For immediate release | May 24, 2016

Belpré Award celebrates 20 years of outstanding Latino children’s literature at ALA Annual Conference

CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking) will hold a special celebration to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. The event will take place from 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 in Jr. Ballroom F of the Rosen Centre Hotel. The event is free with conference registration, and all conference attendees are invited to attend.

The 20th Anniversary Celebración will feature a keynote address by author and storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy and speeches by the 2016 Pura Belpré Award medal- and honor-winning authors and illustrators. Book signing, light snacks, entertainment and a silent auction of original art by Latino children’s illustrators will also be part of the celebration. All proceeds from the art auction will support the Belpré award and future Belpré celebrations.

The Pura Belpré Author Award honors a Latino writer whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino experience. The 2016 Belpré Author Award winner is "Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir," written by Margarita Engle. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named: "The Smoking Mirror," written by David Bowles and published by IFWG Publishing, Inc.; and "Mango, Abuela, and Me," written by Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez and published by Candlewick Press.

The Pura Belpré Illustrator Award honors a Latino illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates Latinos through a visual experience. The 2016 Belpré Illustrator Award winner is "Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music," illustrated by Rafael López. The book was written by Margarita Engle and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were also selected: "My Tata’s Remedies/Los remedios de mi tata," illustrated by Antonio Castro L., written by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford and published by Cinco Puntos Press; "Mango, Abuela, and Me," illustrated by Angela Dominguez, written by Meg Medina and published by Candlewick Press; and "Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras," illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

A new commemorative book, "The Pura Belpré Award: Twenty Years of Outstanding Latino Children’s Literature," will debut and be available for sale at the event.

Established in 1996, the Pura Belpré Award is named after a pioneer in Latino librarianship. Pura Belpré revolutionized the role of Latinos and people of color in the library field and empowered the Puerto Rican community through her work. Pura Belpré Award-winning titles are highly recommended for use by librarians, educators and parents.

ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more, visit the ALSC website.

Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA) has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos. For more information on REFORMA, visit

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Laura Schulte-Cooper

Program Officer, Communications