Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SHOP CINCO PUNTOS THIS CHRISTMAS!


Whether You Shop In-Store or Online
Take 25% Off All December
 
♦ ♦ ♦

Shop our national headquarters in El Paso or online at Cinco Puntos Press and get 25 percent off all of your purchases through December on orders $20+
 
** Call Mary Fountaine at 915-838-1625 to ask about quantity discounts for schools and literacy programs. ** 
Pig Park  Gabi A Girl in Pieces  

Novels for Young Adults
 
Celebrated Latina Authors      The D-Bow Hoops Series
Ghosts & Teen Romance

Cinco Puntos has the perfect stocking stuffers for the young adult readers in your life. For teenage girls interested in real-life high school struggles, try these two celebrated novels by rising Latina stars Isabel Quintero and Claudia Guadalupe Martinez.
 
Shirley Vernick shines, too, with her new novel about ghosts and sexy high school romance, 
The Black Butterfly.​ 

For the b-ballers on your list, Kevin Waltman's series is a great choice. This season, he scores again with Slumpthe sophomore installment of his D-Bow High School Hoops Series.

Next     The Black Butterfly   Slump
Adult Novels

Of course, there are also books for you and me. Our latest offerings include great page-turning novels for best friends and your own wintertime reading table. 
A Tightly Raveled Mind
A Tightly Raveled Mind
Diane Lawson’s hot new mystery novel, A Tightly Raveled Mind.  ”A cunning, elegantly written comedy of manners in the form of a murder mystery in which a psychoanalyst finds her wealthy clientele dropping. Literally…This shrink can really throw it down.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Lawson, Diane
ISBN 9781935955924
$USD $16.95 · CAD $18.50 ·Trade Paper
The Amado Women
The Amado Women
Désirée Zamorano’s Amado Women celebrated by none other than Dagoberto Gilb: “Far from the cholos and maids of a cliché Latino Los Angeles, these beautiful Amado women dine at chichi hotels and restaurants, carry plush designer bags, and steer new cars into suburbias. But Zamorano doesn’t leave it at that—because even an American dream-fulfilled life is still full of real life, and what alone endures is family.”

Zamorano, Désirée
ISBN 9781935955733
$USD $16.95 · CAD $18.50 ·Trade Paper
Cold Type
Cold Type
It’s not all a woman’s world. In Cold Type New York Times columnist Harvey Araton tells a gripping tale of the newspaper industry in New York City when things were beginning to fall apart. Robert Lypsite says, “Father and son face their demons, each other, and a depressingly realistic publisher in a newspaper yarn that made me yell ‘Hold the front page!’”

Araton, Harvey
ISBN 9781935955719
$USD $15.95 · CAD $17.50 ·Trade Paper
Otherwise, My Life is Ordinary
Otherwise, My Life is Ordinary
Looking for stocking stuffers? Throw in Bobby Byrd’s new book of poems, Otherwise, My Life is OrdinaryWhy? Because Bobby makes a good pot of beans.

Growing up in Memphis, #3:
In 1952 Dewey Phillips invented Elvis.
It happened on the radio.
Rock n' Roll saved my life.
In 1960 the bad guys sold Elvis into slavery.
Don't let anybody tell you different.
Bryd, Bobby
ISBN 9781935955757
$USD $15.95 · CAD $17.50 ·Trade Paper
 
Celebrate Independence This Holiday:
Buy Books from Independent Presses

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BEWARE: OLD MAN SEEN SELLING POEM

While the State goes to ruin, mountains and rivers remain; 
while Market Culture grinds upon us all, 
the artist builds a studio from scratch and rows it like a boat. 
Patiently by passion—incorrigible, still breathing.
J.B. Bryan, La Alameda Press




Oh, my gosh, that's Bobby Byrd on the streets selling a real live poem broadside: "PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN."  It's a love poem, for God's sake. His wife Lee is at the stove in the morning, stirring the oatmeal. He says she grunts in her sleep. Oh, my gosh. But you get the picture, don't you?

The broadside is thanks to friend J.B. Bryanthe owner and operator of the oddball very independent La Alameda Press. J.B. is an artist, graphic designer, poet, zenster, whacko musician, good friend and print-maker extraordinaire. He built the broadside from the ground up. Including the linoleum block print of the pot of oatmeal. Byrd's selling the damn thing for $60 plus the shipping. Good luck with that, huh? But if you're a collector and just need to have one, call or write Cactus Mary Fountaine at Cinco Puntos Press. 

Just to whet you appetite, we're pasting the poem below. It's from Bobby's new book, Otherwise, My Life is Ordinary


Portrait of a Woman

She is simmering the oatmeal for breakfast
The early morning light
The wooden spoon in her hand
Her hips rocking back and forth—
The pink pajama bottoms, a white pullover
40 years we have found these ordinary rituals
A matrimonial dance 
And at night, she is the warm body next to mine
We are happy to be animals together
That too is beautiful
Afloat on this side of nothing
Emptiness
Whatever you want to call it.
She snores some and some nights she grunts in her sleep.




Thursday, October 2, 2014

BOO! Bilingual Books for Halloween and the Day of the Dead

TRICK OR TREAT? 
Let's Do it with Books!
AKA Here Comes La Llorona & her Friends!



Oh, you better be ready for Halloween and the Day of the Dead this year! Here in El Paso, we can already hear La Llorona scratching along the riverbank, practicing her high notes. A friend out hiking saw the tracks of El Cucuy as he galloped across the mountaintops and down thru the arroyos. The big old bogeyman is getting in shape to go looking for bad little girls and boys. And, we know a family lucky enough to live near a cemetery. They swear that late at night they can hear the joyful sound of all the calacas (aka skeletons, aka calaveras) doing their yoga stretches as they get ready for the Day of the Dead. This year it’s going to be special.

