An Arizona Author Explores Her Immigrant Identity In This Award-Winning Children's Book

Published: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 12:34pm
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 4:23pm
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Candlewick Press
Juana Martinez-Neal with her book, "Alma And How She Got Her Name"

Alma, the little girl at the heart of the new children’s book "Alma And How She Got Her Name" has a very long name.  

Too long, according to Alma. So, in the book, her father tells her the story of her name, and how each of those who came before her are part of who she is.

The book, written and illustrated by local author Juana Martinez-Neal, just won the Caldecott Medal, a prestigious prize in children's literature.

Martinez-Neal is an immigrant to Arizona from Peru, and she explained on The Show her process of writing this book, why it took a long time and how it required her to come to terms with her immigrant identity. 

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