The Latinx Kidlit Book Festival Podcast
By Latinx Kidlit Book Festival
The Latinx Kidlit Book Festival PodcastJan 19, 2022
Soy Yo: Identity, ancestry and cultural heritage
New York Times bestselling author, Adam Silvera explores the complicated and multi-layered facets of identity and the role that his ancestry and cultural heritage play in his life and his writing. Adam will be in conversation with debut YA author Aaron Aceves.
Adam Silvera is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Infinity Reaper, Infinity Son, They Both Die at the End, More Happy Than Not, History Is All You Left Me, and—with Becky Albertalli—What If It's Us and Here’s to Us.
Aaron H. Aceves is a bisexual, Mexican-American writer born and raised in East L.A. He graduated from Harvard College and received his MFA from Columbia University. His debut novel, This Is Why They Hate Us, releases in 2022.
Pura Amor: The transformative power of words and illustrations
Join Pura Belpré Award winning authors and illustrators Duncan Tonatiuh and Eric Velasquez as they discuss the transformative power that illustration has to make un cuento come to life, whether they're working with an author's words or their own. Learn the different ways that both illustrators use the text to create subtext and layers of meaning in their artwork, to bring the fullest expression to the narrative.
Moderated by Monica Mancillas.
We Are All Cuentistas: The power of storytelling
Join Newbery and Pura Belpré award-winning author Donna Barba Higuera as she discusses the power of oral history and storytelling.
Across communities family history is carried from generation to generation, across space, and time. Storytelling remains a familiar and ancestral way to guide us toward the future, while carrying the past with us. We are all cuentistas!
This panel will be moderated by debut author Alyssa Reynoso-Morris.
FANTASTIC FANTASY: MAGICAL STORIES IN MIDDLE GRADE
Come on an extraordinary journey to explore the many worlds of middle grade fantasy! From musas to brujas, to time traveling pirates and life and death adventures, these stories will lure you in and never let go. With Olivia Abtahi (PERFECTLY PARVIN/ROSTRAM AND THE RED DWARF), Carlos Hernandez (SAL & GABI FIX THE UNIVERSE), Victor Piñeiro (TIME VILLAINS), and Kaela Rivera (CECE RIOS AND THE DESERT OF SOULS). Moderated by Chantel Acevedo (MUSE SQUAD).
WILD TONGUES CAN’T BE TAMED (ANTHOLOGY): A DISCUSSION ON DIASPORA
Edited by The Bronx Is Reading founder Saraciea J. Fennell, Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed is a groundbreaking anthology highlighting different myths and stereotypes about the Latinx diaspora.
Wild Tongues is full of sorrow and joy, speculative stories, and homespun tales. Fennell joins contributors Natasha Diaz, Jasminne Mendez, Lilliam Rivera, and Mark Oshiro for a dialogue on their stories, experiences, and what it is to be “Latine.”
¡QUÉ CÓMICOS!: HUMOR IN CHAPTER BOOKS AND MIDDLE GRADE
Kids love a character who makes them laugh! Meet authors whose books not only inspire, but entertain. Join our middle grade authors as they reveal how they tickle readers’ funny bones, discuss the power of humor to connect people, and explore how having fun goes with finding your power. With Terry Catasús Jennings (ALL FOR ONE), Adrianna Cuevas (THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ), Donna Barba Higuera (LUPE WONG WON’T DANCE), and Nina Moreno (JOIN THE CLUB, MAGGIE DIAZ) Moderated by Loriel Ryon.
ADD A LITTLE BIT OF MAGIC: FANTASTICAL LATINX STORIES IN YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE
Whether we’re whisked away to a new world or a reimagined one, fantasy readers everywhere love stories with unique heroes, magical creatures and set in far away places. Join authors Francesca Flores (SHADOW CITY), Romina Garber (CAZADORA), Maya Motayne (OCULTA), Laura Pohl (THE GRIMROSE GIRLS) and Aiden Thomas (LOST IN THE NEVER WOODS) as they discuss writing fantastical stories and tropes and how the Latinx point of view shapes their storytelling and their protagonists journeys. Moderated by Amparo Ortiz (DRAGONBLOOD RING).
KISS AND TELL: STORIES OF LATINES FALLING IN LOVE
From meet cutes to insta-love to “here the whole time,” nothing presents such a delicious selection of addictive tropes like love stories. These unforgettable protagonists try to get the attention of their crush, steal a first kiss, or fall for their rivals. With Aaron H. Aceves (THIS IS WHY THEY HATE US), Emery Lee (MEET CUTE DIARY), Gabriela Martins (LIKE A LOVE SONG), and Raquel Vasquez Gilliland (HOW MOON FUENTEZ FELL IN LOVE WITH THE UNIVERSE). Moderated by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (FAT ANGIE SERIES).
IT’S CAREER DAY! EXPLORE CAREERS IN PUBLISHING ORGANIZED / BROUGHT TO YOU BY LATINX IN PUBLISHING
Are you a book lover? Did you know that there are many ways you can turn that love of story and books into a career besides being an author or illustrator? Join Penguin Random House associate publisher, Nancy Mercado, Andrea Brown Literary Agency agent, Saritza Hernandez, publicists Tiffany Gonzalez Marketing & Publicity Coordinator at Astra Publishing House and TXLA librarian and book blogger, Margarita Longoria. Moderated by award-winning author Anika Fajardo.
