Friday, August 7, 2015


by Phillippe Diederich

A Cuban-American travels to Havana searching for a secret recipe but instead finds love and the truth about his father. Turns out that Cuba binds Frank together the way a good sofrito binds the flavors of a Cuban dish. A mystery novel for foodies.

“Sofrito has the sweaty seduction of Havana’s streets and the warm spirit of its food.” —Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt: A World History and Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

“In this entertaining debut novel, Frank Delgado tries to save his failing restaurant by returning to Cuba, his dead father’s homeland, to get ahold of a top-secret chicken recipe. But there is more than delicious chicken at stake here. Food is the road home—geographically, emotionally, metaphorically. Peppered with cooking advice from chefs, ordinary folks, and celebrities including Fidel Castro himself (an advocate of pork), Phillipe Diederich’s Sofrito is a love letter to the deepest recesses of nostalgia’s heart.” —Cristina García, author of the King of Cuba and Dreaming in Cuban.

“A moveable feast full of folkloric flavors, comical rhythms and magic.  One man's quest for the perfect spice leads him towards love for a woman and for his lost Cuba. In heaven, I know Oscar Hijuelos is smiling.” —Ernesto Quiñones, author of Bodega Dreams and Chango’s Fire.

Frank Delgado is no thief. He co-owns a failing Cuban restaurant in Manhattan's Upper East Side. The restaurant, like Frank, is rudderless. Lost. He decides he'll save the restaurant by traveling to Cuba to steal the legendary chicken recipe from the famed El Ajillo restaurant in Havana. The recipe is a state secret, so prized that no cook knows the whole recipe. But Frank's rationale is ironclad—Fidel stole the secret from his family, so he will steal it back. He will triumphantly bring that recipe back to Manhattan and turn his fortunes around. Frank has no interest in Cuba. His parents fled after the Revolution. His dead father spent his life erasing all traces of Cuba from his heart with barbeques, television, lawn mowing and alcohol. So Frank is not prepared for the real Cuba. Sure, he gets beat up and almost killed, the secret service threatens him, but in the midst of the chaos, he falls in love with a prostitute and the city, and he unwraps the heroic story of his parents' life. Cuba begins to bind Frank together, the way a good sofrito binds the flavors of a Cuban dish.

Asked why he wrote Sofrito, PHILLIPPE DIEDRICH replied:

“This book is culmination of dozens of trips to Cuba in the 1990s. I had been trying to write a novel, but did not have a story and kept having a lot of false starts. One day, things just clicked. The book came together. Since I had spent a lot of time in the streets of Havana, I had an idea that I would make that the setting. But when I was finished, I noticed there was a lot about the complicated feelings people have when they’re exiles. People from my generation—men and women, Latinos, who grew up in the country of exile of their parents—don’t have as much interest in the ‘old country.’ I was surprised to see all this come out in the manuscript.”

Born in the Dominican Republic, PHILLIPPE DIEDERICH was raised in Mexico City and Miami. His parents were kicked out of Haiti by the dictatorship of Papa Doc Duvalier in 1963. He spent his youth listening to his parents and friends talking politics and nostalgically dreaming of the day they would return to Haiti. In 1980, the family moved to Miami, where they joined a community of exiles from all parts of Latin America. Diederich traveled repeatedly to Cuba as a photojournalist throughout the 1990s. He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of South Florida and lives in Florida. This is his first novel.

978-1-941026-14-4, paper, $16.95
978-1-941026-15-1, ebook, $16.95
Distributed by Consortium Book Sales / Publishes August 25, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015



by Xavier Garza

BEDTIME! Time to wrestle, time to count!

“Stop jumping on the bed!” Nikko’s mother yells. But it’s not Nikko who’s jumping on the bed, as he tries to tell his mother! It’s the luchadores who are causing the ruckus. He invites her to come and see as he counts out their increasing numbers. She’s only interested in him going to bed. But he can’t sleep until he wins the victory and is declared, without question, the Great and Mighty Nikko!

Cinco Puntos Press asked Xavier—“The Great and Mighty Nikko is a very different counting book. What inspired you to write a Lucha Libre counting book?”

“one evening I walked in on my son jumping on his bed as he played with his action figures. His bed was completely covered with his figurines of masked heroes and villains. Suddenly, I was remembering my own childhood growing up in Rio Grande City of the Texas-Mexico Border. Like my son, I loved jumping on the bed and playing make believe fights with my own action figures. Of course, the fate of the world depended on how each and every battle would turn out. Would the villains win? Or would it be me, the Great Xavier, who would save the world at the very last second?! Seeing my son triggered that memory, and that—coupled with my love of the masked heroes and villains of lucha libre—was the inspiration that led to The Great and Mighty Nikko.”

