Friday, January 31, 2020


When I was fourteen and just beginning my highly anticipated cool teen-aged life with my pals, which meant cruising the main street, road trips to happening Pueblo, dances and parties, my father moved our family from the small town of Florence to the mid-sized town of Colorado Springs.  Like many decisions my father made during his life, he moved us because of work.  He was a construction worker, a hod carrier and laborer, and construction jobs were not to be found in Florence.  This was before Florence turned into ground zero for the Colorado prison industry and Florence changed forever.  The daily grind of driving from Florence to Colorado Springs finally got to him, and before I completely understood all that was happening, we packed up our furniture and clothes and moved to a new housing development in south Colorado Springs right off I-25, called Stratmoor Valley.  

Our house was one of five that had been built on Burnham Street when we moved in.  There was a trailer court a few blocks over, near flood-prone Fountain Creek, and by the time I graduated from high school the development was filled in with square, simple, unattractive houses often rented by itinerant military families from Fort Carson.  

One of the first major projects we did as a family in the new pad was plant a lawn, which meant removing almost-impossible-to-remove alfalfa roots.  That incredibly hard job was followed by fertilizing the earth for the new lawn with humus from the nearby sewage plant.  My father called what we shoveled "humus." I knew it as "purified" sewage that smelled and made me itch.  The move to Colorado Springs, with the attendant jobs my father thought were necessary, confirmed my belief that my father was one hard-working son-of-a-gun.  This belief would be cemented into my memory in the months and years to come when he put me to work through his union.  It didn't take long to understand that I had to get as much education as possible if I wanted any hope of not ending up with a shovel as the major tool of my survival.

Stratmoor Valley sounds a lot fancier than it really is.  The Valley was the orphan child of the developer of Stratmoor Hills, where higher-income people lived in larger brick homes that offered unfettered views of Pikes Peak and built-in landscaping. And yes, Stratmoor Hills existed in the hills, high above and away from Stratmoor Valley.  Eventually, I had friends who lived in Stratmoor Hills, but I never forgot that I was from the Valley, and the two could never meet.  

Stratmoor Valley was not a traditional barrio, not much of a neighborhood actually. Not much gente. But it was home.

Across town, on the west side of Colorado Springs, there was a place known as Conejos.  Raza lived there.  Conejos had a long and colorful history, and it was an integral part of the story of Colorado Springs.  Thanks to activists like the artist Jerry Vigil, Conejos is being remembered and honored.  The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum will host an exhibit about Conejos.  No one will ever organize an exhibit for Stratmoor Valley, but I'm going to check out the Conejos show.  Somehow I feel that a tiny part of the Conejos history is also part of my history.

Here's the event announcement from the museum:

Una Familia Grande: The Conejos Neighborhood Project

Artifacts, photographs and stories will put this once vibrant neighborhood back on the map. Through this community-based history project, neighbors will tell their own stories and visitors will gain insight into the Conejos Neighborhood’s unique community identity, history and culture.

And here's the schedule for the opening day on February 22:

Join us for the opening of this special exhibit and a family friendly celebration, featuring music, dance, traditional foods, crafts and more. RSVP required online at or call 719-385-5990


10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- Explore the NEW exhibit "Una Familia Grande: The Conejos Neighborhood Project"
- Family Friendly Craft – Paper Flower Making presented by the Girl Scouts of Colorado (Education Room)

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. & 12:00 – 12:45 p.m. (Main Lobby)
Musical performances by Motivado

11:00 – 11:45 a.m. & 2:15 – 3:00 p.m. (Division 1 Courtroom)
Dance performances by Ballet Folklórico de la Raza

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Henderson Gallery)
Enjoy light refreshments in our Henderson Gallery and purchase lunch at a food truck outside- featuring Mira Sol food truck in Colorado Springs and Sapo Guapo Tacos (you’re welcome to bring food inside to enjoy in our lobby)

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (Division 1 Courtroom)
Former Conejos residents share stories about their community

3:00 – 5:00 p.m. (Chadbourn Church – 402 Conejos St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903)
Chadbourn Community Church Open House: Visit the historic church in the Conejos neighborhood and learn more about the community and its residents.

Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum
215 S Tejon St
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903



Manuel Ramos writes crime fiction. His latest is The Golden Havana Night (Arte Público Press.)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Chicanonautica: Here There Be Monsters

Not long ago, I did a Chicanonautica about my new story "Cuca" that's in the anthology American Monsters Part Two. I also wrote a piece for the publisher's blog, to help with the promotion. You may have noticed that I'm big on that sort of thing.