EL CUENTO CORTO: A SPANISH CRAFT WRITING WORKSHOP (EN ESPAÑOL/GRADES 6-8)
En este taller de escritura, las autoras comparten un evento que las propulsó a escribir sus propias historias. Ellas demostrarán el proceso de crear ficción para comprender o sanar. Guiarán a los estudiantes en el inicio de un cuento corto. Se les propone a los estudiantes de contemplar una ocasión en que ellos mismos o seres queridos se encontraron en una situación injusta que les era difícil entender. Los alumnos usarán el recuerdo, lo conocido y lo imaginado. Un taller para alentar a escritores de todas habilidades. Con Lulu Dealcre (US, IN PROGRESS) y Guadalupe García McCall. Este evento es en español.
In this craft workshop, authors share an event that prompted them to write their own stories. They show students the process of creating fiction to understand or heal, while guiding students to begin their own story. Students are asked to contemplate a time when they found themselves or a loved one in an unfair situation and struggled to make sense of it. Students will use the remembered, the known, and the imagined. This is a workshop to empower writers of all abilities. With Lulu Delacre (US, IN PROGRESS) and Guadalupe Garcia McCall (ECHOES OF GRACE). This is a Spanish-speaking panel.
TELLING YOUR STORY: HOW TO CRAFT STORIES FROM YOUR OWN LIFE
A craft workshop for grades 4-8th with Meg Medina, moderated by Crystal Maldonado
In this interactive craft workshop, award-winning, best-selling author Meg Medina helps young writers to craft powerful, life-affirming narratives using their own life experience. Please come ready to write, take risks and develop your craft! This session is moderated by Las Musas author Crystal Maldonado.
Meg Medina is an award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels. She is the recipient of the John Newberry Medal, Pura Bepré Author award and Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year. Her latest book, Merci Suárez Can’t Dance is a Kirkus Reviews Most Anticipated Book of 2021.
Crystal Maldonado is the young adult author of Fat Chance Charlie Vega. Her work has been published in the Hartford Courant, Buzzfeed, and Latina Magazine.
PODER LATINX: SOCIAL JUSTICE, HUMAN RIGHTS, EQUITY AND FEMINISM IN LATINX KIDLIT
Latinx authors are using their voice and their prose to fight for social justice, human rights and equity for women, LBGTQIA+ and marginalized people. This panel of fierce Latinx authors explores themes of social justice and community engagement. With Daniel Aleman (INDIVISIBLE), Julio Anta (HOME), Marcia Mickelson (WHERE I BELONG), Maika Moulite (ONE OF THE GOOD ONES) and Mayra Cuevas (DOES MY BODY OFFEND YOU?). Moderated by Laekan Zea Kemp (HEARTBREAK SYMPHONY).
DRAW OFF! COMIC STRIPS ON DEMAND
Three acclaimed graphic novel illustrators try their hand at comic strips in this live draw off. Viewers get to submit prompts and vote for their favorites. With Fanny Rodriguez (FANTASTIC TALES OF NOTHING), Ryan Estrada (STUDENT AMBASSADOR) and Yehudi Mercado (CHUNKY). Moderated by Kim Baker (PICKLE).
A THOUSAND WORDS: THE POWER OF A PICTURE BOOK
Picture books evoke happiness, fun journeys, humor, and lightheartedness but they can also express the importance of who we are, shed light on important issues, and convey powerful emotions. With Jackie Azúa Kramer (I WISH YOU KNEW), Hilda E. Burgos (THE COT IN THE LIVING ROOM), Marta Magellan (FLYING JEWELS) and Aida Salazar (JOVITA WORE PANTS). Moderated by Angela Dominguez (I LOVE YOU, BABY BURRITO).
LA FAMILIA: CELEBRATING THE FAMILY IN PICTURE BOOKS
The home and family can be an especially moving theme in picture books. We carry with us for the rest of our lives the lessons we learn as children from parents, abuelos, and other family members. With Michael Genhart (MAY YOUR LIFE BE DELICIOSA), Alexandra Katona (DINNER ON DOMINGOS), Joana Pastro (BISA'S CARNAVAL) and Ana Siqueira (BELLA'S RECIPE FOR SUCCESS). Moderated by Monica Mancillas (MARIANA IN MEXICO).
BOOKS AS TEACHERS: STORIES THAT BUILD CONNECTION, EMPATHY AND IMAGINATION
Join critically acclaimed authors, Torrey Maldonado and Las Musas author Rebecca Balcárcel in an important discussion of allyship, compassion and possibility.
Maldonado’s most recent title, What Lane?, won multiple starred reviews. Oprah magazine, the New York Times, and more have listed it as an essential anti-racist book. Maldonado has been voted a "Top 10 Latino Author" and best Black middle grade and young adult novelist.
Rebecca Balcárcel’s novel, The Other Half of Happy is a Pura Belpré Honor Book and ALSC Notable Book that was named one of the Top Ten First Novels of 2019 by the American Library Association.