Don’t be afraid. Cinco Puntos has your back! If you’re a teacher, a librarian, a parent, a grandparent, or simply an aficionado of Halloween or the Day of the Dead, Cinco Puntos has the books for you.

Written and illustrated by Mexicano Luis San Vicente. 

Copyright illustration © 1999, Luis San Vicente. 
All rights reserved. Reproduction or copy of this image is not permitted without permission.


Yes, yes, it’s back by popular demand!

November 1 is Mexico's Day of the Dead, and the skeletons jump for sheer joy. And no wonder: they’ve been cooped up the whole year long doing absolutely nothing. They’re hungry, they’re thirsty, and, my gosh, they’re ready to party. Watch the calaveras shake, rattle and roll as they celebrate the biggest event of the graveyard’s social calendar!

Mexico’s Day of the Dead fascinates kids and adults too, whether for its joyful celebration or its unusual traditions. With fantastic illustrations and a wild and fanciful poem, San Vicente captures the spirit of this most marvelous holiday. And Cinco Puntos added a little flavor to the book. A short and fun essay, directed toward young readers, explains this important Mexican holiday. Plus, we offer directions for making pan dulce (sweet breads), sugar skulls and altars to honor and remember the dead. All the fun things kids can do to join in the festivities!

A great book for Early Readers, a great book for a gift!

And now The Festival of Bones is in paperback. And, like always, the hardback is back too! Indeed, we’d be fools not to reprint the hardback. We already have thirty thousand hardbacks in print!

Conceived and written by folklorist / educator Cynthia Weill 
with papier-mâché skeletons by Oaxacan artist Jesus Canseco Zárate



This book is so fun it’s a classic before it’s a classic!

So, you ask, who are those calacas doing their yoga exercises in the cemetery as they get ready for the Day of the Dead? They’re none other than Anita’s familia, her family, who she introduces you to in this new Cynthia Weill collaboration Jesus Canseco Zárate. Cynthia was down in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, doing what she does best: scouring the mountains, the valleys and the pueblos for folk artists to bring them international attention. Her best-selling First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art series came from this unusual avocation of hers. But, there in Oaxaca City she happened upon the work of Jesus Canseco Zarate. How lucky is that? Here’s how his website explains the calacas he makes:

Jesús Canseco Zárate…has dedicated himself to the art of paper-mâché calacas, or traditional skeleton figures, for the past eight years. His calacas, however, are characterized by a modern twist: they parade around in everyday clothing, wear distinctive hairstyles and are obsessively detailed from head (freckles) to toe (nail polish). Imbued with life, these skeletons walk the threshold between the living and the dead; a cheeky reminder of what awaits us all…Known for his painstaking realism, he specializes in commissions that bring real-life people to… well, death! Indeed, death is represented by Jesús as just another welcomed rite of passage in life.

Looking at his calacacs, Cynthia conceived Mi Familia almost immediately. They started working together. And that's the way true collaborations should work.

By the way, Jesús is a fine photographer too. Visit his photography work here.

The classic bilingual telling by Joe Hayes 
Illustrations by Vicki Trego Hill and her daughter Mona Pennypacker



The all-time Cinco Puntos Press best seller with over 600,000 in print. It’s a cornerstone of bilingual publishing for kids in the United States. We first published it as a saddle-stitched 6x9 duotone book with illustrations and book design by our good friend and neighbor, Vicki Trego Hill. In 2004, Vicki and her daughter Mona added more illustrations and color, expanding the book into the beautiful classic edition it is today.

In this part of the world, along the U.S.-Mexico Border, everybody knows the story La Llorona, the Weeping Woman. The Byrd kids Susie, Johnny and Andy, when we moved to El Paso in 1978, learned about La Llorona on the playground in kindergarten and at Crockett Elementary School. Parents or teachers didn't have to tell them the story. The kids did. All the kids knew about La Llorona, knew she lived and knew to scare the new kids with the story. In our neighborhood, la Llorona lives in the Franklin Mountains above our home on Louisville Street. At night she'll come howling out of a canyon, looking for her kids. Oh, wowweeee! Lee and I learned about la Llorona first through our kids and our neighbors, but then we met storyteller Joe Hayes. We became friends. Joe told us a lot about the folklore of the American Southwest and the world (that's something most people don't know about Joe--he's a deeply committed folklorist), and from Joe we learned the history of the legend. But most importantly, we got to publish Joe's telling of the story. Oh, what a great gift that was. We now call Cinco Puntos Press "the House that La Llorona built!” Follow this link to read an interview where Joe talks about this great legend which is certainly an integral part of the culture where we live. And you can go to the CPP website page to hear Joe tell the story first in English and then in Spanish.  --Bobby Byrd

As told by Joe Hayes and illustrations by Honorio Robledo
(Sorry. Temporarily out of stock! These are hard to keep in stock.)



If La Llorona comes around, be careful. You know El Cucuy is somewhere in the neighborhood.

Growing up every one hears at least one teasing reference to the “bogeyman,” but not everyone knows him by name. In the Southwest and much of Mexico, he’s known as el Cucuy (pronounced coo-COO-ee, drawing the COO syllable out like the hoot of a lonely night bird).

