For immediate release | June 21, 2012

Latino children’s authors and illustrators to receive prestigious 2012 Pura Belpré Award at ALA Annual Celebración

Pasadena, Calif. — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association and REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate), will host the annual Celebración! to honor the 2012 medal and honor winners of the Pura Belpré Award during the annual conference of the American Library Association. The event will take place from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, 2012 in the Grand Ballroom Center in the Disneyland Hotel. All conference attendees are welcome to attend free of charge.

The Pura Belpré Award was established in 1996 and honors Latino writers and illustrators whose works of art best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience in a book for children. It is named for the first Latina librarian who distinguished herself for her storytelling and outreach work with children and their families while working for the New York Public Library during the first decade of the twentieth century.

This year’s 2012 Pura Belpré Author Award winner is Guadalupe Garcia McCall for "Under the Mesquite," published by Lee and Low Books Inc. García McCall, from San Antonio, Texas, is an English middle school public school teacher who wrote her first-ever published book in emotionally riveting free verse, radiating the authentic voice of 14-year-old Lupita, the oldest of eight children who trying to make sense of her life with a terminally ill mother.

Margarita Ingle will receive her second Belpré Author Honor Award for "Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck." Henry Holt and Company, LLC, Publishers. She is the recipient of two previous Belpré Author Awards and a Belpré Honor Award.

Xavier Garza is the author of "Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller," published by Cinco Puntos Press and will be receiving his first Belpré Honor Author Award. Garza, a native of Rio Grande City, Texas, resides with his family in San Antonio.

Duncan Tonatiuh will receive his first 2012 Belpré Illustrator Award for his work "Diego Rivera: His World and Ours," also written by Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS. Tonatiuh divides his time between New York City and San Miguel Allende, Mexico.

Rafael Lopez, the illustrator of seven U.S. postal stamps commissioned by the U.S. Postal System, will receive a Belpré Honor Award for his illustrations for "The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred," written by Samantha R. Vamos and published by Charlesbridge, Inc.

Sara Palacios will be receiving her first Belpré Illustrator Honor Award for her illustrations for "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match /Marisol McDonald no combina," written by Monica Brown and published by Children's Book Press, an imprint of Lee and Low Books Inc.

Honored authors and illustrators and audience members will be graced by a special children’s performance by the children's dance Ballet Folkloric Renacimiento from Santa Ana, Calif.

Authors and illustrators will be available to sign copies of their award-winning books. For more information about the Pura Belpré Awards, please visit the official Pura Belpré Children’s Literature Award webpage.

For more information please contact Sandra Balderrama Rios, Office Manager for REFORMA at (480) 734-4460, or Oralia Garza de Cortés, Publicity Chair, Pura Belpre Celebración Organizing Committee at or (512) 779-6585.


John Amundsen

Communications Specialist

Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS)

1-800-545-2433 ext. 2140