Editor’s post-publication note: Years after this, We the Animals was made into a film. Also noteworthy is the fact that David Perez was a true pioneer with his work. Melinda Palacio would go on to prove that she can write in any genre.
1) Iris Gomez is the latest talented author to be discovered by Grand Central Publishing. This Colombian-American author is a true gem, and if you can put Try to Remember down, as it uncovers a family’s intricate and surprising past, you can do something that the average reader cannot. I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more from this gifted author.
2) Sometimes it’s almost impossible to tell whether a book is an author’s first. And in this case, Lyn Di Iorio writes as if she has a dozen novels to her credit. There is an appealing darkness to Outside the Bones as it draws the reader into a world of black magic.
3) The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times are just a few of the many publications that were wowed by Justin Torres and his debut novel, We the Animals. What is especially impressive about this work about a young boy in New York is its lyrical language that is nothing short of poetic.
4) David Pérez shines in WOW!!, a “memoirito” about a young boy whose survival through Catholic School is filled with hilarious moments. As a side note, while we typically don’t comment about book price, we think that the Kindle edition price ($2.99 at press time) is more than reasonable.
5) Laura Lacamara, who illustrated The Runaway Piggy/El cochinito fugitivo, and wrote Floating on Mama’s Song, is a rising star among children’s literature.
6) In his first novel, Cross Over Water, Richard Yañez tells the story of a young boy growing up along the El Paso border. The author brings the region to life in such a unique way that the landscape becomes almost like a character. The combination of great story-telling and a keen sense of setting make this work a must-read.
7) Mary Romero’s book provides a fascinating look at a maid’s daughter and reads like a well-documented, cleverly written narrative. It’s not so easy to categorize this work, but anyone looking for an interesting story and a thought-provoking analysis will not be disappointed.
8) Bárbara Renaud Gonzalez writes from the heart, and this work is filled with the strongest emotions. The characters in this book will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it and will leave you with a new appreciation for choices that women make as they immigrate for family and love.
9) Melinda Palacio writes about worlds that are created out of necessity. In Ocotillo Dreams, she manages to write lyrically and intelligently about a woman whose life is changed when she discovers that her mother provided a haven for undocumented workers.
10) Torrey Maldonado‘s book is one of the great success stories of the year. Given all the negative press that teachers have received in these difficult economic times, it’s great to see a talent like Mr. Maldonado emerge. Following in the tradition of school teachers like Wally Lamb, whose debut grabbed national attention, this author is sure to continue to impress. This is a heartfelt story about a twelve-year old boy growing up in Brooklyn housing projects with a voice that is captured with great sensitivity.