FROM MANUSCRIPT TO MARKETPLACE: THREE PUBLISHING JOURNEYS IN KIDLIT
Three Latinx kidlit authors take you inside their publishing journeys to reveal how they went from an idea to seeing their books on the shelf. This session is 90 minutes in duration, divided in 20 minute intervals.
Award-winning picture book author Anika Aldamuy Denise talks with her literary agent Emily van Beek of Folio Jr. agency. NY Times bestselling Middle Grade author, J.C. Cervantes talks with her literary agent, Holly Root of Root Literary. And award-wining YA author, Jennifer de León speaks with her editor, Caitlyn Dlouhy of Simon and Schuster. Moderated by Alyssa Reynoso-Morris.
We will reserve 25 minutes at the end to answer audience questions. This event is brought to you by The Author's Guild.
GROWING PAINS: COMING-OF-AGE AND EMOTIONAL STORYTELLING
Coming-of-age stories explore those first moments when we realize I’m not a kid anymore. Big, life-changing, never-going-back moments collide with tears and loss but also hugs and new things. It is a time for big emotions, pain, joy and truth. With Aya de Leon (UNDERCOVER LATINA), Jennifer Mathieu (BAD GIRLS NEVER SAY DIE), Nikki Barthelmess (EVERYTHING WITHIN AND IN BETWEEN), Michelle Ruiz Keil (SUMMER IN THE CITY OF ROSES) and Laura Taylor Namey (WHEN WE WERE THEM). Moderated by Angela Velez (LULU & MILAGRO'S SEARCH FOR CLARITY).
CREATING A PICTURE BOOK: A SPECIAL CRAFT SESSION
From idea and concept to illustrations and words, creating a picture book utilizes many talents and skills in order to bring to life stories we carry with us our entire life. In this craft session, bilingual authors Emma Otheguy, Juana Medina, and Rene Colato Lainez come together to share their wisdom and know-how in creating brilliant, memorable picture books. Students will leave with an understanding of the writing and illustrating process as it pertains to picture books and a vision of how to create their own stories.
MAGICAL REALISM AND THE LATINX QUEER EXPERIENCE
Join award winning author Anna-Marie McLemore and Las Musas author Jonny Garza Villa as they explore the tradition of magical realism in Latinx stories through the lens of the queer experience.
Anna-Marie McLemore (they/them) is the author of fairy tales as queer, Latinx, and nonbinary as they are, including Wild Beauty, Stonewall Honor book When the Moon Was Ours, and Blanca & Roja. Their latest, The Mirror Season, is a story of pansexuality, pan dulce, and healing from trauma, and their forthcoming Lakelore (3/8/21) is a portal fantasy about two Latinx neurodivergent enbies.
Jonny Garza Villa is the author of the young adult novel Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun. They are a product of the Great State of Texas and are often inspired by their own Tejanx & Chicanx and queer identities.
MIDDLE AND MARVELOUS: MIDDLE GRADE CHARACTERS WHO WILL STEAL YOUR HEART
It’s the best of times and the worst! Being a middle grader means discovering yourself and carving out your place, but also navigating embarrassing moments and leaving the simpler world of childhood behind. Enjoy this discussion of what makes middle graders marvelous, why it’s fun to write characters in this age group, and what insights these authors help readers take off the page and into their own lives. With Laura Ojeda Melchor (MISSING OKALEE), Alex Aster (CURSE OF THE FORGOTTEN CITY), Alejandra Algorta (NEVERFORGOTTEN) and Christina Diaz Gonzalez (CONCEALED). Moderated by Karla Valenti (LOTERIA).
MI LUGAR: FINDING ONE’S PLACE (EN ESPAÑOL)
Estos creadores de libros album discuten cómo sus personajes encuentran su voz, fortaleza particular y lugar en el mundo, a la misma vez que se ajustan a cambios en sus vidas y permanecen arraigados a su cultura y herencia. Un panel con Raquel Ortiz, Normar Perez y Mariana Llanos moderado por Alexandra Alessandri. Este panel es en español.
These picture book creators discuss how their characters find their voice, their unique strength, and their place in the world, while adjusting to change and staying rooted in their culture and heritage. With Raquel Ortiz (BROKEN BUTTERFLY WINGS/ALAS DE MARIPOSAS ROTAS), Nomar Perez (LET'S BE FRIENDS/SEAMOS AMIGOS) and Mariana Llanos (RUN LITTLE CHASKI: AN INKA TRAIL ADVENTURE). Moderated by Alexandra Alessandri (ISABEL AND HER COLORES GO TO SCHOOL). This is a Spanish-speaking panel.
REMEMBER ME: STORIES OF FAMILY, ICONS, AND OUR CULTURE IN HISTORICAL FICTION
There is something significant about holding a loved one close to our hearts even after they’re no longer with us. Or learning about the important people who lived centuries ago and their impact on this world. Or of important eras in history that impact who we are today. Discuss historical fiction with Gloria Amescua (CHILD OF THE FLOWER-SONG PEOPLE), Ruth Behar (LETTER FROM CUBA), Vanessa Torres (THE TURNING POINTE) and Diana López (SING WITH ME). Moderated by Alda P. Dobbs (BAREFOOT DREAMS OF PETRA LUNA).
#DISRUPTTEXTS: FINDING LATINX TEXTS THAT FIT YOUR CURRICULUM
#DisruptTexts is a grassroots effort by teachers for teachers to challenge the traditional canon in order to create a more inclusive, representative, and equitable language arts curriculum. DisruptTexts believes that books can be transformative, especially when they are part of a more equitable curriculum and antiracist education.
Literature study in U.S. classrooms has largely focused on the experiences of White (and male) dominated society, as perpetuated through a traditional, Euro-centric canon. All students deserve an education that is inclusive of the rich diversity of the human experience. They deserve one that introduces them to and affirms the voices both inside and outside their individual lives.
In this session—for educators by educators—we will discuss what voices—authors or characters—are marginalized or missing in our classrooms? How do our biases affect the way we teach and engage with students? How does a text support or challenge issues of representation, fairness, or justice? How a text perpetuates or subverts dominant power dynamics and ideologies? How can we ask students to wrestle with these tensions? How can we collaborate to identify, revise, or create instructional resources that can center and do justice to the experiences of historically marginalized communities?
Led by Lorena Germán, Chair of the National Council of English Teacher’s Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English and she’s a co-founder of #DisruptTexts. She’s also Director of Pedagogy at EduColor.
Moderated by Latinx KidLit Festival co-founder and author, Ismée Williams.
CREATION AND CREATIVITY: LEARNING TO TRUST YOUR VOICE WHEN WRITING YOUR STORY
Join Maritza Moulite and Francisco X. Stork as they discuss finding your own voice as a writer, and share writing tips and exercises for using your voice to create stories that are interesting and meaningful. Moderated by Alexandra Villasante.
Our CRAFT sessions are meant to be interactive! We encourage students and educators to come prepared with whatever writing materials you are most comfortable with including computers, journals, notebook, paper, pen or pencil. For CRAFT sessions including illustrators, please bring your favorite art materials.
DREAM ON: THE POWER OF STORY AND ART TO INSPIRE OTHERS
An author-illustrator event with Yuyi Morales, in conversation with Yamile Saied Méndez
Join award-winning, NYTimes best-selling author and illustrator Yuyi Morales and award-winning and best-selling author Yamile Saied Méndez as they discuss how words and art can uplift the human spirit and show others que sí, se puede!
Born in Xalapa, Mexico, where she currently resides, Yuyi Morales has won the prestigious Pura Belpré Award for Illustration six times, for Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book; Los Gatos Black on Halloween; Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book; Niño Wrestles the World; Viva Frida, also a Caldecott Honor Book; and Dreamers, also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a New York Times best seller. Her new children’s book Bright Star is a beautiful story about growth, empowerment, and finding one’s own voice.
Yamile Saied Méndez is an Argentine-American author of many books for young readers, including Furia, a Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine Book Club YA pick and the recipient of the 2021 Pura Belpré Young Adult Author medal. Her 2021 releases (Shaking Up the House, What Will You Be?, and Wish Upon a Stray) portray the joy and beauty of finding your voice and path with the help of your community from different angles. She is a founding member of Las Musas.
DRAW OFF! ALEGRÍA: THE COLORS OF JOY
These acclaimed illustrators face off in a live draw off! Viewers get to submit prompts as illustrators explore the power of color to communicate emotions. While drawing, they will discuss palette choice, saturation and basic emotions. With Joe Cepeda (WATCH ME), Guilherme Karsten (AAAHHH!) and Ana Aranda (MOTH & BUTTERFLY: TA-DA). Moderated by Juliet Menendez (LATINITAS).
For All the Awards, Live Illustrator Battle
Three beloved, award-winning illustrators duke it out in this intense draw-off, where viewers get to submit prompts and vote for their favorites. With Angela Dominguez (STELLA DÍAZ NEVER GIVES UP), Rafael López (DANCING HANDS) and Juana Martinez-Neal (ALMA).
Moderator: Kat Fajardo is an award-winning cartoonist and author of the graphic novel for young adults Miss Quinces.
Fantasy, Myths and Legends
Faraway kingdoms, brujas from Brooklyn and Rose Hill, Caribbean pirates, and mysterious pecan trees on Wela's land. When it comes to fantasy stories, you can expect them to be as diverse and varied and beautiful as the array of Latinx cultures. Join Kristina Pérez (SWEET BLACK WAVES), Zoraida Córdova (INCENDIARY), Anna Meriano (LOVE, SUGAR, MAGIC SERIES), Loriel Ryon (INTO THE TALL, TALL GRASS) and Gabe Cole Novoa (THE WICKED BARGAIN) as they discuss writing and telling fantasy books and the impact fantasy stories have specifically in celebrating what it is to be Latinx.
Moderated by: Kristina Pérez is the author of the young adult series Sweet Black Waves.