With his humped back and his big red ear, el Cucuy was once a standard part of child rearing. Many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans will tell you, “I grew up with el Cucuy.” And there are plenty of stories of lazy, disobedient children whose feet were set back on the straight and narrow path by an encounter with this ogre.

Although today’s parents no longer think it appropriate to rely on calling the local bogeyman to come and carry their children away, the young still delight in tales of bad boys and girls—ones that are much worse than they are!—getting the good scare they deserve from el Cucuy. Of course, the best tales, like this one, always have a happy ending!

So, kids, listen to your parents and grandparents, or el Cucuy might get you!


Joe Hayes
Black and white spot illustrations by Mona Pennypacker



Winner of the 2006-2007 Texas Bluebonnet Award 

Do you believe in ghosts?

Well, Elena Padilla’s father didn’t, and that’s a shame, because his disbelief ends up making Elena a very sick girl. In his classic bilingual style, Joe Hayes tells the story of Elena’s ghost fever. The story starts in an old rundown house in a dusty little town in Arizona. Nobody in their right mind will rent that house because…well, a ghost haunts it. The landlord can’t even rent it out for free! That is, not until foolish old Frank Padilla comes along thinking he can save some money.

Lucky for Elena that her grandmother knows all about the mysterious ways of ghosts. With her grandmother’s help and advice, Elena solves the mystery of the ghost girl, recuperates from her ghost fever and, in the process, learns a valuable lesson about life.

Here’s what the late great magazine Criticas, an off-shoot of School Library Journal, had to say about Ghost Fever:

In his first novel-length chapter book, Hayes stays true to his southwestern storytelling roots while also expanding his base. Set in a small Arizona town in the 1950s and told as a childhood memoir, Hayes’s latest story presents a more modern world—with decrepit pickup trucks, family desertion, and the interaction of Hispanic and Anglo residents—than that of his earlier bilingual offerings, which mostly reflected colonial New Mexico. Traditional culture has not disappeared completely, however. While some of the characters in the story scoff at the idea of ghosts and haunted houses, others are convinced of their existence. At the heart of this story lies a haunted house with such a bad reputation that its owner has to lure his new tenants—a father and his 14-year-old daughter—with six months of free rent. While the father ignores the noises and strange occurrences in the house, his daughter cannot—she is not only aware of the ghost in the house, she also knows that it wants her help.

The English and Spanish text flows smoothly and invitingly, and Hayes’s short chapters make this perfect for classroom read-alouds, as well as for independent reading. Sure to be popular with young chapter book readers who enjoy a chill running down the spine, Ghost Fever is also recommended for reluctant older readers. Librarians and booksellers would do well to display and hand-sell this title.

Cinco Puntos Press Books are distributed to the trade 

Friday, August 8, 2014

PIG PARK, a new Young Adult Novel by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez



If you don’t know Mexican-America very well, you might not know what that is on the cover of Claudia Guadalupe’s new YA novel Pig Park. That’s a “marronito,” a little brown cookie that looks like a pig. You can buy some marronitos at any Mexican bakery. Take, for instance, the Burciaga Bakery. It’s across the street from Pig Park in the fictional Chicago barrio of the same name. The bakery, says Masi Burciaga—the novel’s street smart narrator—“like most of Pig Park, sprouted in the boom and shadow of the American Lard Company. The company had even donated land right in the middle of everything for the park our neighborhood was named after. That’s why our neighborhood got named Pig Park, because pig fat made lard and lard had more or less made our neighborhood.”

Sound crazy?

Well, it’s all crazy! Fifteen-year-old Masi Burciaga's Pig Park neighborhood is becoming more and more of a ghost town since the American Lard Compay moved away. Her school closed down. Her family's bakery and the other surviving businesses may soon follow. As a last resort, the neighborhood grown-ups enlist all the remaining able-bodied boys and girls to haul bricks to help build a giant pyramid in the park in hopes of luring visitors.

A pyramid? How weird is that?

But something's not right about the entrepreneur behind this whole scheme. What kind of entrepreneur wants to fund a  pyramid of bricks in the middle of Pig Park. Then there's the new boy who came to help, the one with the softest of lips. Oh, Masi became confused—“I couldn’t help myself. My thoughts shifted to the boy from the park. I don’t know why I had looked at his mouth, but when I did the world around us stopped. He had masa lips, textured with fingerprints, soft as if molded, soft like warm rolls, probably soft to kiss…”

CLOTH ISBN 9781935955‑76-4, $15.95
PAPER ISBN 978193595577‑1, $9.95
EBOOK ISBN 978-1935955962, $9.95


Publishes September 2014

Are you interested in reviewing Pig ParkRequest a digital review copy on Edelweiss. You will need to create an account with Edelweiss, but the service is free."  Just follow the directions and soon you and Masi will be waiting to tell you her story about Pig Park! Come September you can buy a book at the Cinco Puntos website or from any of your favorite retailers and etailers.




Claudia Guadalupe Martinez

“My father taught me that letters form words, by making me read the subtitles of old westerns out loud. By the time I was six, I knew how to write too, and I was going to write a book…I was 11 when he passed. The loss was so great that I didn’t think I could share it with anyone. But I never forgot the smells, the sounds and the vast darkness.”—from an interview for the BEA/ALA Special Edition of Kirkus Reviews.

Pig Park is Claudia Guadalupe Martinez’ second young adult novel. Her first book, The Smell of Old Lady Perfume (Cinco Puntos, 2007) won the Best Young Adult Book from the Texas Institute of Letters, a Southwest Books Award and many other awards. Claudia grew up in El Paso’s Segundo Barrio between the Rio Grande and Interstate-10 that cuts through downtown. She graduated from Claremont McKenna and moved to Chicago where she administers an education-related NPO and continues to pursue her career as a writer. She is married and has a daughter and another baby on the way!