XAVIER GARZA is a South Texas legend, but now his legend grows throughout the whole country, especially after receiving much critical claim and an ALA Pura Belpre Honor Book designation for his chapter book, Maximillian and the Secret of the Guardian Angel. Young boys, of course, love his lucha libre illustrated and chapters books for kids. A working public school teacher, Xavier continues being prolific author, artist and storyteller in schools and public events. His work is a lively documentation of the dreams, superstitions, and heroes in the bigger-than-life world of South Texas, and he especially enjoys sharing his stories with kids around the country. He lives with his wife and son in San Antonio, Texas.

978-1-935955-84-9, ebook, $7.95




2011 Pura Belpré Honor Award

“With its quick pace, humor, and endearing characters, this sure to turn more kids into lucha libre fans.” — Booklist

“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.”  — The Pura Belpré Committee

“Garza has done it again...a unique middle grade novel that pays homage to the Mexican tradition of masked wrestlers...Garza and Cinco Puntos Press have really outdone themselves ,,,” 

All Brown All Around

“Short chapters and the bilingual format (English text is on the left with Spanish translation on facing pages) make this book a quick read, great for reluctant readers. Readers who enjoyed the first title will be pleased to continue reading about Max and his family.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This bilingual sequel to Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel (Cinco Puntos, 2011) avoids formulaic trappings and can be readily enjoyed as a stand-alone novel while artfully setting up the next installment...Garza employs plenty of humor and a first-person voice that rings true to Maximilian’s character. The story includes enough action to satisfy most fans while broadening its focus to reflect the increasing complexities in the boy’s outstanding choice.”
 — School Library Journal
Paper and cloth available!

“The fluid colloquial English and Spanish and grainy graphic-novel style illustrations executed in acrylics make for an attractive package with definite appeal for boys. This title is sure to become popular.”

“Recommended! Children familiar with the sport will welcome the vibrant visual paean, while fans of wrestling, comic-book superheroes, and all things pugilistic will wonder where lucha libre has been all their lives.” 
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Paper and cloth available!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

#WeGotDiverseBooks / Bilingües 2015

Cinco Puntos Press is famous for our bilingual Spanish and English picture books for children. We publish authentic and culturally relevant stories.

The authors and illustrators we publish have walked the walk—
they come from the culture and speak the language. 

Available Now
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Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford grew up in Nogales, AZ, along the U.S. Mexico Border. She knows the culture, steeped in family values and tradition; and she knows the old ways of healing. She tells us the story about Aaron, a curious young boy. Aaron wants his grandfather—su Tata—to teach him how to heal people using natural remedies: “My tata has been helping people feel better for as long as I can remember. He helps my family and me when we get hurt or feel sick. He helps the neighbors too. All anyone has to do is ask. When Tata’s done, he claps his hands and says, ‘Sana, sana, colita de rana, si no sanas hoy, sanarás mañana.’ This is Tata’s way of saying, ‘I’ll kiss it and rub it and make it go away. Now that you’re better, you can go out and play!’
“Roni, your book is full of treasures!” 
—Yuyi Morales, Pura Belpre Winner
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Available May 2015

Jose Lozano

Little Lily Lujan loves her flip-flops (aka her chanclas) as she slippity-slaps her way through life. She may be tiny, but you can hear her coming from a mile off. One day at a family fiesta, she was dancing to a thumping norteño tune with her tía Ophelia and her chanclas fall apart. And worse, a dog chewed them up. Poor Lily was inconsolable. How can she possibly face life without her chanclas?

José Lozano is a rising star in the thriving Los Angeles Latino art scene. He grew up back and forth in Juárez and El Paso where he latched onto his street-wise wisdom and humor among the cultural touchstones that continue to influence his work today — bad Mexican cinema, fotonovelas, ghost stories, and comic books.

Available July 2015
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Jose Lozano

It's bedtime! Lucky Nikko! It’s time to count luchadores. They bounce up and down like crazy. His mom, of course, doesn't believe Nikko. She accuses him of jumping on his bed. But that's just not true at all. She just can't see what Nikko sees. And to prove his point—zoosh! Here comes luchador numero UNO with a golden mask and a silver cape. Oh, wow. Number TWO wears an orange mask with yellow flames. Another looks like a jaguar and he growls! A rooster! A bull with horns! And a dragon that breathes fire! And so it goes until TEN luchadores are jumping on Nikko's bed. That's when the Great and Mighty Nikko puts on his mask, taking on all ten wrestlers at once and defeating them soundly. Ahh, a fresh victory under his belt, now it's time for Mighty Nikko to catch some zzzzzs!
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Friday, January 30, 2015


Here's our last bunch of blog posts for the Debut Novelists who are finalists for the 2015 Morris Awards. Cinco Puntos, of course, is biased, but we wish all writers and publishers the best in the future. Independent publishing is a magical journey, and we're delighted that all finalist novels are published by Independent Publishers. 

