

SILVER MEDAL Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene, Emma Otheguy

Best Youth Chapter Fiction Book

GOLD MEDAL Falling Short, Ernesto Cisneros

SILVER MEDAL Catalina Incognito, Jennifer Torres

BRONZE MEDAL Julia y el mar, Olvido Guzman Pons

Most Inspirational Youth Chapter Book

GOLD MEDAL Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna, Alda P. Dobbs

SILVER MEDAL Efren Divided, Ernesto Cisneros

SILVER MEDAL Raulito: The First Latino Governor of Arizona, Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

Best Young Adult Latino Focused Book

GOLD MEDAL On the Hook, Francisco X. Stork

SILVER MEDAL Lifetime Passes, Terry Blas, Illustrated by Claudia Aguirre

Best Young Adult Fiction Book

GOLD MEDAL The Immortal Boy / El Inmortal, Francisco Montaña Ibáñez

SILVER MEDAL Encarnación Castro’s Journey in the Anza Expedition
1775-1776, Linda Castro Martinez

SILVER MEDAL Three, Brenda Nicole Peña

BRONZE MEDAL Fat Angie: Homecoming, e.E. Charlton Trujillo

Best Young Adult Fantasy & Adventure – English

GOLD MEDAL The Grimrose Girls, Laura Pohl

SILVER MEDAL The Ghost Tracks, Celso Hurtado

Best Young Adult Fantasy & Adventure – Spanish

GOLD MEDAL El Último Dragón: Las espadas del legado, José del Real Antiquera

SILVER MEDAL Catarina Freytas y el anillo perdido, Raymond Vollmond

BRONZE MEDAL El Mundo del Olvido, Cristian Otárola Jiménez

Best Young Adult Romance Book

GOLD MEDAL Monstrua, NLa Contreras

SILVER MEDAL La descendiente, Marie D.

Best Educational Young Adult Book

GOLD MEDAL No te creas todo lo que leas, Didi Whitefalcon, Illustrated by Verónica Rodríguez
SILVER MEDAL Voices of Diversity, Vanessa Caraveo

Most Inspirational Young Adult Book

GOLD MEDAL Harvesting Dreams, Erica Alfaro; Barker & Jules

SILVER MEDAL Your Heart, My Sky, Margarita Engle; Simon & Schuster

Latinx Picture Book Bundle Giveaway

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It’s been a while since we’ve done a giveaway, so we’re happy to gift these picture books to one lucky winner. Click on the book covers for more information.

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Click on this Rafflecopter link to enter. You can enter once each day until the giveaway ends next Saturday, July 30: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e39d5a2722/?

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While you’re here, consider subscribing to our monthly newsletter to get our content before others and delivered directly to your email: http://eepurl.com/hzptzX

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Latinxs in Kid Lit’s July 2022 Newsletter

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In our July 2022 newsletter, we have a review of The Last Butterfly/La Última Mariposa by Regina Moya and Carmen Tofolla, illustrated by Regina Moya, July releases, and recent reviews.

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Click here to access it: https://mailchi.mp/06d609ab24fe/latinxsinkidlit0722

To get future newsletters in your inbox, you will need to subscribe. Click here: http://eepurl.com/hzptzX

Summer Break and Upcoming Changes

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As of today, we are on summer hiatus. We are also on the precipice of big changes.

Since we started posting on September 16, 2013, we have published 657 posts that celebrate Latinx creators. We’ve had more than 800,000 hits from all over the globe, and we have more than 11,000 followers across our platforms.

We are proud of what we’ve created. We know that more people have been introduced to Latinx kid lit by landing on our site. At this point, however, we need to shift gears to continue the work we do here while also managing our full-time jobs, personal lives, and other creative endeavors.

So, here’s what you can expect:

  • This site will remain live as a free resource for all.
  • This summer, we will make sure that our book review pages are updated and that our reviews are posted on book buy sites, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to help creators with visibility and inform people browsing for books to buy.
  • We will post here at times, but we will no longer post weekly or twice a week, as we have been. It’s just too much.

Instead…

We will publish a monthly newsletter that will include similar content: new releases, book reviews, Q&As with authors and illustrators.

To get the newsletter in your inbox, you will need to subscribe. Click here: http://eepurl.com/hzptzX

Thank you for being on this journey with us.

Be sure to subscribe to keep up to date on Latinxs in Kid Lit.

Book Review: No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado

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Reviewed by Alexandra Someillan

DESCRIPTION FROM THE PUBLISHERS: You should know, right now, that I’m a liar.

They’re usually little lies. Tiny lies. Baby lies. Not so much lies as lie adjacent.

But they’re still lies.

Twenty one-year-old Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, and a glittering life filled with adventure. With tons of followers on Instagram, her picture-perfect existence seems eminently enviable.             

Except it’s all fake.         

Max is actually 17-year-old Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic teenager living in drab Bakersfield, California. Nothing glamorous in her existence—just sprawl, bad house parties, a crap school year, and the awkwardness of dealing with her best friend Hari’s unrequited love.