Awards for The Smell of Old Lady Perfume

Texas Institute of Letters’ Best Young Adult Book Award
Southwest Books of the Year Award, 2009, Pima County Public Library
Américas Award Commended Title, 2009
Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, 2009
Latinidad’s Best Middle Grade Book of 2008
Hispanic Magazine Summer MUST READ 2008
BEST OF THE BEST, 2008, Chicago Public Library
ALAN’s Picks, July 2008
YA Top Forty, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA)
Recommended further reading in the Spring 2009 One Book, One Chicago program


Praise for The Smell of Old Lady Perfume

REFORMA Newsletter
Tweens will easily relate to Chela’s struggles and triumphs, particularly immigrant tweens. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Booklist
“…readers will also find the book’s loving portrayal of Chela’s family, its nicely realized setting, and its artful exploration of the problems of assimilation to be both engaging and heartfelt.”

School Library Journal
“This is a sweet coming-of-age story, telling of the cruelties of children toward one another and dealing with the loss of a parent. The story should appeal to readers dealing with their own tween years.”

Southwest Books of the Year, 2008
Setting her story in El Paso, Claudia Guadalupe Martinez gives us the gift of a real world, filled with authentic kids and family dynamics…Martinez’s prose, always animated and descriptive, is frequently quite beautiful. She is an author to watch.
—Cathy Jacobus,

Children's Literature
This sensitively-written novel provides unique insights into a bicultural family.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.,

ALAN's Picks
While Spanish words are interspersed with English, there are not so many that the book is difficult to read for a non-Spanish speaking person but just enough to actualize the Hispanic culture in Chela's home life and the circumstances of a bilingual student in an English-speaking school environment.

San Antonio Express News
The original title gives a glimpse of the poetic lines peppered throughout this poignant debut.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES by Isabel Quintero



GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES
By Isabel Quintero

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"Readers won't soon forget Gabi, a young woman coming into her own in the face of intense pressure from her family, culture and society to fit someone else's idea of what it means to be a ‘good’ girl. A fresh, authentic and honest exploration of contemporary Latina identity."

STARRED REVIEW, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
Believing she's not Mexican enough for her family and not white enough for Berkeley, Gabi still meets every challenge head-on with vulgar humor and raw honesty… A refreshing take on slut- and fat-shaming, Quintero's work ranks with Meg Medina's Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (Candlewick, 2013) and Junot Diaz's Drown (Riverhead, 1996) as a coming-of-age novel with Latino protagonists. —SLJ (August 1, 2014)

“I will be the first to admit that Gabi is a lot like me. She is, however, braver than I ever was.”--Isabel Quintero

"Meet Quintero’s 'fat girl' Gabi, eating and starving and fighting and writing her way through the crushing pressures of high school boy desire, religious approval and Mexican cultural taboos. I cannot think of any book today for young adults as voracious, bold, truthful and timely."
 Juan Felipe Herrera
Poet Laureate of California


CLOTH ISBN 9781935955948, $17.95
PAPER ISBN 9781935955955, $11.95
EBOOK ISBN 978-1935955962, $11.95
Publishes September 2014

Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: her best friend Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. Yes, yes, Gabi's a girl in pieces. She wishes for a lot of things. Gabi wishes she wasn’t fat. She wishes her father wasn’t addicted to meth. She wishes she could solve her best friends’ problems. And, of course, she wishes for love. But in the middle of her whirling twirling world, the thing she unexpectedly finds is…POETRY! And best of all, her poetry is what helps her discover her true self.


Just listen to how Gabi begins her journal—

My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn't want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it's important to wait until you're married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, "Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas." Eyes open, legs closed. That's as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don't mind it. I don't necessarily agree with that whole wait until you're married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can't tell my mom that because she will think I'm bad. Or worse: trying to be White.


REVIEW FROM RENOWNED INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ:

Isabel Quintero has captured the life of a proud young woman navigating her senior year with the awkwardness one would expect from a teen girl, but also with the wisdom and strength of someone far beyond her years. In the much-needed light of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, this book shines brightly for its scope of human experience. Gabi and her friends stand at multiple intersections of identity, including race, class, sexual orientation, and size. Gabi's depth of conviction encourages young girls everywhere to stand up for what is fair, what is just, and what we deserve. I would be incredibly excited (but not surprised) if this won the Pura Belpre Award.



ISABEL QUINTERO was born and raised in Southern California. Her love of reading and writing comes from her mother reading to her before she went to bed and from the teachers and professors who encouraged her to keep writing. Her love of chorizo and carne asada tacos comes from her dad grilling on Sundays during the summer. She is an elementary school library technician and loves sharing her passion for the written word with students. She also teaches community college part time and works as a freelance writer for the Arts Connection of San Bernardino. Quintero works as events coordinator for Orange Monkey Publishing and assistant editor for Tin Cannon, a literary journal. She still lives in SoCal and enjoys going on adventures with her husband, Fernando.


Are you interested in reviewing Gabi? Request a digital review copy on Edelweiss. You will need to create an account with Edelweiss, but the service is free."  Just follow the directions and soon you and Gabi will be friends! Come September you can buy a book at the Cinco Puntos website or from any of your favorite retailers and etailers.



