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Reviews of the 2023 Pura Belpré YA Award Winners

Winner Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado High School    Sourcebooks Fire    352 pp.    g 5/22    978-1-7282-4600-0    $18.99 In this horror novel grounded in a real-world setting, sixteen-year-old Raquel’s life is upended when her friend disappears — part of a pattern of unexplained ­disappearances — and her mother is...

Reviews of the 2023 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winners

Winner Where Wonder Grows by Xelena González; illus. by Adriana M. Garcia Primary    Cinco Puntos/Lee & Low    40 pp. 10/22    9781947627468    $17.95 e-book ed  9781947627475    $17.95 REVIEW TO COME     Honor Books Phenomenal AOC: The Roots and Rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by Anika Aldamuy...

Reviews of the 2023 Pura Belpré Author Award Winners

Winner Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega; illus. by Rose Bousamra Intermediate    First Second    224 pp.    g 10/22    978-1-250-25962-2    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-25963-9    $12.99 In a graphic novel that takes on antiblackness and colorism, every Sunday Marlene must sit for hours at the beauty salon while her...

Reviews of the 2022 Pura Belpré YA Award Winners

Winner How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland High School    Simon    432 pp.    g 8/21    978-1-5344-4866-7    $19.99 REVIEW TO COME             Honor Books Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa High School   ...

Reviews of the 2022 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winners

Winner ¡Vamos!: Let’s Cross the Bridge by Raúl the Third; illus. by the author; color by Elaine Bay Primary    Versify/Houghton    48 pp.    g 10/21    978-0-358-38040-5    $14.99 REVIEW TO COME       Honor Books Boogie Boogie, Y'all by C. G. Esperanza; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Tegen/HarperCollins   ...

Reviews of the 2022 Pura Belpré Author Award Winners

Winner The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera Middle School    Levine Querido    336 pp.    g 8/21    978-1-64614-089-3    $17.99 When a solar flare knocks Halley’s Comet off course and sends it hurtling toward Earth, a small group of citizens is selected to leave the planet and colonize a new one to...

On the Futurity of the Pura Belpré Award

A reflection on the future of the Pura Belpré Award must begin with a meditation on the past. As Black, Caribbean, Afro-Atlantic, and Afro-Latinx scholars teach us, the future is in the past, and the present is in the future. My contemplation, then, begins with two iconic photographs of Pura...

Lighting the Candle: Thank You, Mr. Baumgartner

Irene (seated, second from left) and Pam (seated, fifth from left) in third grade. (Photo courtesy of Pam Muñoz Ryan.) If I hadn’t been a failed violinist, I might never have become a writer. When I was in fourth grade, the public school I attended had a coveted orchestra program....

HBTV: Pura Belpré Award Videos

Welcome to HBTV, our exciting new (occasional) children's book-related TV show! In the inaugural episode of HBTV, I talk about the Pura Belpré Awards, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, with Belpré Award winner Meg Medina and award co-founder Sandra Ríos Balderrama.     My Belpré conversation continues in...
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