PIcture Books With All the Feels
Authors Ana Siquiera (BELLA’S RECIPE FOR DISASTER/SUCCESS), Alexandra Alessandri (FELIZ NEW YEAR, AVA GABRIELA!), Zara González Hoang (A NEW KIND OF WILD), Jacqueline Alcántara (JUMP AT THE SUN) and Laurenne Sala (YOU MADE ME A DAD), discuss the full range of emotions represented in their picture books, from pure joy and celebration, to trepidation and fear, and ultimately triumph. Although short in length, picture books celebrate the full range of complex emotions we experience growing up.
Moderator: Laurenne Sala is the author of the picture books You Made Me a Mother and You Made Me a Dad.
Stronger Together: Social Justice in Young Adult Literature
A world in turmoil can drastically affect teens, especially when they feel disempowered to create change. Authors Jennifer De Leon (DON'T ASK ME WHEN I’M FROM), Yamile Saied Méndez (FURIA), Lilliam Rivera (NEVER LOOK BACK), Lucas Rocha (WHERE WE GO FROM HERE) and Jenny Torres Sanchez (WE ARE NOT FROM HERE) write about social justice issues that teens are passionate about with candor and heart. Through these books, teens can find their own voices and the courage to take a stand—knowing they are not alone in the fight for a better world.
Moderator: Jennifer De Leon is the author of the young adult novel Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and the editor of Wise Latinas.
Alebrije Fantasy Creatures Draw Off!
Join Mexican illustrators Ana Aranda (THE CHUPACABRA ATE THE CANDELABRA), Paulina Suarez (NI UN PELO DE TONTO), Tania de Regil (A NEW HOME) as they talk about books, stories and drawing while creating fun alebrijes — Mexican folk art of fantastical creatures. They will discuss where their inspiration comes from, why they create books and why they find it important to talk about their Mexican and Latinx heritage. This is a bilingual panel (English and Spanish). Panelists will be taking your live prompts and questions.
Moderator: Karla Valenti is the author of the My Super Science Heroes picture book series, including Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence and Alan Turing and the Power of Curiosity.
Fantastical y Más Fuerte: Speculative Contemporary Takes on Immigration
Fiction has the unique power of intertwining harsh realities of our world with one’s own imagination, only limited by our own ideas of what’s possible. Whether through UFOs, uninvented technologies, or the inspiration of folklore, authors Amparo Ortiz (BLAZEWRATH GAMES), Romina Garber (LOBIZONA), Raquel Vasquez Gilliand (SIA MARTINEZ AND THE MOONLIT BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING), Paola Mendoza (SANCTUARY) and Alexandra Villasante (THE GRIEF KEEPER), have taken the immigrant experience and melded not-so-contemporary facets into their stories, creating beautifully and tragically unique perspectives on an issue that resonates deeply within the Latinx community.
Moderated by: Amparo Ortiz is the author of the young adult novel Blazewrath Games and the middle grade graphic novel Saving Chupe.
Hopefully Ever After! Stories of Joy and Dreams in Latinx Middle Grade Novels
Middle grade authors Emma Otheguy (A SLED FOR GABO) Chantel Acevedo (MUSE SQUAD), Reina Luz Alegre (THE DREAM WEAVER), Adrianna Cuevas (THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ) and Donna Barba Higuera (LUPE WONG WON’T DANCE) talk about happiness and hope in Latinx middle grade novels. Fun with friends, special family moments and first crushes! Mischief, magic and more! Join them in finding joy in all the awkwardness of middle school.
Moderator: Emma Otheguy is the author of the picture books Martí’s Song for Freedom and A Sled for Gabo, the middle-grade novel Silver Meadows and The Madre de Aguas of Cuba (Summer Unicorn Rescue Society).
Creating Our Avengers: Gabby Rivera and the Power of America Chavez
Join writer of the America Chavez comics, Gabby Rivera for a conversation on comic books, their potential for storytelling, and their appeal and importance, especially when it comes to young readers and, even more so, marginalized young readers who often don’t see themselves as the superhero of stories. Gabby Rivera is the first Latina to write for Marvel Comics, penning the solo series America about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse. Rivera is also the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel for young adults Juliet Takes a Breath.
Moderator: Breena Nunez is a cartoonist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker: Daily Shouts and The Nib, as well as anthologies like Tales From La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology, Drawing Power (Eisner Nominated), and Be Gay, Do Comics!
Using the Power of Story to Fight Anti-Blackness, Racism, and Colorism
Books and stories are powerful weapons in the fight against racism, anti-Blackness and colorism in our communities. Stories allow us to identify how we are perpetuating racism and anti-Blackness, while also learning new ways to understand and combat these issues within ourselves. Panel features authors Hilda Burgos (ANA MARÍA REYES DOES NOT LIVE IN A CASTLE), Jasminne Mendez (JOSEFINA’S HABICHUELAS), Maika Moulite (ONE OF THE GOOD ONES) and Sofia Quintero (SHOW AND PROVE) .
Moderator: NoNieqa Ramos is the author of The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary, a 2018 New York Public Library Best Book for Teens. She is also an educator and literary activist.