We also want to thank all the bloggers who participated in the blog tour for no compensation other than a few free books and hours of enjoyable reading. YA Fiction Bloggers are a great group of folks. They are fans, they are writers, and they want readers--especially young readers--to get excited about good novels. Here in El Paso we give abrazos, aka hugs, and so for all the bloggers, muchos abrazos y mil gracias!

Monday we'll see who the winner is! But in the meantime, here's what our bloggers have to say. 

Writers’ Rumpus starts us off with a guest post from E.K. Johnston, the author of The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of E.K. Johnston author of 

Unleashing Readers says Jessie Foley'sThe Carnival at Bray is an evocative ode to the Smells Like Teen Spirit Generation. It provides several items of teacher and librarian friendly links and information.

What Is Bridget Reading? Well, Bridget is reading The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. She calls the novel "a compelling blend of magical realism and historical fiction."

NOTE! We're not done yet. A few of the blogs have not as yet been posted here! And of course, come Monday we'll be announcing the winners.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Almost to the home stretch for the Blog Tour discussing the Morris Finalists who are being celebrated this week at the American Library Association in Chicago: Leslye Walton, author of The Strange and BeautifulSorrows of Eva Lavender (Candlewick); Len Vlahos, author of Scar Boys (Egmont Publishing); E.K. Johnston, author of The Story of Owen, Dragon Slayer of Trondheim (Lerner); Jessie Foley, author of The Carnival at Bray (Elephant Rock); and Cinco Puntos’ own Isabel Quintero, author of Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. Congratulations to each and every one of them. May they all have wonderful careers in front of them. 

Muchas felicidades to all the publishers, a great list of Indies! The links above go directly to the book's page on the publisher site. Go visit the publisher, browse around, see what else you would like to put into your "must read" list. 

So onto the Day 4 blogs. 

Over at YA Bibliophile Isabel Quintero offers up a short essay entitled "For Reals" that's an in-your-face piece that declares, yes, the events that happen in Gabi, A Girl in Pieces happen all the time in high school. And, yes, they happened too when the older generation was in high school.  

Dragons in modern-day Canada? Tasha Saeker at Waking Brain Cells interviews E.K. Johnston about the fantasy writing of The Story of Owen, Dragon Slayer of Trondheim.

"With images as whimsical as wings and feathers, Leslye Walton has created a fantasy that explores the many ways we capture love … or perhaps how love captures us." At Pirate Tree Nancy Bo Flood reviews The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Eva Lavender.

"The masculine vibe of this story – male protagonists, masculine voice, and male author – is direct and refreshing...That doesn’t make The Scar Boys a boy book, though. It’s good to peer into another gender’s mind for awhile" That's what Writer's Rumpus says about Len Vlahos' Scar Boys. Wacky Momma chimes in too, giving The Scar Boys Five Stars!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Since we're doing the Blog Tour, Cinco Puntos would like to add an outlier to the mix: SLJ'S Karen Silverman's Morris Finalist blog. Of great interest is the comment section where librarians and others get in a heated discussion about Karen dissing GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES for it's lack of a Spanish language glossary for the slang plus it's street-wise vision.

Writers' Rumpus finds the protagonist of The Carnival at Bray "an honest-to-goodness real teen with a good heart, in spite of the forces working against her."

YA Bibliophile, we get an awesome guest post from Len Vlahos (Scar Boys) talking about his writing process--on the New York subway train! He says, "The Scar Boys was edited on the commuter train, the sequel, Scar Girl, was written and edited on the train, and two more novels were written the same way. I’ve told my wife that if I ever stop working in New York City, I’m going to need a train pass just to write. (That’s not really true, but I would miss it.)"

Wacky Momma Reads continues her odyssey into the Morris Finalists with a review of The Story of Owen.

Twinja Book Reviews continues with a review of Gabi, a Girl in Pieces. They point out that Gabi doesn't "follow the 'typical' formula of storytelling"--a fact that makes those of us at Cinco Puntos proud!


