A year ago today, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, killing more than 3,000 people and leaving everyone on the island without power for months. The anniversary of the hurricane hitting the island coincides with both National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) and back to school time.
We all know that teachers in certain areas are woefully underfunded and that Latinx children are often years behind their peers because of a lack of resources. Therefore, Latinxs in Kid Lit is organizing an auction to benefit people working directly with Latinx youth both on the island and the mainland. We will buy books and supplies for three youth groups on the island, and we will try to fund as many Donors Choose projects that will benefit Latinx students.
Our own Sujei Lugo has been working directly with the three programs listed below. She says, “A goal of these collaborations is to acquire books, art supplies, and materials to support their work. These projects are also a pillar to youth and the community’s reading and informational interests and provide emotional, recreational, and educational support. Many students in these areas are also homeschoolers due to the massive school closures, and parents, community activists, and retired educators are working together to support children’s education.”
Here are descriptions of the projects in Puerto Rico that we will help with whatever money we raise.
Environmental Educational Program & Creative Art Therapy, Camp Tabonuco (Jayuya, Puerto Rico)
This is a collaboration with Rosaura Rodríguez, Puerto Rican artist and educator. Rosaura works with youth by providing workshops on creating art therapy and autobiographical illustrated narratives. She also works with and is the co-founder of an environmental educational program, Camp Tabonuco, that fosters youth leadership and collaboration through sustainable agriculture, art education and environmental literacy.
La Torre Community Library/Center (Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico)
A collaboration with Angelo Rivera, Puerto Rican educator and activist from Sujei’s hometown of Sabana Grande. The only elementary public school in the rural community of La Torre was recently closed due to the Department of Education of Puerto Rico post-Hurricane María school closures, abandonment, and privatization plans. The community doesn’t have access to the school, but were able to claim the school’s sports complex and rooms to create a community library. Angelo and several community members created a non-profit organization named COSECHA (Centro, Oportunidades, Servicios, Educativos, Comunitarios, Hermandad, Artes–translates to Center, Opportunities, Services, Educational, Communities, Kinship, Arts) to help coordinate and manage community activities, programs, and a library.
La Maleta Cuentera
A collaboration with Isamar Abreu Gómez, Puerto Rican librarian, activist, theatre performer, and storyteller. La Maleta Cuentera (Storytelling Travel Bag) is a social justice literacy project created post-Hurricane María, that intersects children’s literature, activism, and children’s experiences with their natural and social environments. She “travels” to schools and communities to share stories and activities with children, and showcase that the travel bag, not only is used to migrate to other places, but also to transport stories and experiences.
What to do:
Click onto the tab HURRICANE MARIA ANNIVERSARY AUCTION 2018 in the main menu of our website. Under that tab, you will see a page link for each of the items being offered in the auction. In the comments section, leave your name, email, and your bid. We will contact you after the auction if you are the winner. We will leave the auction open for one week, ending Thursday, September 27, 2018. Shipping of books will be limited to the continental U.S. and its territories.
Here are the items up for bid:
Author Francisco X. Stork is offering to read a full middle grade or young adult novel and provide a one-page critique.
Author Meg Medina is offering a signed copy of three of her books–a young adult, a middle grade, and a picture book. She is offering a copy of Burn Baby Burn, Merci Suárez Changes Gears, and Mango, Abuela, and Me.
Author Zoraida Córdova is offering a signed copy of each of her young adult novels: the Vicious Deep trilogy in paperback and the first two books in the Brooklyn Bruja series in hardcover.
Author Pablo Cartaya is offering a signed, personalized copy of each of his middle grade novels: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, a Pura Belpré Honor Book, and Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish. He is also offering a 30-minute Skype session!
Author Mia García is offering a signed copy of her young adult novel, Even if the Sky Falls, and a 50-page manuscript critique of a middle grade or young adult novel.
Author Jenny Torres Sanchez is offering a signed copy of her latest young adult novel, The Fall of Innocence. She is also offering a 25-page critique of a middle grade or young adult novel.
Author Lilliam Rivera is offering signed copies of her young adult novels, The Education of Margot Sanchez and Dealing in Dreams (releases 3/19). She is also offering a tote bag and a query letter critique.