De Colores: A Roundtable Discussion With LGBTQ+ Latinx Writers
Being Latinx and anywhere within the LGBTQIA+ spectrums brings its own set of unique circumstances, often shaped by gendered language, heteronormative cultural norms, and deeply held religious teachings. Especially growing up, we can often feel the conflict between tradition and expectation against the pull of our heart and soul toward happiness,seeing and being seen as our complete selves. How do our experiences walking within these intersectional identities shape the stories we tell and what meaning do these identities carry across genres? Hear from authors Jonny Garza Villa (FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN), Anna-Marie McLemore (DARK AND DEEPEST RED), Tehlor Kay Mejia (WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE), Mark Oshiro (EACH OF US A DESERT). Laura Pohl (THE LAST 8) and Aiden Thomas (CEMETERY BOYS) on creating these powerful novels, and what shapes their stories, their characters, and their hopes for young LGBTQ+ readers who come across their writing.
Moderator: Jonny Garza Villa is the young adult author of Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun.
Latinx Rebels Poetry Slam
It's the Latinx poets battle of the ages! Where the winner takes home full bragging rights. Experience performance poetry from some of the masters in Latinx kidlit. Their spoken word poems will energize and invigorate the poet within you. Poets Amyra Leon, Elisabet Velasquez and José Olivarez will be reciting poems and answering questions.
Moderator: Lorian Tu is the illustrator of multiple books for children, including the upcoming picture book Dress Like a Girl.
Books as Bridges: Connecting with Latinx Culture and Identity
Discover a new wave of Latinx talent! Meet debut authors Racquel Marie (OPHELIA AFTER ALL),
Crystal Maldonado (FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA), Kaela Rivera (CECE RIOS AND THE DESERT OF SOULS), Estelí Meza (FINDING HOME) and Monica Gomez-Hira (ONCE UPON A QUINCEAÑERA). This group of 2021 and 2022 debut authors discusses how young readers can use books to connect with communities, cultures and ethnicities outside their own as a way to increase empathy, compassion and understanding.
Moderator: Racquel Marie is the author of the young adult novel Ophelia After All. She is also the host of the YouTube book boggling channel Blonde With A Book.
Writing with Sazón: The Power and Legacy of Food
Mia García (THE RESOLUTIONS) welcomes Mayra Cuevas (SALTY, BITTER, SWEET), Laekan Zea Kemp (SOMEWHERE BETWEEN BITTER AND SWEET), Nina Moreno (DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS) and Laura Taylor Namey (A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW) as they talk about the role food plays in their stories, and the meaningful connections between food and their families and cultures. These young adult authors will be sharing cooking traditions, and showing viewers how they have fun in the kitchen.
Moderator: Mia García is the author of the young adult novels Even If the Sky Falls and The Resolutions.
Boys in Middle Grade Fiction
Cultural expectations, a rush to be ‘grown’ and a lack of books that really see them—how do Latinx boys in that in-between age come to understand what it means to be ‘a man’? Middle Grade authors Kim Baker (THE WATER BEARS), Ryan Calejo (CHARLIE HERNANDEZ SERIES), Pablo Cartaya (EACH TINY SPARK), Ryan Estrada (BANNED BOOK CLUB) and Carlos Hernandez (SAL AND GABI BREAK THE UNIVERSE) discuss how books for and about the lives of boys play an integral part in challenging perceptions of masculinity and celebrating the joys of being a boy.
Moderator: Kim Baker is the author of the middle grade novels The Water Bears and Pickle, a 2013 CBC Children's Choice Awards, Book of the Year finalist.
Magical Realism and Beyond
These YA authors explore the influence of the Latin American post-colonial tradition in their work. How does magical realism seed our stories as it morphs into other genres—fabulism, eco-horror, Latinx futurism? What strategies does magical realism provide marginalized writers to speak truth to power? With Michelle Ruiz Keil (ALL OF US WITH WINGS), Samantha Mabry (TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS), Guadalupe Garcia McCall (SHAME THE STARS), Daniel José Older (SHADOWSHAPER LEGACY) and Julio Anta (FRONTERA).
Moderator: Michelle Ruiz Keil is the author of the young adult novel All of Us With Wings. She is a 2020 Literary Lions honoree.
Celebrating Latinx Heroes
Whether they’re exploring a fantasy land, coming into their magic in the real world, or stepping up to save their families from real dangers, these Latinx writers are giving a new generation of kids the positive reinforcement they need to be the heroes of their own stories. Join Ernesto Cisneros (EFR´EN DIVIDED), Alex Aster (CURSE OF THE NIGHTWITCH), Alejandra Green (FANTASTIC TALES OF NOTHING), and Fanny Rodriguez (FANTASTIC TALES OF NOTHING) as they talk about what it means to be a hero and what tools Latinx tweens take from these adventures into their own lives.
Moderator: Mary Louise Sanchez is the author of the middle grade novel THE WIND CALLED MY NAME which won the 2016 New Visions Award from Tu Books (Lee & Low Books) and was a finalist for the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West.
Exploring Identity and Self-Esteem in Latinx YA Novels
In a world that “others” and marginalizes them, young Latinxs often struggle with their identity and feelings of self-worth. They can become torn between their parents’ language and culture and that of the mainstream. Authors e.E Charlton-Trujillo (FAT ANGIE), Anna Garcia Schaper (WISHBONE), Richie Narvaez (HOLLY HERNANDEZ AND THE DEATH OF DISCO), Alex Temblador (SECRETS OF THE CASA ROSADA) and Francesca Flores (DIAMOND CITY) discuss how their characters deal with contemporary issues of family and identity and how fiction can help readers build their own sense of self-worth.
