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January 2011
The Queen of Water

The Queen of Water
Laura Resau
María Virginia Farinango

It was so wonderful to receive the news this morning of the first starred review of 2011 for an EMLA author—in this case, two authors: Laura Resau and her collaborator María Virginia Farinango, whose life inspired The Queen of Water. Kirkus calls it "riveting" and says it is "by turns heartbreaking, infuriating and ultimately inspiring."

In the book's author's note and on Laura's website page for the book, she describes how she came to know about María's life, one afternoon when Laura stopped by the shop in Colorado where María sold alpaca sweaters and scarves. She ended up staying and talking for hours, and María's story unfolded: "When María Virginia was a child, it was fairly common for impoverished indigenous families to send their young daughters—as young as six or seven—to live with wealthier families. The arrangements were often vague. There was a blurry line between giving daughters away, having them work as nannies or maids, and selling them....[P]oor indigenous families were so marginalized that they felt powerless to demand their daughters back....María Virginia was one of these stolen daughters....Yet as her story unfolded, I discovered that her past was surprisingly full of laughter, spunk, and best of all, heart-swelling triumph. Throughout her story, the cultural anthropologist in me was riveted, and the writer in me was jumping up and down."

Laura and María took a six year journey together, bringing the story into its new form. You can read an excerpt on the same page linked to above, and follow other links at the bottom of that page to more extra material about the setting and other cool things. On Laura's blog, you can see a recap of Laura and María's trip to New York to meet with the staff at Random House and a group of enthusiastic librarians.

The book hits shelves March 8. Congratulations, Laura and María!

—Erin

In addition to the "big shiny stickers" awards that the American Library Association announces with great fanfare this time of year, there are many recommendation lists produced by many hard-working committees. This year we are pleased to have EMLA representation on three 2011 ALA lists!

The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list includes C.J. Omololu's Dirty Little Secrets.

The Notable Children's Books list includes new EMLA author Deborah Underwood's The Quiet Book (we're thrilled to pieces even though it's not technically an EMLA book).

The Best Fiction for Young Adults list includes Elizabeth C. Bunce's Star Crossed; Heather Tomlinson's Toads and Diamonds; and Conrad Wesselhoeft's Adios, Nirvana.

Congratulations to all!

—Erin

Black Radishes

Black Radishes
Susan Lynn Meyer

Huge congratulations to Susan Lynn Meyer, whose Black Radishes is a Sydney Taylor Honor Book! Today is best recognized in children's publishing as the day the ALA Youth Media Awards were announced (and huge congratulations to all of the authors, illustrators, and others who had books honored there, as well!)--but also announced today were the Sydney Taylor Book Awards, which are administered by the Association of Jewish Libraries to recognize "new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. The award memorializes Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series. The winners will receive their awards at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Montreal this June."

—Erin

We are having great fun watching a new blog come into being: EMU's Debuts, in which eight EMLA authors chronicle their journey from publishing offer to publication. Monday and today, they write about getting "the call." Participating authors are Cynthia Levinson, J. Anderson Coats, Jeannie Mobley, L.B. Schulman, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Michelle Ray, Mike Jung, and Natalie Dias Lorenzi. Great work, all of you! Keep up the fun!

—Erin

Check us out! We're never content to rest on our comfy, pretty website laurels; we're always looking for improvements! Our latest efforts, thanks to Helmut and Dena Kuhn of Dierker Design, are all tied up in the news. Our news page is now archived, searchable, and equipped with an individual URL for each item, so our clients (and others) can link to announcements about their projects more easily and you can find the news you're looking for in no time flat. Have a look!

Additionally, we've started an occasional newsletter in the new year. Click on eNews (above the Facebook logo on the news page) to sign up. And if you're not already a subscriber, use our RSS feed to receive the latest EMLA news as soon as it hits the web.
--Erin
Words in the Dust

Words in the Dust
Trent Reedy

We start 2011 full of high hopes and good news. The first order of business: Welcoming Trent Reedy's Words in the Dust into the world! Published by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, this contemporary middle-grade novel set in Afghanistan is already garnering strong reviews from PW, Kirkus, Booklist, and BCCB.

As always, we wish this book into readers' hearts!

—Erin