A NOTE FROM JOHNNY BYRD, SENIOR EDITOR @ CINCO PUNTOS PRESS

There has been a national discussion—in the wake of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s (CCBC) annual report on diversity in children’s literature—about the lack of diversity in books for kids and young adults. This discussion, we feel strongly, has as it basis the thought that the large New York publishers aren’t producing enough multicultural books, while simultaneously ignoring the fact that many independent presses in the U.S., like Cinco Puntos, have been publishing books by writers of color for many years.

Gabi: A Girl in Pieces is a great example of the kind of books for young adults that we have been publishing—and the kinds of books that the CCBC is saying are much in need. When we first got Isabel’s manuscript about a year ago, we recognized a writer who could capture all the vibrant angst of a smart in-your-face Chicana caught in the entangling web of cultura and family. It’s often said that the best and worst thing about Latino culture is family and Gabi tells us that very thing. She navigates school, her family, her friends with plenty of ATTITUDE—a father on meth; a mother who’s convinced all girls are bad, or looking to be bad, or worse, looking to be white; a brother who can do exactly what he wants; and a hypocrite of a tía who wants moral law to reign while she sneaks out with a married man.
           
The fact remains that independent presses publish almost half of the multicultural literature for children produced in the U.S. each year. At Cinco Puntos we do this because we love great writing and unique stories. And we also do it because we recognize a market inefficiency. The demographics of the United States are changing, and the big houses in New York continue to publish to a demographic reality that only existed fifty years ago, if ever. That’s fine. We’re perfectly happy that the big houses leave this wonderful opportunity available for us to publish to this new audience.

We strongly encourage you to join us in creating a more vibrant multicultural literature by paying extra attention to the output of indie presses like Cinco Puntos Press. Thank you .

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

COLD TYPE by HARVEY ARATON

http://www.cincopuntos.com/products_detail.sstg?id=228


"Father and son face their demons, each other, and a depressingly realistic publisher in a newspaper yarn that made me yell 'Hold the Front Page' for Harvey Araton's rousing debut as a novelist.”  
—Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental Sportswriter



NPR commentator Frank Deford on Cold Type: “Harvey Araton writes, with keen insight, of a time when power was ebbing fast from both newspapers and their unions. It's an especially bittersweet tale he tells of the people who had grown up in newspapers and unions, as they struggle to adapt to this evolving new order. And, of course, what makes this even more evocative, is that we're still trying to sort this all out.”


Harvey Araton is no coward. Nationally recognized for his New York Times sports journalism and columns, plus his non-fiction best sellers (Driving Mr. Yogi and When the Garden was Eden), he decided to jump headfirst into his first novel.

Bingo!

Cold Type is a wonderful story of family and finding one’s identity in the midst of economic distress. The newspaper labor strike that drives the book’s conflict feels remarkably fresh, even two decades later. Why? The newspaper industry is again in turmoil and technological change still threatens jobs. Men who created their wealth in other industries see that disruption as an opportunity and are buying up failing newspapers. Jeff Bezos, whose Seattle startup lurks in the background of the chaos of Jamie’s life, just completed his purchase of the Washington Post not too long ago. Change is surely on the horizon, and change is not easy.

As in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, son and his father struggle to hold onto what they think is right. It's mid-1990s; and "cold type" technology, a.k.a. computerized typesetting, wreaks havoc among workers in the newspaper industry. A wealthy Briton buys the New York City Trib (Rupert Murdoch, anyone?) and immediately refuses to negotiate with the truck drivers' union. In solidarity, all the other blue collar unions take to the streets. Jamie Kramer is a reporter for the Trib. His father is a hardcore shop steward (unusual for a Jew in Irish-dominated unions) from the old day of "hot type," but who has become a typographer in a world he doesn't understand. His father expects Jamie not to cross the picket line. It would be an act of supreme disrespect. But that's not so easy for Jamie. His marriage has fallen apart, he desperately needs his paycheck for child support, and he needs to make his own life outside the shadow of his father.

EARLY PRAISE FOR COLD TYPE!

"Father and son face their demons, each other, and a depressingly realistic publisher in a newspaper yarn that made me yell 'Hold the Front Page’ for Harvey Araton's rousing debut as a novelist."  --Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental Sportswriter

"I’ve been waiting almost 25 years for something good to come of the Daily News strike. Now it has. But this wonderful novel captures more than a time and a place. Harvey Araton deftly turns the picket line into a metaphor for other divides, for those that separate journalism and commerce, heroes and goats, and most of all, fathers and sons. Cold Type is a love song to the real New York."  --Mark Kriegel, author of Namath

"A gripping narrative and an insightful take on family, work, what loyalty means—and what it costs. Harvey Araton is a skilled writer who knows his way around the milieus he travels in this novel, whether it’s a newsroom, a labor hall or a living room. But what really makes this worth reading is the heart you can feel beating underneath it all.”  --Brad Parks, author of The Player

"Fans of Harvey Araton’s lively, engaging prose will love this vivid and heartfelt exploration of what it means to be a journalist, a son, a father, and a man."  --Pamela Redmond Satran, author of Younger

"Araton knows newspapers and knows New York, and in his seventh book (and first novel), he explores clashes more personal, more searing, more universal than any of the sports stories he's told before. Cold Type is a tale about collisions: between generations, between classes, between different crafts in a rapidly changing economy, between the past and the future, between father and son…one of the freshest surprise endings.”  --Kirkus Reviews


"For his fiction debut, he’s mined what he [Araton] knows best—newspapers….If you like the movie The Paper, you’ll want to read this." --Billy Heller, The New York Post, "This Week’s Must-Read Books"



Photograph by Robert A. Cumins
HARVEY ARATON is a celebrated sports reporter and columnist for the New York Times. He is the author of the New York Times best seller DRVING MR. YOGI: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball’s Greatest Gift and WHEN THE GARDEN WAS EDEN: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks, which has been adapted for an ESPN “30 for 30” film to be broadcast this Fall. Araton is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey where he lives. Cold Type is his first novel.