Moderated by: e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, an award-winning Mexican American filmmaker and novelist.
The Culture of Machismo and Toxic Masculinity
Latinx men get the message early: be strong, cold and tough. Surrounded by machismo, boys and men often internalize a pose that injures their emotional health and endangers others. Authors Rebecca Balcárcel (THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY), Fred Aceves (THE NEW DAVID ESPINOZA), Ruben Degollado (THROW), Anika Fajardo (WHAT IF A FISH) and Matt Mendez (BARELY MISSING EVERYTHING) will discuss experiences relating to machismo, the portrayal of male Latinx characters, and healthy male role models in Latinx literature.
Moderator: Rebecca Balcárcel is the author of the middle grade novel The Other Half of Happy a Pura Belpré Honor Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and was called “a must-have for all library collections” by School Library Journal.
No Words: Storytelling Through Pictures
A picture is worth a thousand words, and few know that as well as these illustrators. Join Juana Medina (JUANA & LUCAS), Raúl the Third (LOWRIDERS), Axur Eneas (STUDENT AMBASSADOR: THE MISSING DRAGON), Carlos Aponte (ACROSS THE BAY) and Adriana Bergstrom (ABUELITA AND I MAKE FLAN) as they discuss pictures as a medium for telling stories, the value of art as entertainment in kidlit, and the use of visual media as a method of storytelling.
Moderator: Adriana Bergstrom is a Cuban-American mixed media and picture book illustrator.
What does it mean to be Latinx enough? What if you look more like your Irish grandmother with red hair or blue eyes? What if you don’t speak to Spanish? Or if —¡Dios Mio!—you don’t like spicy food? In American culture, there are stereotypes that Latinx people have to contend with - but even within Latinidad there is a perception that one needs to be a certain way, have certain attributes, to be considered truly Latinx. Authors Jen Cervantes (THE STORM RUNNER SERIES), Ruth Behar (LETTERS FROM CUBA), David Bowles (THEY CALL ME GÜERO), and Yesenia Moises (HONEYSMOKE: A Story of Finding Your Color) delve into the perceptions and realities of Latinx identity—and how complex and beautiful it is.
Moderated by: Jen Cervantes is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of children and young adult books, including The Storm Runner series.
Picture Books in the Age of Activism
This panel of writers and illustrators will discuss how picture books can plant seeds of social justice, help build empathy, and be agents of change in kids. Authors Diana López (LUCKY LUNA), Jackie Azúa Kramer (THE BOY AND THE GORILLA), Eric Velasquez (OCTOPUS STEW), Silvia López (QUEEN OF TEJANO MUSIC: SELENA) and Magdalena Mora (EQUALITY’S CALL), reflect our reality in a way that can build compassion, understanding, courage and kindness. A timely and important discussion that will inspire us to think more critically about the books we read.
Moderator: Diana López is the author of the middle grade novel Lucky Luna, and the book adaptation of the Disney film Coco.
Latinx in the City: from the Heights to Staten Island and Everywhere in Between
NYC is a featured character in many kidlit stories but rarely do we see the New York we know reflected back to us from the pages. NYC wouldn't be the city it is without the wildly diverse Latinx community and it is time we saw this New York reflected back to us in the books we love. This diverse group of New Yorker Latinx authors discuss the wide experiences of the Latinx communities that make this city what it is. With Ismée Williams (THIS TRAIN IS BEING HELD), Natasha Díaz (COLOR ME IN), Saraciea Fennell (WILD TONGUES CAN'T BE TAMED) and Charles Rice-González (CHULITO).
Moderated by: Ismée Williams is the author of the young adult novels Water in May and This Train is Being Held.
Español, Spanish, or Bilingual? The Use of Spanish in Latinx Kidlit
Is there a "universal" Spanish? Is there an audience in the USA for Spanish-only books published in America? When does blending Spanish and English work? Is it ever hindering or confusing? What about italics for Spanish in an English text? Is there a time that is best to do dual versions, rather than having a bilingual book? Bilingual authors Monica Brown (LOLA LEVINE IS NOT MEAN), Lulu Delacre (LUCI SOARS), Rene Colato Lainez (TELEGRAMAS), Mariana Llanos (EUNICE AND KATE) and Natalia Sylvester (RUNNING) will explore the questions and if the answers vary according to the book's audience.
Moderator: Monica Brown is the author of the Lola Levine middle grade series, named a Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of the Year.
From el Cucuy to La Llorona and every scary, spine-tingling creature in between, authors Ann Davila Cardinal (FIVE MIDNIGHTS), Lily Anderson (UNDEAD GIRL GANG), William Alexander (A PROPERLY UNHAUNTED PLACE), Sara Faring (THE TENTH GIRL) and Cynthia Palayo (SANTA MUERTE) create the kind of exciting, creepy, disturbing horror stories that make you go running to your mamá! Join them on this fun panel discussing latinx twists, myths and monstruos—if you dare!