 "Aztlán: A Nexus of Monsters" is based on my life and travels in the region, provides background for the story, so it is of interest to La Bloga readers.

So, enjoy, and do what Cuca would do.

Ernest Hogan, the Father of Chicano Science Fiction, recommends you ignore the much hyped American Dirt, and read his novel, High Aztech, instead.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

American Library Association Award Winners 2020

Pura Belpré Awards honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

“Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln,” illustrated by Rafael López, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was written by Margarita Engle and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were named:

"Across the Bay,” illustrated by Carlos Aponte, written by the illustrator and published by Penguin Workshop, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

"My Papi Has a Motorcycle," illustrated by Zeke Peña, written by Isabel Quintero and published by Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

"¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market," illustrated by Raúl Gonzalez, written by the author and published by Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

“Sal and Gabi Break the Universe,” written by Carlos Hernandez, is the Pura Belpré Author Award winner. The book is published by Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group. 

Four Belpré Author Honor Books was named: 

"Lety Out Loud," written by Angela Cervantes and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

"The Other Half of Happy," written by Rebecca Balcárcel and published by Chronicle Books.

"Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré," written by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

"Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War," written by Duncan Tonatiuh, illustrated by the author and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults: 

“New Kid” written by Jerry Craft, is the King Author Book winner. The book is illustrated by the author and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers. 

Three King Author Honor Books were selected:

“The Stars and the Blackness Between Them,” written by Junauda Petrus and published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

“Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky,” written by Kwame Mbalia and published by Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

“Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks,” written by Jason Reynolds and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book. 

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

“The Undefeated,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Three King Illustrator Honor Books were selected:

“The Bell Rang,” illustrated by James E. Ransome, written by the illustrator and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book.

“Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace,” illustrated by Ashley Bryan, written by the illustrator and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book.

“Sulwe,” illustrated by Vashti Harrison, written by Lupita Nyong’o and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award:

“Genesis Begins Again,” written by Alicia D. Williams, is the Steptoe author award winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award:

“What Is Given from the Heart,” illustrated by April Harrison, is the Steptoe illustrator award winner. The book is written by Patricia C. McKissack and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:

Mildred D. Taylor is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. 

Born in Mississippi in 1943 and raised in Ohio, Taylor resides in Colorado. “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” won the 1977 Newbery Award and a Coretta Scott King Book Award honor. Taylor received the international 2003 inaugural NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. Her books earned national recognition including four CSK author awards and two author honors. Her 2020 Logan family series conclusion “All the Days Past, All the Days to Come” continues addressing systemic injustice, entrenched inequality and the roots of racism.

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:

“New Kid,” written by Jerry Craft, is the 2020 Newbery Medal winner. The book is illustrated by the author and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

Four Newbery Honor Books also were named:

“The Undefeated,” written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson and published by Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

“Scary Stories for Young Foxes,” written by Christian McKay Heidicker, illustrated by Junyi Wu and published by Henry Holt and Company, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group.

“Other Words for Home,” written by Jasmine Warga and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

“Genesis Begins Again,” written by Alicia D. Williams and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book. 

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

“The Undefeated,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson is the 2020 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

Three Caldecott Honor Books also were named:

“Bear Came Along,” illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group.

“Double Bass Blues,” illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney and published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

“Going Down Home with Daddy,” illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons and published by Peachtree Publishers.  

For a complete list of ALA awards and winners visit,

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Poseurs in NY Editorial Suites

Limpia Contra Mugre Americana

Michael Sedano

Five New York publishing houses bid on the book, the mugre that says its name. One million dollars reflected an editor's confidence in the author. Four editors walked away empty-handed. I bet those four are thanking their lucky stars right now, and the winner has severe buyer's remorse.

Published and Banned in the United States.
Librotraficante smuggles books to children in Tucson.
Decisions have consequences and those five anxious bidders all need to be fired for cause. They're frauds.

Those editors and their entire staffs aren't earning their keep. They're the publishing industry's experts on United States literature, thus our culture's gatekeepers. Yet, it's painfully obvious these gatekeepers do not have a professional grasp on the field of Literature. They don't know who's out there being kept out.

If they knew, they would have given that money to someone who knew what she was doing. They could have produced the same book but it would have met a higher standard of quality. But that book, it has been done.

