2021 Authors, Illustrators, Presenters
Alexandra Diaz is the award winning children's book author of The Only
Road (Pura Belpré Honor and Américas Award) and its sequel, The
Crossroads (Parent's Choice Silver Honor and Southwest Book Award).
Her newest book, Santiago's Road Home, came out in May and has
received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, and
Booklist and was an ALA Notable Book. All three of these books are
available in English and Spanish. Alexandra is the daughter of Cuban
Refugees and lives in Santa Fe, NM.
Ana Siqueira is a Spanish-language elementary teacher, an award-winning Brazilian children’s author, and a published author in the Foreign Language educational market - EL PATO QUIERE UVAS. Her forthcoming picture books include BELLA’S RECIPE FOR DISASTER/SUCCESS (Beaming Books, 2021) and IF YOUR BABYSITTER IS A BRUJA/ CUANDO TU NIÑERA ES UNA BRUJA (SimonKids,2022), and other books that can’t be announced yet. Ana is a member of SCBWI, Las Musas Book, and co-founder of LatinxPitchBesides writing, Ana loves to read, teach, and play with her Cuban-Brazilian-American grandchildren.
Anna M. Nogar, Ph.D.
Dr. Anna M. Nogar is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of New Mexico. She specializes in New Mexican literature and cultural studies, as well as colonial Mexican literature and readers. She is the author or editor of many books (Quill and Cross in the Borderlands: Sor María de Ágreda and the Lady in Blue, A History of Mexican Literature, El feliz ingenio neomexicano: Felipe M. Chacón and Poesía y prosa), including the prizewinning bilingual young readers book Sisters in Blue/Hermanas de azul (University of New Mexico Press) which she created with Dr. Enrique Lamadrid and artist Amy Córdova.
Brianna Peña-Begay is 2021 Young Miss Latinita Mexico US, loves to read, swim and hang out with friends. Brianna’s grandmother is an author from Shiprock, New Mexico. Brianna is 11 years old and loves to read and share the story. Brianna collects books and delivers them to Free Little Libraries in San Juan County.
Cathy Camper is the author of the award-winning Lowriders in Space graphic novel series, the picture book Ten Ways to Hear Snow (2020), Bugs Before Time, and a forthcoming 2022 picture book, Arab Arab All Year Long. Lowriders to the Center of the Earth won the Pura Belpre Award for Latino Illustration in 2017. She is a graduate of VONA/Voices writing workshops for people of color in Berkeley, California. Cathy’s an author, artist and librarian who lives in Portland, Oregon.
Diego Mathieu is 10 years old, originally from Shiprock, New Mexico, the Bitter Water Clan. Diego enjoys reading, playing basketball, soccer, playing the piano, writing, and storytelling. Diego volunteers and facilitates the Lego Club at the local library. Diego has a dream to work for NASA one day.
Gabriela Gonzalez in the 8th grade at Mesa View Middle School in Farmington, New Mexico. School. Gabriela is second Vice President of her student council, and a cheerleader. Gabriela enjoys dance and art. Gabriela is a member of the Atomic Teen Cafe, Mayor's Teen Advisory Council and models for fashion shows and is 2021 Young Miss Latinita New Mexico.
Isabela Esperanza Teresa Gonzalez is a Sophomore and cheerleader at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington, New Mexico.
Maria Gomez grew up in Santa Rosa, NM, where she enjoyed the simple pleasures of small town
life - family, community and the outdoors. After graduating from Santa Rosa High School, she
moved to Albuquerque and received her bachelor’s degree from The University of New Mexico. She majored in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Multimedia Journalism. Wanting to explore more creative writing, lead her to publishing her first short story with the guidance of Plot Duckies. Plot Duckies gave her the tools to share a story that she’s always wanted to bring to life about her childhood, growing up with her Grandmother and the lesson she learned to never underestimate the power and comfort of a fresh tortilla.
Naibe Reynoso is a Mexican-American Multi-Emmy award-winning journalist and mom based in Los Angeles California. Throughout her journalism career, she has worked and contributed to various regional, national and international networks.
In 2018 she created Con Todo Press, a publishing company that creates books to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities. Her first children's book, “Be Bold, Be Brave: 11 Latinas who made U.S. History,” was an Amazon #1 best seller, and highlights 11 women who excelled in medicine, science, sports, the arts, journalism and politics. It was also awarded best nonfiction picture book in the 2020 International Latino Book Awards, was a 2020 Moon Beam Gold winner for best multicultural non-fiction book, and was listed on the Tejas Star Reading 2021-2022 list.
“When I looked for books to read to my children, I noticed a lack of children’s publications highlighting Latina women who have greatly contributed to U.S. and World history,” said author Naibe Reynoso adding “now more than ever, it was important to publish media that portrays my community, especially women, in a positive light.”
She is also the author of “Fearless Trailblazers: 11 Latinos who made U.S. History” and “How to Fold a Taco” a fun, whimsical adventure book. “Courageous History Makers” will be her fifth title, with three more titles slated for a 2021 release.
