Pura Belpre Award Winning Authors for 2012

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Under the Mesquite, by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, published by Lee and Low Books Inc.

In “Under the Mesquite,” Garcia McCall, writing in emotionally riveting free verse, gracefully manages to convey the experience of growing up in a bicultural community in Texas with geographical accuracy and a radiating authentic voice for its main protagonist fourteen-year-old Lupita, the oldest of eight children who is dealing with her mother’s terminal illness.

“Garcia McCall deftly communicates not only the experience of a youth losing her mother to cancer but that of a child surrounded by siblings embracing and discarding their Mexican roots in various degrees,” said Naidoo.


And the honor winning authors:

Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck by Margarita Engle, published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Engle’s beautifully written poetic narrative cuts to the heart of an untold story in Latin American history and describes the enslavement of the native peoples of the Caribbean by the Spanish along with the mixing of Spanish and native blood that now forms the vast majority of Latin America. Told from several points of view, the story captures the rhythm and sounds from a time long ago and encourages readers to explore Latino culture on their own.

Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller written by Xavier Garza, published by Cinco Puntos Press.

Xavier Garza successfully captures the excitement that Max, an eleven-year-old Mexican-American boy, displays when he discovers that his favorite Lucha Libre wrestler is coming to town and might have a strange connection with his own family! This action packed bilingual mystery novel uses playful language that reinforces elements of Mexican-American culture and overflows with almost unbridled excitement for Lucha wrestling.

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