The Great "American" Immigration Novel was written by... At this point, the beseiged editors and staffs will be defenseless to contest any name to fill the ellipsis. NY Editors pose as literary experts but clearly they do not know the field. And the people they hire don't know what they're doing. Their literary compass has excluded an entire culture's writing, and they don't know it.

It's not their fault. They graduate from east coast prep schools, go to Seven Sisters or Ivy League colleges, and know British Literature and its descendants over here. Their 3 unit course on "world literatures" may constitute their sole exposure to the non-Western canon.  (Insert outrage at stereotypy. ¿Ves?) And they really don't have to work but they love books.

Until the publishing corporations bring in help who come with professional-level knowledge of United States Literature, raza and other readers will have to help the hapless staffs wipe the egg off their faces. 

Chicano author David Bowles(link) has una limpia contra mugre to perform in public. Trucha! Sabes que? the prospect of raza demanding dignidad literaria already led Flatiron press to cancel a La Jolla reading out of "safety concerns". 

An individual can take this action: pick up a good book by a Chicana Chicano writer, any raza writer, read it again and give it to a friend. If everyone did this, given the 3-degrees of separation rule, those beknighted NY editors and staffs will be flooded with books by raza writers in 29 days. Maybe 30.

Here are five titles illustrative of the immense breadth of raza literary production. If one were to compile a list of the Top 100 U.S. 20th Century Novels, these five would have their place:

Graciela Limon. Memories of Ana Calderon.
Benjamin Saenz. Carry Me Like Water.
Alfredo Vea. Gods Go Begging.
Alicia Gaspar de Alba. Sor Juana's Second Dream.
Ana Castillo. Peel My Love Like an Onion.

The Great "American" Immigration Novel is a memoir, A Dream Called Home. Reyna Grande, its author, joins the author of American Dirt, in conversation at the LA Times book club March 11. A ver.

#DignidadLiteraria: From David Bowles

Thanks to your passion, brilliance & drive, the US is beginning to see Latinxs differently, given our indignity in the wake of the unfortunate publication & marketing of #AmericanDirt.

We made our point--now we should pivot to something far more important than a single white woman who stole our stories: US, our voices, our power, our beauty, our historias, and our dignidad.

We call on Latinx writers, artists, & rebels to join us in staging actions this coming week: inspired, angry, beautiful actions that will draw the nation’s attention to a community of 60 million left off of bookshelves & out of the national dialogue, a community targeted because the humanity of our stories is still being muted.


We ask you to organize actions in the streets and online under the banner of our DIGNIDAD.


Monday, January 27, 2020

Luis J. Rodriguez, in conversation with Daniel Olivas, discusses and signs "From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, Journeys, and Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer"

In his new book published by Seven Stories Press, Luis J. Rodriguez writes about race, culture, identity, and belonging and what these all mean and should mean (but often fail to) in the volatile climate of our nation. His passion and wisdom inspire us with the message that we must come together if we are to move forward. As he writes in the preface, "Like millions of Americans, I'm demanding a new vision, a qualitatively different direction, for this country. One for the shared well-being of everyone. One with beauty, healing, poetry, imagination, and truth." The pieces in From Our Land to Our Land capture that same fantastic energy and wisdom and will spark conversation and inspiration. I am honored and delighted to have this opportunity to interview Luis about his most recent book.

Luis J. Rodriguez is a novelist/memoirist/short story/children's book writer as well as a community & urban peace activist, mentor, healer, youth & arts advocate, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He has 15 books in all genres, including the best-selling memoir, Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. Luis is founding editor of Tia Chucha Press, now in its 30th year, and co-founder/president of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. He has traveled across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, and Japan to speak, do poetry readings, indigenous ceremonies, or reportage over the past 40 years. Dedicated to his indigenous roots and Native American spirituality, Luis has a Mexika name: Mixcoatl Itztlacuiloh. With his wife Trini Tlazhoteotl he has a podcast called "The Hummingbird Cricket Hour."

Vroman's Bookstore is located at 695 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101. For more information, please visit Vroman's events page.

Friday, January 24, 2020

U.S. Poet Laureates to Visit Santa Barbara

Melinda Palacio

King Palms in Santa Barbara

Thanks to recent rains, Santa Barbara has returned to its lush, pre-drought splendor. If the clear winter skies and balmy weather prompts a visit to paradise, consider dates when you have the opportunity to hear the current and former U.S. Poet Laureates speak.

