Friday, November 20, 2009

Apres Texas Book Fair with Shelf Awareness




José Lozano after reading from his new ABC book
Once Around the Block / Una vuelta a la manzana.
Besides performing at the TBF José, Reading Rock Stars
invited him to read from his book in area schools.

Shelf Awareness published a nice piece about the Texas-based cutting-edge literacy project READING ROCK STARS. Cinco Puntos has been honored to have a number of our authors perform for the program throughout the state of Texas. The week before the Texas Book Festival, the RRS invited artist and writer José Lozano to perform and talk about his work for Austin area kids. José joined us for the book festival and performed again in the Children's tent. Besides being a children's book writer and illustrator, José is in the vanguard of the L.A. Latino arts scene. Shelf Awareness, by the way, is rapidly becoming an important venue for reviews in the book industry, creating an on-line model to rival traditional review media in printed form. Please visit the Shelf Awareness website and subscribe. Below is a portion of the article about Reading Rock Stars. You can follow the link for the complete piece. And at the bottom are more photos from the Texas Book Festival.
The "Keep Austin Weird" movement in Texas may have been at the forefront of the nationwide "Shop Local" campaign, but now another Austin-based initiative could well be a blueprint from which other states can benefit: the Reading Rock Stars program.

Launched 10 years ago as "Author! Author!," the program began in conjunction with the Texas Book Festival in Austin to bring children's book creators to underserved schools in the area. "We had all these authors coming into town for the festival that we could also invite into the schools," said Blair Newberry, director of outreach for the Texas Book Festival, which was held October 31-November 1. "A few years ago, we changed the name to Reading Rock Stars--that's what authors are to the kids."

The authors read to the children, then sign copies of their books, which are donated by local foundations such as One Sky, ECG, the Meadows and Wright Family Foundations, as well as corporate sponsors like HEB (a grocery chain) and Scholastic, which has donated the books for its featured authors. More than 100 authors have participated so far, and books have been given to more than 25,000 students. For some of them, it's the first book they've ever owned. [TO READ THE COMPLETE POST AND TO SIGN UP FOR SHELF AWARENESS, GO HERE.]




Ben Saenz in our booth at the TBF.
Photo by Cynthia Leitich Smith from her blog.


Ben was in Austin to receive the Tomas Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award
for his YA novel He Forgot to Say Goodbye (Simon & Schuster). There were two winners this year, Ben and Carmen Tafolla for her book The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans (Wings Press). Ben was delighted, of course, to spend much time with us celebrating his new YA novel from Cinco Puntos Last Night I Sang to the Monster and his new illustrated book for young readers
The Dog Who Loved Tortillas / La perrita que le encantaban tortillas.

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