Visit the Harvey Araton website here
And follow him on Twitter here.

COLD TYPE is available in cloth, paper and as an e-book. Cinco Puntos Press is distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution. You may buy a copy from Cinco Puntos Press, a Proud Indie!, here, or from your favorite retailer or e-tailer. 

ENJOY!

Monday, July 21, 2014

SLUMP, The 2nd Novel in the D-Bow High School Hoops Series, BY KEVIN WALTMAN


Listen up. This is D-Bow talking hoops, the game he loves. And this is how Kevin Waltman writes about hoops, the game he loves. This is why D-Bow found a home in Waltman's Young Adult fiction!
"So then there I am, out between the circles, soloed up with Major Newsome. I clap my hands in front of me. Bring it. Newsome gives a sly little grin, loving the moment. I get it. He’s just like every other baller in this city. We grow up dreaming of it—a clock ticking down, a crowd on its feet, holding its breath to see what you got. It’s why we burn through our summer, practicing with a purpose when other kids are killing time. It’s why we lift weights until our arms are jelly, run sprints until our calves catch fire. It’s why when we get our teeth kicked in by a better team, we just bear down and keep working. This."
But life is not always inside a gym with the crowd screaming. Especially for a 16-year-old sophomore in an Indianapolis inner-city school. “All a man can do is his dirty best.” That's D-Bow’s father talking. He wants his son to hear the lesson of generations of black men struggling to do good by their families and by what they know is right.

This is what we promise you. Nobody does high school basketball like Kevin Waltman. Nobody. The son of the late Indiana coaching legend, Royce Waltman, he knows his hoops, he knows the flow and erratic rhythms of a game, and he knows the baller-lingo of the kids who love the game. He wraps Derrick’s (aka “D,” aka “D-Bow) sophomore season with a good story. Waltman knows, like we all know, there is no story without trouble.

The last we read about D-Bow (Next, Cinco Puntos, 2013), his freshman year ended with a two-point loss to suburban and wealthy Hamilton High, he decided not to switch to Hamilton but to stay with his home boys. Life was going to be good. The beautiful Jasmine was his girlfriend, D-Bow is the starting point guard and, Moose, his main man on the court had chiseled down 15 pounds for his senior year. D-Bow figured Marion East might even make a run at the State Championship. But things change, things fall apart. Jasmine and Derrick, as she calls him, break up; Wes, his longtime best friend, hardly talks to him anymore because of his own girl problems; D-Bow’s father, long stressed out with overwork and worry, almost dies in a stroke-induced car accident; and the Marion East squad, after the team’s best 3-point shooter goes down, is not what D-Bow expected. Besides, Coach Bolton is still the same hard-ass. D-Bow and his boys want to run run run! But Bolton sees that's not the team he has. He preaches, "Patience, patience, patience." Reynolds, the new kid, says "Coach, that's 'white ball.'" They don't want to play "white ball." That’s not the half of it. D-Bow, like any 16 year old, is feeling his hormones. That’s when Daniella comes calling.

KEVIN WALTMAN, the son of Indiana basketball coaching legend Royce Waltman, grew up playing the game and immersed in its stories and language. No wonder his prose catches the rhythms and muscle of the game. Slump is the second—D-Bow’s sophomore year—in Waltman’s “Hoops at Marion East” series. His junior and senior years will follow in 2015 and 2016. Waltman teaches writing at the University of Alabama. He and his wife Jessica have a baby daughter Calla. 

ISBN 978-1-941026-01-4 paper / $11.95
ISBN 978-1-941026-02-1 e-book / $11.95
Distributed by Consortium Book Sales / Publishes October 2014

Slump is the second book in this four-book series, D-Bow’s High School Hoops. Expect the third book in October 2015. Here's praise for NEXT (Cinco Puntos, 2013): #1 in the D-Bows High School Hoops Series

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY—Waltman’s novel is packed with basketball jargon and action, but also impressively multifaceted, as it examines neighborhood rivalries, the tremendous pressures that come with making one's first adult decisions, and the values of both teamwork and individuality.
KIRKUS REVIEWS—Waltman’s series opener (first of a planned four) features plenty of basketball action fueled by hoops slang that will set basketball-mad readers right onto the court… The author avoids slam-dunk answers, leaving readers poised for the next book. Like Derrick, this series is off to a promising high school career.A Junior Library Guild selection.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CINCO PUNTOS AUTHORS @ BOOK EXPO OF AMERICA, 2014



IT'S BOOK EXPO TIME! Cinco Puntos is homesteading booth 1150 in the Consortium Aisle, and like always, we are elbows to elbows with our buddies at Akashic Books. The Consortium Aisle is where all the hip and cool people hang their hats and coats and get down. Johnny Byrd and Bobby Byrd are your hosts. We have our greatest BEA line up of all time for book signings! And they all will be signing books galore! We’ll be there from Thursday morning until 2pm on Saturday. Come by and visit.

