Newbery award winner and New York Times bestselling author

Posts tagged ‘Yaqui Delgado Quiere Darte Una Paliza’

!Ganamos! [Translation: We Won.] But, hmm, how about triunfamos?]

Book Award LOGO & Image rgb copyYou might have seen that the International Book Awards were announced on Friday. I’m a little late to the game because I was in Pennsylvania, But behold the (seriously long) list of amazing titles that have won and take note, mi gente, of the new voices coming to the table. If you’re unfamiliar with the work of these authors, please take the chance now to gather their books and enjoy. All the winners – some of them my heroes and dear friends (…looking at you Isabel Campoy, Pam Muñoz, Sonia Manzano, Margarita Engle, Daniel José Older, and more…) have my deepest respect and congratulations.

So, I am excited to say that Mango Abuela and Me earned second place as best picture book in English, and Burn Baby Burn earned an honorable mention in Young Adult.

But I am hugely proud to announce that Teresa Mlawer won first place in translation for both Mango Abuela y Yo and Yaqui Delgado Quiere Darte Una Paliza


An industry veteran, Teresa has translated the likes of Where the Wild Things Are and Harold and the Purple Crayon. I had the pleasure of meeting her on the faculty of the 2014 Latino National Children’s Literature Conference at the University of Alabama. (Proof positive of the value of going to conferences…) So, when Candlewick hired her as my translator a couple of years later, I knew I was in good hands.

Having the work of Latino authors available in translation matters. It’s a statement of respect for multiple literacies, first of all. But it also opens a way for sharing literature within families (including school “families”) where multiple languages are spoken.

The nuances of translation are beastly, though. Getting the language right and ensuring that the word choice and pace are on target, are what make something feel true and accurate. In Latino literature, that’s a big job. Each country has its own vocabulary, its own slang and rhythm, its own set of rules about what is profane.What is innocent in one place is utterly vulgar in another.

At the National Latino Children's Literature Conference in 2014

At the National Latino Children’s Literature Conference in 2014

Teresa captured the sound of the Cuban dialect that my family speaks, and so what she did was tell the story the way I heard it emotionally. It helps, of course, that she is a Cuban immigrant herself. But what really matters is how diligently she went at the task. More than once as she translated Yaqui, she’d call me to say, “I have never worked so hard on a translation. I am trying to get your voice exactly right.”

She did.

I feel so lucky to have benefitted from that kind of respect and dedication. And so the joy I feel about her success is so personal.

img_1766Congratulations, mi estimada Teresa. These recognitions are so deserved.

Cariños siempre de,



Off to the Desert: Tucson Festival of Books

March 11 - 13, 2016

March 11 – 13, 2016

I had twins today – sort of. That’s because it’s my book birthday for Burn Baby Burn and also for the Spanish edition of Yaqui Delgado Quiere Darte Una Paliza (translated by Teresa Mlawer). Thanks to everyone who is sending and tweeting good wishes!

So how am I celebrating the releases? By dreaming of 80 degree sunny weather and packing for the first leg of a mini book tour. First stop: Arizona – for the wonderful Tucson Book Festival this weekend.(Hopefully, it’s the book and not my winter-pale skin that’s going to burn, baby, burn.)

Here’s my schedule… everything from crafting historical fiction (with the likes of Ruta Sepetys) to breaking the culture and color barrier in publishing.


Hot Off the Press

Sat, Mar 12, 8:30 am – 9:30 am

By invitation only: Meet ten marvelous authors releasing new books the week of the Festival.

Student Union South Ballroom (Wheelchair accessible)

Panelists: C. J. Box, Douglas Brinkley, Jeffery Deaver, Amy Hatvany, J. A. Jance, Lisa Lutz, Meg Medina, John Nichols, T. Jefferson Parker, Chris Pavone; Moderator: Jennifer Lee Carrell

Fight or Flight: Surviving School

Sat, Mar 12, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

High school and middle school can be extremely difficult for teens who daily face bullying by peers and cliques that exclude anyone seen as “different” or “weird”. These YA authors will talk about how the characters in their books respond to rejection, exclusion, and bullying and why these books matter to teens.

Education Room 351 (Seats 48, Wheelchair accessible)

Signing area: Signing Area – Children / Teen (following presentation)

Panelists: Zac Brewer, Cammie McGovern, Meg Medina, Tommy Wallach; Moderator: Kevin Spink


BurnBabyBurn_cvrSktch-7 copy 2Taking Control of Your Life

Life can sometimes feel out of control for children and teens as they face difficult situations. Authors will share the ways in which their characters try to take back control of their lives within historical contexts where they are experiencing danger and fear.

Education Room 353 (Seats 117, Wheelchair accessible)

Sun, Mar 13, 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Signing area: Signing Area – Children / Teen (following presentation)

Panelists: Dan Gemeinhart, Meg Medina, Ruta Sepetys; Moderator: Marina Welmers

51o4V725fOL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Interview with Meg Medina

Sun, Mar 13, 11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Teen Audio Tent (Seats 6)

Panelist: Meg Medina

Americans All: Breaking the Color Barrier in Mainstream Publishing

Sun, Mar 13, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Authors Cathy Camper (Lowriders in Space) and Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass) will share strategies for creating and promoting best-selling teen and kid fiction featuring strong, diverse protagonists.

Pima County Public Library/Nuestras Raíces/Presentation Stage (Seats 150)

Nuestras Raices

Signing area: Pima County Public Library/Nuestras Raices/Sales & Signing Area (following presentation)

Panelists: Cathy Camper, Meg Medina;Moderator: Gina Macaluso

Bright air balloons

Tucson Festival of Books

1209 E. University, Room 104

Tucson Arizona 85721-0019

Saturday, March 12 & Sunday, March 13, 2016

University of Arizona Campus

where words and imagination come to life