In less than two weeks, Joy Harjo will speak at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, February 5 at 7:30 pm, 2559 Puesta del Sol, SB, CA 93105.

U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera visits speaks at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Sunday March 8 at 1:30 pm, 1130 State Street.

There's something very special about hearing a poetry event at a museum. For a poet, it means the opportunity to write your poetry based on the museum's exhibits. I hope to see many La Bloga readers at these two events. Clear your calendars.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Part I, Argentina on My Mind

Whatever they think of her, always an enigma
     Actually, I never had intentions of visiting the country, too many psychic reservations.
     As a professor, before I retired, teaching writing, as well as Mexican, Chicano, and Latin American literature, I wanted to visit as many Spanish-speaking countries as possible, but truthfully, Argentina was never high on my list, even though it was the home of the great writer Jorge Luis Borges.
     I’d heard Argentina, in the 18th and 19th centuries, under generals like Julio Rocca, was one of the few countries in Latin America to completely eradicate its indigenous people, primarily the Inca, leaving hardly a trace of the once proud culture.
     This was reason enough to avoid visiting the place. Yet, how could I, an American, who knew my own country’s extermination of millions of native people, the enslavement of millions of Africans, and the theft of vast lands from weaker countries, act so patriotically self-righteous?
     On the other hand, if I wanted to visit a Spanish-speaking European country, I preferred Spain, where I spent a year as a student studying at the University of Granada, back in 1978, and have followed up with many pleasurable and edifying visits since.
     Anyway, that’s how I thought of Argentina, as the only Spanish-speaking “European” country in Latin America, followed close behind by Uruguay and Paraguay. Argentines, tongue-in-cheek, even describe themselves as a people who happen to be Italian, speaking Spanish, but thinking themselves French, with some German thrown in, or something to that effect.
     The first time Argentina even came up on my radar was in the 1978. A friend, a contractor, said a wealthy client had given him tickets to a play at the Shubert Theater in Century City, or maybe it was the Ahmanson in downtown Los Angeles. Either way, it was a big production.
     I’d never been to blockbuster play. He told me it was titled Evita, though I had no idea who she was, fiction or real. I’d heard of the play. It had been splashed all over the L.A. Times Calendar section. Why not go, free tickets, right?
     We were theater neophytes, not a Thespian bone in either of our Chicano bodies. Once in our seats, I leaned over and asked, “What’s this play about, anyway?” He smiled and said, “It’s about a woman who ‘hooked’ her way to the top.”
     I don’t even remember if the play made an impact on me. It must have. Years later, in 1996 or so, I was obsessed by Andrew Lloyd Weber’s music in the movie Evita as sung by Madonna and Antonio Banderas, a bit more of a rock tinge to it.
     The next time Argentina reached my consciousness was in 1982, when the country fought the Brits over the Malvinas, or what England called the Falkland Islands. Of course, I pulled for the Argentines, whom I saw as my linguistic brothers and sisters. However, now that I know more about Argentina’s shady politics of the time, I, and many Argentinians, I’m sure, would vehemently protest any defense of the islands, especially the young Argentine soldiers whose deaths served no other purpose than to distract the world from a murderous military regime.
     Then came Operation Condor, a military massacre of savage proportions between Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina, planned and sponsored by U.S. intelligence, to exterminate (or “disappear”) hundreds to thousands of leftist students and activists trying to bring attention to right-wing corruption and brutal fascist policies, many innocent youth caught up in the sweep, and to this day, mother’s still gather to protest in front of the famed Casa Rosada looking for answers.
     Of course, much of the world thinks of Argentina as the country, under fascist dictator, Juan Peron, husband of Eva, who allowed free entry to surviving Nazi war criminals after WWII, especially the notorious Adolf Eichmann, working for Mercedes, and captured by Israeli’s Mossad in 1960 living in San Fernando, a suburb of Buenos Aires.
     Most recently, Argentina has come up in my wife’s family discussions. My brother-in-law, Ruben De Necochea or Denecochea, depending on one’s spelling preference, an avid family historian, tracked his family’s roots from Calexico, CA, across the border to Mexicali, down through Mexico, Central America, and across the Andes by way of Chile and Peru to Argentina, where he claims blood with an Argentine general, Mariano Necochea, a hero of the Argentine-Peruvian wars with Chile.
     So that, and a few raucous Argentine acquaintances, over the years, has been the extent of my relationship with the southernmost Latin American country.
     Honestly, I had no travel plans on the horizon, when a friend, an archeology professor, asked if I wanted to visit Argentina, along with a group from the college where I had worked before my retirement. A Latin-Americanist, Professor Brandon Lewis’ trips covered a lot of territory.
     In Peru, a year ago, we took planes and buses as we traveled, nearly, a quarter of the country, visiting Inca ruins and major Peruvian cities, from Lima to Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Arequipa, and back to Lima.
Iguazu, just a portion of a world's wonder
     On this trip, Brandon told me, as an enticement, we’d be touring Buenos Aires before flying to Iguazu waterfalls in the northeast corner of Argentina, bus it into Brazil to see the waterfalls from a Portuguese perspective, then fly to Salta up in the northwest corner, and down to Mendoza, Argentina’s wine country, along the base of the Andes, as I said, covering a lot of territory in just sixteen days.
     The travel bug got the best of me. Just as John Steinbeck said in his classic book Travels with Charley, “Four hoarse blasts of a ship’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping.” That’s exactly how I feel when my car hits the open highway or I walk into any air, bus, or train terminal in the world.
     After all, it’s the American way, right. Our ancestors travelled, long distances, and often through treacherous situations, from some place else to get here. Travel is in our blood. I'd rather spend my money on a get-away than a car or house. As educators, my colleagues and I never asked each other what kind of car we drove or where we lived. The first question when we returned from summer breaks was always, "So, where did you travel?"
     With that, I packed my suitcase, not only with my personal necessities, but with my preconceived notions about Argentina, hoping that sixteen days might give me an answer or two about the place that seemed so distant, least of all, in miles.

Stay tuned for Part II, My Argentine Journey

Wednesday, January 22, 2020


By: Alma Flor Ada 
English version by: Rosalma Zubizarreta-Ada
Illustrations by: Gabhor Utomo

ISBN: 978-1-55885-899-2
Publication Date: May 31, 2020
Format: Hardcover
Trim: 8.5 x 11
Pages: 40
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 5-10

A bilingual picture book introducing children to the wonders of nature and poetry.

“Still, silent water / starts to run / dancing over rocks, turning into song.” Acclaimed children’s book author Alma Flor Ada and her daughter Rosalma Zubizarreta-Ada share short poems for children about rivers and the life found along them. There are odes to cicadas, dragonflies, butterflies, fish, frogs and birds. “Dragonfly, / lovely fan of lace / wings fluttering / unceasingly, / above the river’s water.”

These poems brim with the beauty of the natural world and the joy found in the great outdoors. There are stars that bathe in the river, the sun that hides behind the mountain and a stream that wraps itself in shadows. In one verse, the authors note there’s only a short distance from the river to the freeway leading back to the crowded, noisy city, “yet those few kilometers / allow us to dwell / in a very different world.”

Reflecting time spent with family enjoying nature, these poems were conceived while Alma Flor Ada camped along the Yuba River with her daughter, Rosalma Zubizarreta-Ada, who created the English-language versions. With gorgeous illustrations by Gabhor Utomo depicting the countryside and kids playing at a river, this bilingual picture book introduces children to both the joy of poetry and spending time outside.

ALMA FLOR ADA, Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco and an expert on multicultural and bilingual education, is an internationally acclaimed children’s book author. Her books include My Name Is María Isabel (Athenaeum, 1995), which was named to the National Council of Social Studies and Children’s Book Council’s Notable Books; The Gold Coin (Atheneum, 1991), winner of a Christopher Medal; Under the Royal Palms (Atheneum, 1998), winner of a Pura Belpré Award; and Gathering the Sun (Harper Collins, 2001), recipient of a Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance. She lives and works in San Rafael, California.

ROSALMA ZUBIZARRETA-ADA is a writer, organizational facilitator and author of From Conflict to Creative Collaboration. In the realm of children’s literature, she has co-authored The Woman Who Outshone the Sun (Children’s Book Press, 1991), created the English-language versions of the poems in Gathering the Sun (HarperCollins, 2001) and translated a number of other children’s books. She lives with her husband in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

GABHOR UTOMO was born in Indonesia, and received his degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2003. He has illustrated a number of children’s books, including Kai’s Journey to Gold Mountain (East West Discovery Press, 2004) and Lupita’s First Dance / El primer baile de Lupita (Piñata Books, 2013). Gabhor’s work has won numerous awards from local and national art organizations, and his painting of Senator Milton Marks is part of a permanent collection at the California State Building in downtown San Francisco. He lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.