Sonia Manzano, 'Maria' from Sesame Street, 2015 Annual Conference Auditorium Speaker

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/10/2015


Amy McGuigan

Conference Manager

Conference Services

American Library Association

CHICAGO — Sonia Manzano — the Emmy Award–winning actor who defined the role of Maria on the acclaimed television series "Sesame Street" — appears as a 2015 Annual Conference Auditorium Speaker from noon - 1 p.m. on Monday, June 29.

Manzano has won 15 Emmy Awards for her television writing and was twice nominated for an Emmy Award as best performer in a children’s series. She is the author of the Pura Belpré Honor Book, “The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano,” which was a Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of 2012 and hailed in a starred review in Booklist as a “wry . . . moving” novel. People en Español magazine named her one of America’s most influential Hispanics, and she has also been recognized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington, D.C.  

Manzano’s latest book, “Becoming Maria,” is her remarkable coming-of-age memoir, the true story of a girl plunged into a world she never expected. It’s the story of dreams—some of them nightmares, others visions of romance and escape. Set in the 1950s in the Bronx, it’s the tale of a family that is loving and troubled, and of the child who grew up to become a television star. Sonia’s creative drive keeps her afloat despite the turbulence of her life and times—including the cramped, colorful world of her Latino neighborhood and an abusive and alcoholic father. Spiced with Nuyorican culture, heartache and humor, Manzano’s memoir paints a revealing portrait of a girl’s resilience as she grows up to become an inspiration to millions.  

Manzano’s appearance at ALA Annual Conference is sponsored by Scholastic.

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