BOOK SIGNINGS, THURSDAY, MAY 29TH
JAVITS CENTER, NEW YORK CITY

Hot dog! Young Adult prize-winning novelist, SHIRLEY VERNICK starts the ball rolling with her newest THE BLACK BUTTERFLY: part ghost story, part love story, total fun read. Just today THE STYLING LIBRARIAN is raving about the book and she does a lengthy interview with Shirley. Besides, she sums it all up: “If only Ghost Girl didn’t want Penny dead. If only George were the tiniest bit open to believing. If only she could tell her mother. Then maybe this could still be a vacation. But it’s not. It’s a race for her life, her first love, and her sanity.”
WHEN: NOON TO 12:30PM
WHERE: BEA SIGNING AREA, MAGICAL TABLE 9




New York Time sports writer Harvey Araton (When the Garden was Eden and Driving Mr. Yogi) will be signing his first novel, COLD TYPE. NPR commentator FRANK DEFORD says of COLD TYPE: “Harvey Araton writes, with keen insight, of a time when power was ebbing fast from both newspapers and their unions. It's an especially bittersweet tale he tells of the people who had grown up in newspapers and unions, as they struggle to adapt to this evolving new order. And, of course, what makes this even more evocative, is that we're still trying to sort this all out.”
WHEN: 3:30 TO 4PM
WHERE: BEA SIGNING AREA, PERFECT TABLE 3



BOOK SIGNINGS, FRIDAY, MAY 28TH
JAVITS CENTER, NEW YORK CITY

Well-known Freudian psychoanalyst DIANE LAWSON has written her first novel, A TIGHTLY RAVELED MIND, a murder mystery cum literary thriller. Ha! And ABRAHAM VERGHESE, author of best-seller Cutting for Stone, celebrates it with these words: "Diane Lawson's amazing insight into the mysteries and witchcraft of psychoanalysis . . . combined with her extraordinary writing skills makes this a one-of-a-kind novel that I found impossible to put down."
WHEN: 11:30AM TO NOON
WHERE: BEA SIGNING AREA, LUCKY TABLE 7

Debut novelist DÉSIRÉE ZAMORANO has none other than DAGOBERTO GILB blurbing her book THE AMADO WOMEN: "Far from the cholos and maids of a cliché Latino Los Angeles, these beautiful Amado women dine at chichi hotels and restaurants, carry plush designer bags, and steer new cars into suburbias. But Zamorano doesn’t leave it at that--because even an American dream-fulfilled life is still full of real life, and what alone endures is family."
WHEN: 2:30PM TO 3:00PM
WHERE: BEA SIGNING AREA, MAGICAL TABLE 9



JOSHUA ISARD, author of CONQUISTADOR OF THE USELESS will be hanging out at our booth #1105 on Friday afternoon before the Great Pachanga Block Party (#beaspeakfreasy2014). Conquistador is a hoot. Our hero Nathan Wavelsky moves into the burbs with his wife. Life is good. He’s a successful slacker. He doesn’t want to rock the boat. His definition of a good time is listening to his favorite bands on his iPod and staring at the grass and the poplar trees in his backyard. The Philadelphia Review of Books says, "Isard’s debut novel is one of the best I’ve read in a while, a heartbreaking book, and a funny and emotionally trying read that’s worth every minute of your time."
WHEN: 3:30PM TO THE FINAL EXIT
WHERE: Cinco Puntos Booth,1150

AND THEN THE GREAT PACHANGA BLOCK PARTY. At 4pm Friday afternoon, as if by magic, all the CBSD publishers pull out their suitcases that are miraculously full with ice beer and bottles of wine. Wow! How does that happen? Well, nobody has taken responsibility but it happens. Come visit us and enjoy.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CECILIA GONZALES ABRAHAM (1920-2013): SHE WAS ALWAYS A WONDERFUL SURPRISE

Cecilia Gonzales Abraham, 1945


Independent Publishing is always miraculous. Like that time somewhere in 2004 when the door opened at Cinco Puntos Press and, Surprise!, the Abraham sisters, Susan and Denise, brought their mother Cecilia Gonzales Abraham to visit us. We had just signed a contract with the sisters to publish a YA book starring their mother Cecilia. And here she was, walking through the front door, a spry 83 year old woman ready to talk and laugh and maybe even dance if somebody would ask. We knew immediately where her daughters received their delight in their lives, their wit, their joy and their love for their mother. It was a great experience. We spent time with Cecilia on other occasions, but that first time was very special.

The two award-winning historical novels that Susan and Denise wrote about their mother--Surprising Cecilia and Cecilia's Year--were very special too. Cecilia was born in Derry, New Mexico in 1920. Derry is that little farming community you can see, going north on I-10, just before you cross the Rio Grande below Truth or Consequences. Derry was a wonderful place to grow up, but Cecilia wanted to see the world, so she had to buck the expectations that her family and the community placed on her. She had ambition and the wonderful surprising spirit that allowed her to follow her dreams. The stories form a wonderful portrait of a young girl becoming a woman. The story of Cecilia--from beginning to end--is a true American story. A true American woman's story!




Here's the author's note that Susan and Denise wrote for back of Cecilia's Year.