Moderated by: Ann Dávila Cardinal is the author of the young adult novel Category Five, an International Latino Book Award for Best Young Adult Fantasy & Adventure.
In Dos Languages: Live Illustrators Slam
These bilingual illustrators use their skills to battle each other on the drawing board. Viewers get to submit prompts and vote for their favorites. With Paola Escobar (QUEEN OF TEJANO MUSIC: SELENA), Flavia Z. Drago (GUSTAVO THE SHY GHOST) and Mirelle Ortega (PEPE AND THE PARADE).
Moderator: Isabella Benavides is the host of the YouTube book boggling channel Throne of Pages.
Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors
Discover a new wave of Latinx talent! Meet debut authors Aaron Aceves (THIS IS WHY THEY HATE US), Olivia Abtahi (PERFECTLY PARVIN), Daniel Aleman (INDIVISIBLE), Emery Lee (MEET CUTE DIARY) and Alda P Dobbs (BAREFOOT DREAMS OF PETRA LUNA). This group of 2021 and 2022 debut authors discusses how young readers can explore their own identities through the power of story. Using Rudine Sims Bishop’s powerful essay titled “Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors” these authors explore how kidlit books can be a means of self-exploration, growth and affirmation.
Moderator: Aaron Aceves is the author of the young adult novel This Is Why They Hate Us.
Frontera Lands: Immigrant Stories About the U.S/Mexico Border
Join authors Aida Salazar (LAND OF CRANES), Yuyi Morales (DREAMERS), Francisco Stork (ILLEGAL), Alexandra Diaz (SANTIAGO'S ROAD HOME) and Reyna Grande (THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US) in a conversation about the multiple immigration kidlit stories that emerge from the borderland regions of the U.S. and Mexico. The authors will delve into what it means to migrate, to cross borders whether they be physical, linguistic, or imaginary, and what that says about immigrant survival, resilience, and resistance.
Moderator: Aida Salazar is the author of The Moon Within, an International Latino Book Award Winner. She is also an arts activist and founding member of Las Musas Books.
Celebrating Identity: Kidlit Authors and the Journey of Finding Identity When You Are Multiracial/Multicultural
Authors Nikki Barthelmess (QUIET NO MORE), Margarita Engle (WITH A STAR IN MY HAND), Autumn Krause (A DRESS FOR THE WICKED), Torrey Maldonado (WHAT LANE?) and Eric Smith (DON'T READ THE COMMENTS) discuss the complicated journey of understanding their Latinx identity when being multiracial or coming from a multicultural heritage and why it is vital for young readers to see that reality—and that joy!—represented in literature.
Moderator: Nikki Barthelmess is the author of the young adult novels The Quiet You Carry, Quiet No More and Everything Within And In Between.
Ibi Zoboi in Conversation with Maritza Moulite
Join National Book Award Finalist and New York Times best-selling author Ibi Zoboi as she talks about books, race and Haitian culture. Zoboi’s novel American Street is a National Book Award Finalist. Most recently, her novel Punching The Air, co-written with Yusef Salaam, was a New York Times bestseller. Zoboi will be taking questions submitted from kids around the country.
Moderator: Maritza Moulite is the author of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, co-written with her sister Maika Moulite. Their new novel One of the Good Ones, is available in January.
Meg Medina in Conversation with Isabel Quintero
Join award-winning and New York Times best-selling author Meg Medina as she talks about the adventure of growing up and discusses the powerful themes in her books. Medina is the author of multiple picture books, middle grade and young adult novels. Her young adult novel Burn Baby Burn was long-listed for the 2016 National Book Award. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, also a young adult title, won the 2014 Pura Belpré Author Award. Her middle grade novel, Merci Suárez Changes Gears is a 2019 John Newbery Medal winner. Her picture book Mango, Abuela, and Me is a 2016 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book. Medina will be taking questions submitted from kids around the country and from the live audience.
Moderator: Isabel Quintero, author of Gaby a Girl in Pieces, winner of the 2015 Morris Award for Debut YA Fiction
Julia Alvarez: Q&A with National Medal of Arts Winner
Join National Medal of Arts recipient, Julia Alvarez for a discussion centered around her new picture book Already a Butterfly. Alvarez will talk about her meditation practice which inspired the book and her work with the Mariposa Foundation. In the second half, she will be joined by Already a Butterfly award-winning illustrator Raúl Colón.
Moderator: Anika Aldamuy Denise is the author of Planting Stories, The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, a 2020 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book
Elizabeth Acevedo in Conversation with NCTE President Alfredo Celedón Luján
Join National Book Award winner and New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Acevedo as she talks books and poetry. Acevedo will be reading one of her poems and taking questions submitted from kids around the country and from the live audience. Acevedo is the author of The Poet X, which won the National Book Award in 2018. Her young adult novels With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land are both New York Times bestsellers.
Moderator: Alfredo Celedón Luján, President of The National Council of Teachers of English. Luján is dean of students and teacher of English and study skills at Monte del Sol Charter School in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Luján was awarded the NCTE Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award for his contributions to the Council.