Author Christina Soontornvat is offering signed copies of her middle grade novels, The Changelings and In a Dark Land: A Changelings Story. She is also offering to critique the first 10 pages of a middle grade novel or a full picture book manuscript.
Author Anna-Marie McLemore is offering signed copies of her first three young adult novels, The Weight of Feathers, When the Moon Was Ours, and Wild Beauty.
Author Traci Sorell is offering to critique a full fiction or nonfiction picture book manuscript.
Author Kristina Pérez is offering to critique 50 pages of a young adult manuscript.
Author-illustrator Carolyn Dee Flores is offering two signed copies of The Amazing Watercolor Fish, a piece of artwork from the book, and a 30-minute Skype school visit.
Author Cindy L. Rodriguez is offering a signed copy of When Reason Breaks and Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles. She is also offering bookmarks and will make a personal donation, matching the highest bid, up to $500.
Author-artist Lila Quintero Weaver is offering a signed copy of her middle grade novel, My Year in the Middle, related swag, and a piece of original art from her graphic memoir, Darkroom: My Life In Black and White.
Author Diana Rodriguez Wallach is offering a signed copy of three of her books and a bookmark. The titles are Amor and Summer Secrets, Proof of Lies, and Lies that Bind.
Author Karen Bao is offering a signed copy of each of her books in The Dove Chronicles trilogy. The titles are: Dove Arising, Dove Exiled, Dove Alight.
Author Ashley Hope Pérez is offering a signed, personalized copy of each of her YA novels: Out of Darkness, a Printz Honor Book, as well as The Knife and the Butterfly, and What Can’t Wait.
Author Claudia Guadalupe Martinez is offering a sensitivity read of a manuscript with Xicanx or Latinx content. The winner will work out the details with Claudia.
Author Sofia Quintero is offering an ebook bundle of five books, all by Puerto Rican authors.
Author Monica Brown is offering a signed set of the Lola Levine chapter books (#1-6), illustrated by Angela Dominguez.
Illustrator Rafael López is offering a signed print and a signed book. To honor the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, Rafael painted a portrait of Chef José Andrés (who he had the pleasure of meeting) as an homage to his work of serving food to millions of people in Puerto Rico. Rafael will send a signed print and signed copy of his newest book, We’ve Got the Whole World In Our Hands/Tenemos el mundo eterno en las manos, published by Scholastic.
Seven-Book Middle Grade Prize Pack: Authors Diana López, Darlene P. Campos, Celia C. Pérez, Tami Charles, Aida Salazar, Yamile Saied Méndez, and Jennifer Cervantes are offering signed copies of their books. The titles are: Lucky Luna, Summer Camp is Cancelled, The First Rule of Punk, Definitely Daphne, The Moon Within, Blizzard Besties, and The Storm Runner.
Six-Book Picture Book Prize Pack: Author Yamile Saied Méndez is offering two of her favorite picture books: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales and The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López. Illustrator Elisa Chavarri is offering a signed copy of Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoiris. Author-Illustrator Robert Liu-Trujillo is offering a signed copy of Furqan’s First Flat Top, and author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal is offering a signed copy of Alma and How She Got Her Name in English and Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre in Spanish.
Linda Camacho, a literary agent with Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency, is offering a query letter critique.
Adriana Domínguez, a literary agent with Full Circle Literary, is offering a query letter critique plus a critique of five pages of a middle grade or young adult novel or a full critique of a picture book.
Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel, literary agent and co-founder of Full Circle Literary, is offering a critique of a full picture book manuscript or the first 25 pages of a middle grade manuscript, plus a 20-minute conversation about the project.
Author-illustrator Lulu Delacre is offering two watercolor illustrations from the Rafi and Rosie series (coquí siblings from Puerto Rico) along with an autographed set of the Plunge Into Reading series; three titles in the series are published in English and Spanish.
**Note: Guadalupe Garcia McCall is donating three signed copies of All the Stars Denied directly to the programs in need. Ismée Williams is donating copies of Water in May.
Thank you in advance to everyone who bids and shares information about our auction. Thank you for supporting Latinx youth!