 But while Kat’s life is far from perfect, she thrives as Max: doling out advice, sharing beautiful photos, networking with famous influencers, even making a real friend in a follower named Elena. The closer Elena and “Max” get—texting, Snapping, and even calling—the more Kat feels she has to keep up the façade.   

But when one of Max’s posts goes ultra-viral and gets back to the very person she’s been stealing photos from, her entire world – real and fake — comes crashing down around her. She has to figure out a way to get herself out of the huge web of lies she’s created without hurting the people she loves.  

But it might already be too late.

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MY TWO CENTS: After reading her second book, No Filter and Other Lies, Crystal Maldonado has become one of my official auto-buy authors. There is something about Crystal Maldonado’s writing that always brings me to tears and makes me feel all the feelings for the characters she creates!

One of my first impressions of the main character Kat Sanchez is that I loved how secure she was in her body and never felt a need to hide her beautiful, fat, brown body. We need many stories about fat and queer characters who accept their bodies, especially since women constantly get bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards in social media.

Despite Kat being secure with herself, she is flawed and not inherently likable. She does some awful things in the novel that does severe damage. However, there was still a vulnerability that showed the dichotomy of the character. Even though she did terrible things, I still cared for her and wanted to be that big sister to shake some sense into her.

The feeling that Kat had of not being seen or validated is something that many people can relate to, especially regarding the harmful effects of social media and the inherent racism behind it. However, sometimes it can be uncomfortable to admit it. Still, we are all guilty of playing the comparison game and fooling ourselves into thinking someone’s life in social media is perfect when in reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even though Kat did terrible things throughout the book that made me want to scream at her repeatedly, this book did tug at my heartstrings. One of the things I loved was a bond she developed with a dog that made me cry tears of joy. In addition, the family dynamics were well-written, and the close bond she has with her Abuelos and how they support her, even when she did unforgivable things, warmed my heart because of how loving and kind they were. Kat also has a great support system of friends who are there for Kat through her worst moments, and I loved reading how they interacted and learned from one another through their hardships.

No Filter and Other Lies perfectly articulates the pressures of social media and the need to construct the perfect version of yourself and how,little by little, that veneer of perfection cracks over time. If you’re looking for a fat, brown, messy bi-sexual character who struggles through the pressures of social media, this is the book for you!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her website): Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, is a 2021 New England Book Award winner, a Cosmopolitan Best New Book, and a POPSUGAR Best New YA Novel. Her next novel, No Filter and Other Lies, explores teenage life in the social media age—and the lies we tell to ourselves and others.

By day, Crystal works in higher ed marketing, and by night, she’s a writer who loves Beyoncé, glitter, shopping, and spending too much time on her phone. Her work has been published in Latina, BuzzFeed, and the Hartford Courant.

She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog. Find her everywhere @crystalwrote or crystalwrote.com.

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ABOUT THE REVIEWER: Alexandra Someillan is a freelance book reviewer and teacher who lives in Miami, FL. She has written for Frolic Media, where she has raved about her favorite Latinx romances. Currently, she has been accepted in the Las Musas mentorship and is working on her Latinx contemporary novel with Nina Moreno. Usually, you can find Alexandra obsessing over nineties pop culture and eating too many pastelitos.

Book Review: The Year We Learned to Fly, written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López

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DESCRIPTION FROM THE PUBLISHER: Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López’s highly anticipated companion to their #1 New York Times bestseller The Day You Begin illuminates the power in each of us to face challenges with confidence.

On a dreary, stuck-inside kind of day, a brother and sister heed their grandmother’s advice: “Use those beautiful and brilliant minds of yours. Lift your arms, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and believe in a thing. Somebody somewhere at some point was just as bored you are now.” And before they know it, their imaginations lift them up and out of their boredom. Then, on a day full of quarrels, it’s time for a trip outside their minds again, and they are able to leave their anger behind. This precious skill, their grandmother tells them, harkens back to the days long before they were born, when their ancestors showed the world the strength and resilience of their beautiful and brilliant minds. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art celebrate the extraordinary ability to lift ourselves up and imagine a better world.

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MY TWO CENTS:  As one of the people who experienced public education in the 1960s and 70s as a place that dimmed my imagination, I am grateful to Jacqueline Woodson for lifting up imagination as a source of empowerment. Her newest children’s book has many layers worth exploring. At face value its audience is children, yet in reading it as an adult, I learned a great deal about black folklore. 

On the last page of the book, the author writes about her inspiration for the story: The People Could Fly:  American Black Folktales by Virginia Hamilton. In order to do my book review justice and to honor the author’s inspiration, I secured two copies of The People Could Fly, the original collection of twenty-four stories published in 1985 and the picture book published in 2004 as a tribute to Virginia Hamilton who passed away in 2002. By reading this folktale and locating it in the context of American slavery, I was able to appreciate the rich legacy that Jacqueline Woodson’s book continues. It’s certainly not necessary to read The People Could Fly before reading Woodson’s story about a brother and sister who use their imagination to lift them out of boredom, conflict, and adversity, but it’s certainly well worth it. In Woodson’s tale, I enjoyed both the relatability of the sibling’s quandaries and message about the power of the mind to “free” us.