The 2015 Morris finalists are:

Day 2 of the Morris Finalists' Blog Tour saw another full slate of blog posts about these five debut novelists, which this year, were all published by independent presses. ¡Vivan los Indies! 

Over at Wacky Momma Reads  we continue with a review of Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, where Wacky Momma realizes that, even though she's not a fan of diary-type novels, she liked this one. 

YA Bibliophile follows with a review of The Story of Owen, She liked the book because it was unique and she loves a love a book that keeps  "engaged and guessing throughout." 

Writers' Rumpus ( calls The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender "haunting" and "thought-provoking."

Who R U suggests The Scar Boys is "a must-read story about finding your place in the world…even if you carry scars inside and out." 

The Reading Zone interviews Jessie Ann Foley, author of Carnival of Bray. Jessie Ann says, among other things, "One of my favorite parts about writing is how the story can surprise you: you think it’s going to be about one thing, but then you start to discover it’s about something else."

Monday, January 26, 2015


CINCO PUNTOS is delighted to be one of the hosts of the 2015 Morris Award blog tour, celebrating the best in YA by debut novelists. The bloggers are dedicated YA enthusiasts who know books, especially books in the YA catagories. Over the course of the blog tour, each blogger will highlight each of the five finalists with reviews, guest posts, and author Q&A’s leading up to the award ceremony on Feb. 2. All five finalists this year are from indie presses, so you may not have seen them in your local bookstore but they are definitely worth seeking out. Please, please, ask your local bookstores to carry and celebrate these rising stars of YA fiction. These are all very different stories (they feature a girl with wings, a burned punk rocker, a poet trying to put the pieces of her life together, a dragon slayer, and a grunge fan in Ireland) but they all talk to the hearts and minds of young people.
The 2015 Morris finalists are:
If you're going to the ALA Mid-Winter in Chicago, join all five of the finalist at the Children's Plus, booth 4826, for a book-signing and animated conversation. Celebrate YA Literature by supporting these writers and their books. 
DAY 1!
Lucy Tonkin at THE READING DATE starts us off with an introduction to the MORRIS AWARDS and to each of the books. 
Lyn Miller-Lachmiller at The Pirate Tree interviews Isabel Quintero, author of GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES. 
Libertad and Guinivere Tomas at TWINJA BOOK REVIEWS review SCAR BOYS by Len Vlahos. 
Wacky Momma! Kelly Ackerman at THIS WACKY MOMMA READS reviews THE CARNIVAL AT BRAY by Jessie Foley. 
THE STORY OF OWEN: DRAGON SLAYER OF TRONDHEIM gets aDay 1 two-fer. First, at EDUCATING ALICE, author E.K. Johnson writes about her own book, and then at WRITERS' RUMPUS  guest reviewer Joyce Audy Zarins talks about this witty adventure novel. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015


by Roni Capin-Rivera Ashford
illustrated by Antonio Castro L.

A bilingual story of family and traditional wisdom.

Aaron asks his grandfather to teach him how to heal people using natural remedies. For an entire day, Tata and Aaron respond to a variety of complaints—from bee stings to eye infections. While Tata and Aaron minister to people's bodies, his grandmother Nana offers remedies for their soul with delicious empanadas and warm hospitality.

Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford grew up in the Sonoran desert on the Arizona side of the U.S.-Mexico border. She was a bilingual preschool and elementary school teacher for over thirty years. Now retired, she works as an author, editor, and translator.

Antonio Castro Lopez (L.) was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and has lived in the Juarez-El Paso area for most of his life. He has illustrated dozens of children’s books including Barry, the Bravest Saint Bernard (Random House), Pajaro Verde, The Treasure on Gold Street, The Day It Snowed Tortillas and The Gum-Chewing Rattler (Cinco Puntos Press).

Praise for My Tata’s Remedies

“This charming book will introduce young readers to safe and effective natural remedies from native traditions of the American Southwest. A good way to learn about the healing power of plants.” —Andrew Weil M.D.

“Roni, your book is full of treasures!  Roni, tu libro está lleno de tesoros!”
—Yuyi Morales

“My Tata’s Remedies is essential to the efforts of recognizing the significance of the traditional home culture of Latino children.” —Alma Flor Ada

“This is a treasure chest filled with memories of my grandparents and my mother.”
—Raúl H. Castro, former Governor and U.S. Ambassador

978-1-935955-91-7, cloth $17.95
978-1-935955-89-4, paper, $8.95/
978-1-935955-90-0, ebook, $8.95

Distributed by Consortium Book Sales / Publishes April 2015