Cecilia Gonzales is a real person who really did grow up on a farm in Derry, New Mexico. Cecilia’s dream was to get an education and to make a better life for herself and her family. Through determination and hard work, she was able to see this dream come true.
Cecilia graduated as salutatorian from Hatch Union High School in Hatch, New Mexico in 1938. Against her mother’s strong protestations, she left the family farm for El Paso, Texas, where she attended the International Business College. She paid her tuition and supported herself through secretarial work, including working for the well-known architects, Trost and Trost. During World War II, Cecilia worked for the Office of Alien Registration under the Department of Justice and for the Post Quartermaster at Fort Bliss, Texas. Because she was bilingual, she was hired by the U. S. Office of Censorship, where she monitored telephone calls between El Paso and Latin America during the war.
In 1944, Cecilia left El Paso for New York City to marry her husband, Anees Abraham, a native El Pasoan. He had joined the army and was stationed in Pennsylvania. They were married for 49 years. While in New York, she worked for the American Red Cross, where she met Mayor La Guardia and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
In 1964, Cecilia became one of the first employees of the Chamizal Project under the U. S. Boundary and Water Commission. She served as a hostess during the transfer of the Chamizal to Mexico where she met President Lyndon B. Johnson of the United States and President Díaz Ordaz of Mexico. In 1967, she was the first employee of the Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas. She met First Ladies Rosalynn Carter of the U. S. and Sra. Carmen Romano López Portillo of Mexico during their visit in 1977. Cecilia was assigned to take inventory of the LBJ Ranch home in Johnson City, Texas, before it was donated to the National Park Service by Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. Mrs. Johnson graciously met with Cecilia and the other Park Service employees, serving them coffee and cookies.
Besides meeting two Presidents and four First Ladies and retiring after over 20 years of government service, Cecilia has traveled all over the world to places such as South America, Europe, Greece, Turkey, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico—not bad for a young farm girl who used to sit daydreaming under a cottonwood tree.



 May Cecilia rest in peace. 

Cecilia Gonzales Abraham, 1995


Monday, July 15, 2013

George Ella Lyon's Ann Izard Storyteller's Choice Award Acceptance Speech

On May 10, 2013, George Ella Lyon's book, Which Side Are You On? The Story of a Song, received the prestigious Anne Izard Storyteller's Choice Award. All of us--George Ella, illustrator Christopher Cardinale, and the CPP folks--were overjoyed. George Ella had hoped to attend, but couldn't for a number of reasons. So she wrote this beautiful speech to be read at the event. Where Which Side Are You On? is the story of a song, her speech is the story of a book. The story of how an idea becomes a story. Many thanks to George Ella for sharing this with us. 



To all who have worked on the Anne Izard Award:

I wish so much that I could be in White Plains to thank you in person for the honor you are giving “Which Side Are You On?” The Story of a Song. I once rented a car at your airport and drove across the state to Bath in search of a nineteenth-century schoolteacher. But that was for a different book. It was even in a different century! A person will do a lot once a story gets hold of her. But you know about that.

My obsession with this story began on a Saturday in another June nine years ago.  I was doing a reading and music event at the downtown library in Lexington, Ky., with The Reel World String Band.  One of the songs was Florence Reece’s iconic anthem to workers’ rights, “Which Side Are You On?” I’d known the song for a long time—one of my early ambitions was to be a folksinger—and I knew it was written in Harlan County, where I come from. I knew it grew out of the struggle of coal miners to form a union and bargain for safer working conditions, better housing, and better pay.

What I didn’t know until Bev Futrell, the Reel World’s mandolin player, shared it in her introduction, was that Florence Reece had written the song with her kids hiding under the bed while hired killers were shooting at her house. They were out to terrorize the Reeces because Sam Reece was a union organizer.  He wasn’t even home that night, but as Omie, the book’s child narrator tells us, “If a bullet hits you, it don’t matter whose name is on it.”

I was mightily taken with this story.  And it just so happened that I was driving to Harlan that afternoon to visit my mother. I was driving by the turn for Molus, where the Reece’s mining camp had been. I was headed for my homeplace where the story happened.

I told it to my son on the drive down, to my mother after we got there, and that night I condensed it into a paragraph in my journal.  It wouldn’t stay there, though. I couldn’t stop wondering about it.

Sometime in the next week, I started writing. I don’t know if I thought it might be a book or if I was writing it in my effort to understand Florence and to quit worrying about those children. Writing happens that way sometimes.

Eventually I did a lot of reading and interviewed folks who knew Florence and Sam Reece, including their granddaughter, but everything I learned had to be tested in Omie’s voice. If the storyteller wouldn’t say it, I’d have to leave it out.

I write by ear. It’s partly because I grew up listening to parents and grandparents, neighbors and friends telling stories. They couldn’t give directions without going into local history. They didn’t want to. And it’s partly because, since I had double vision till I was thirteen and couldn’t always read directions on the board, I listened hard.  This tuned my ear to the music in how people talk.

The music in “Which Side Are You On?” is being written while people talk. The Reece kids keep asking questions, trying to understand the crazy world they’re in, and their crazy mama who is writing in the midst of it.

Now that I have some distance on the story, I understand why it had such a hold on me. It wasn’t just the connection with the place and history I come from. It wasn’t just that Bev had known Florence and heard the story from her, so it was almost close enough to touch. It wasn’t that a miner’s wife in eastern Kentucky had written a song that’s still going around the world.  It was that Florence Reece, unable to protect her children from bullets, nevertheless stood up for them with the one tool she had: writing. In making new words for an old tune, she bore witness to the exploitation of miners and their families. She might die, but she would not die silent. She would give herself and those kids a voice.

Reece would recognize the situation in our nation today where we see the 1% protecting their ferocious wealth while the 99% struggle to get by. She would want to stand with the Occupy movement, the Wisconsin teachers, and all who suffer in a society where profit matters more than people. But Florence doesn’t have to be at those protests in person. They are singing her song.

Thank you for honoring her story and for helping it find new readers.

For all our voices,
George Ella Lyon



And don't forget to listen to Ma Reece herself sing her song, written while the hired thugs were riddling her house with bullets.
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