There is also a strong message about the role that grandparents and ancestors play in sharing folk wisdom.

The illustrations by Rafael López are spectacular. I am glad I have read this book and would recommend it to others.

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TEACHING TIPS: The Year We Learned to Fly would be a good entry to discussing American History, specifically the institution of slavery, to elementary aged students. In contrast, the picture book The People Could Fly (referenced above) seems more suited to middle school aged children or older.

I also see an opportunity to use the book to discuss strategies for dealing with conflict, boredom, and adversity by having students describe what they typically do in each situation and then imagining what they might do differently. 

In a lesson about family trees or ancestors, students can discuss what they’ve learned from the elders in their lives and talk about what valuable lessons they would want to pass on to future generations when they become ancestors/elders. It could be a good time to introduce the word “folklore” and/or “folktale” and discuss the role it plays in families and in preserving cultural traditions and identity.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her website): Jacqueline Woodson is an American writer of books for adults, children, and adolescents. She is best known for her National Book Award-Winning memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, and her Newbery Honor-winning titles After Tupac and D FosterFeathers, and Show Way. Her picture books The Day You Begin and The Year We Learned to Fly were NY Times Bestsellers. After serving as the Young People’s Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017, she was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress for 2018–19. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2020. Later that same year, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.

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ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR (from his website): Rafael López is an internationally recognized illustrator and artist. His illustrations bring diverse characters to children’s books and he is driven to produce and promote books that reflect and honor the lives of all young people. Born and raised in Mexico City to architect parents, López was immersed in the rich visual heritage, music and surrealism of his native culture.

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You written by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor focuses on differently abled kids working together to create a garden and became a #1 New York Times Children’s Picture Books Bestseller in 2019. It was honored with the 2020 Schneider Family Book Award from the American Library Association. The Year We Learned to Fly written by Jacqueline Woodson was a 2022 New York Times Bestseller. He also collaborated with Woodson on The Day You Begin which became a New York Times #1 Children’s Picture Books Bestseller and received the 2019 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and National Cartoonist Society Book Illustration Award. His illustrations for Dancing Hands, How Teresa Carreño played the piano for President Lincoln written by Margarita Engle received the American Library Association, 2020 Pura Belpré medal. He also secured the 2016 Pura Belpré medal for illustration for Drum Dream Girl and the 2010 Pura Belpré medal for Book Fiesta. In 2017 he was awarded the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators, New York Original Art show for his work on Bravo! Poems about Amazing Hispanics. In 2019 he created the American Library Association Latino Heritage Festival poster and in 2012 was selected by the Library of Congress to illustrate the National Book Festival poster. He is the recipient of the 2017 Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award, multiple Pura Belpré honors and two Américas Book Awards.

His clients include Amnesty International, Apple, Atheneum Books, Charlesbridge Publishing, Chicago Tribune, HarperCollins, Henry Holt & Company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,  IBM, Intel, Lee & Low books, Library of Congress, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Penguin Books, Scholastic Books, Simon & Schuster, the Grammy Awards, United States Forest Service, United States Postal Service, The Washington Post and the World Wildlife Fund. His work has been selected into multiple juried shows with illustrations featured in publications like Communication Arts, the American Illustration Annual, Graphic Design USA and the Huffington Post.

He is a founder of the Urban Art Trail movement in San Diego’s East Village creating a series of large-scale murals that brought the community together. His murals can be found in urban areas, at children’s hospitals, public schools, under freeways and at farmer’s markets around the country. López’s community work with murals is the subject of the children’s book Maybe Something Beautiful, How Art Transformed a Neighborhood.

López was commissioned to create twelve United States Postal Stamps  including a series of five Mariachi  stamps featuring musicians dressed in the traje de charro, playing guitar, guitarrón, vihuela, violin and trumpet. He also created the  Latin Music Legend Series, Merengue stamp and a stamp celebrating an important legal case in equality of education, Mendez v. Westminster. His stamps have been featured on the cover of the commemorative stamp yearbook and exhibited at the Smithsonian. In 2008 and 2012 he was asked to create official posters for the Obama campaign to win the pivotal Latino vote. The illustrator lives and works in an industrial loft in downtown San Diego and at his home/studio in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

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ABOUT THE REVIEWER: Maria is the author of The Butterfly Series: Fifty-two Weeks of Inquiries for Transformation. The book was a finalist for the 2019 International Book Awards (Women’s Issues category), won Honorable Mention in the 2019 Reviewers Choice Award (Body/Mind/Spirit category), and won Honorable Mention in the 2020 Writer’s Digest 28th Annual Self-Published Book Awards (Inspirational category).

To sign up for her monthly blog post visit her contact page at www.mariaramoschertok.com