Her books have been included in recommended kid’s books that promote diversity and inclusion and they have been featured on the Washington Post, Forbes, BuzzFeed, Library School Journal and more.
She lives in her native Los Angeles with her husband, her daughter and son and dog Pongo.
Raynelda A. Calderon
Raynelda grew up in the Dominican Republic, on a healthy diet of romance novels, comic strips, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's books, and the strict watch of her mother. She has a doctorate in leadership in higher education and works as a public librarian. As a librarian, working with children inspires her to write about the accomplishments of Hispanic women in history hoping to inspire young readers to follow their passions and never take "no" for an answer.
René Colato Laínez
René Colato Laínez is an educator and author of several bilingual/multicultural award winning children's books. His books reflect the Hispanic immigrant experience from a child’s point of view, covering topics such as cultural identity issues, the difficulties of learning a second language, and missing a loved one. Most of his books are based on his own experiences. He has a master's degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children & Young Adults.
René’s goal as a writer is to produce good multicultural children's literature; stories where minority children are portrayed in a positive way, where they can see themselves as heroes, and where they can dream and have hopes for the future. He wants to write authentic stories of Latin American children living in the United States.
Robert Liu-Trujillo is an Oakland native, raised by student activists who watched lots of science fiction and took him to many demonstrations. Always drawing, Rob grew up to be an artist falling in love with graffiti, fine art, illustration, murals, and children’s books. In that order, sort of. Through storytelling he’s been able to scratch the surface of so many untold stories. Rob is the author and illustrator of Furqan’s First Flat Top. He’s a dad of a teen and a toddler He loves ice cream and his wife who laughs big and corrects his grammar every chance she gets. Down with the system and soggy french fries! www.robdontstop.com
Sarah Sierra is a student, writer and actor. In 2015, at the age of six, she joined an after-school program called Still Waters in a Storm. Sarah has been a founding member of the Kid Quixotes since 2016 and plays the lead role in The Traveling Serialized Adventures of Kid Quixote. She loves to tell imaginative and creative stories that will make you believe anything is possible.
Stephen Haff, author of KID QUIXOTES, is the Founder and Chief of Still Waters in a Storm. He has taught English, Latin, Mathematics and Theater for twenty years, at high schools, middle schools and colleges in New York City, Vermont and Canada. At Bushwick High School in Brooklyn, he co-founded Real People Theater (RPT) with his students. The company received great acclaim in the worlds of education and theater, and toured North America and Europe. The VILLAGE VOICE called RPT, “Nothing less than a revolution.” Stephen has spoken at a number of pedagogical conferences and designed curriculum for the CUNY GearUp program, Youth Communication and The Center for Social and Emotional Education. He used to make his living writing for the VILLAGE VOICE, AMERICAN THEATRE, BOMB, and other publications, and earned his Masters in Theater Studies at Yale University.
Cherokee Nation citizen and award-winning author Traci Sorell writes fiction and nonfiction works for young people.
Traci’s debut nonfiction picture book We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga won a 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA) Picture Book Honor, a 2019 Sibert Honor, a 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Honor and a 2019 Orbis Pictus Honor. It also received a 2020 Odyssey Honor Award for the audiobook produced by Live Oak Media. She is the co-author of Indian No More, an AIYLA middle grade winner, and At the Mountain's Base, a fiction picture book and an AIYLA Picture Book Honor recipient.
In 2021, she has two more nonfiction picture books out into the world - Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer (Millbrook) and We Are Still Here: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know (Charlesbridge), both of which are Junior Library Guild Gold Selections and have received starred reviews.
You can find out more about Traci and her work online at www.tracisorell.com and by following her (@tracisorell) via Twitter and Instagram.
Viviana is a 10 year old girl who likes drawing, making crafts with her friends, and writing - a lot. She lives in Queens, NY with her mom, dad, older brother, and their new rescue dog, Argento. Anacaona is her first book. You can follow her on Instagram @vivianawrites.
Xavier Garza is an award-winning author of Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys; Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask: A Bilingual Cuento; Juan and the Chupacabras/ Juan y el Chupacabras; Charro Claus and the Texas Kid; Zulema and the Witch Owl / Zulema Y La Bruja Lechuza; Kid Cyclone Fights the Devil and Other Stories / Kid Ciclon Se Enfrenta an El Diablo y Otras Historias; Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller; Maximilian & the Bingo Rematch: A Lucha Libre Sequel; The Great and Mighty Nikko; The Donkey Lady Fights la Llorona and Other Stories; and Maximilian & the Lucha Libre Club: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller. He has been honored with the Pure Belpre Honor and his books are on several reading lists including Tejas Star and Texas Institute of Letters.
Still Waters in a Storm
Still Waters in a Storm is a one-room schoolhouse, a reading and writing sanctuary for children ages 5-17 in the neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn.
The structure of our meetings is the same in English, Spanish, Latin and Musical Notation: children and grown-ups study a text together, each writes something inspired by the text, then they take turns reading their writings out loud while everyone listens in a sacred hush. The one rule is, “Everyone listens to everyone.” The simple grace of this ritual changes lives for the better.
Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos.