Thursday, July 31, 2014

GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES by Isabel Quintero

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."

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.


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.


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


"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.


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.


"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. 


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.