The 2021 American Library Association Youth Media Awards were announced yesterday, and among all the fantastic titles that were honored was a wonderful spooky middle-grade book from one our authors. Adrianna Cuevas‘ THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ was one of two novels that received a Pura Belpré Children’s Author Honor. Congratulations to Adrianna and her Nestor!
To celebrate, we wanted to heard from Adrianna about this wonderful honor. You can also read more about the book in this interview.
Congratulations, Adrianna! How are you feeling? Has it sunk in yet?
I’m not quite sure it’s sunk in yet. I watched the awards announcements, screaming and cheering for my author friends. When my book popped up on the screen, I was still completely surprised, even though I knew it was going to be there. It didn’t seem real.
Tell us about that moment you found out your book had been honored.
I was notified on Saturday. They had to call me four times because I have a phobia of talking on the phone and kept ignoring their calls. I was out for a walk in my neighborhood when we finally connected. I’m fairly certain my neighbors are now concerned for my well-being since I sobbed all the way back to my house.
If your neighbors had known, they would’ve been sobbing along with you! When you were a kid, did you dream of this moment?
I loved writing and telling stories growing up but being an author didn’t seem like a real job so it wasn’t something I dreamed of. So being a Pura Belpré Honor author was even farther out of the realm of possibility for me.
What would you say to all the kids who’ve read THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ and dream of one day telling their own stories?
I would advise them to tell the stories that make them happy, that make them laugh, and that are just bursting through their fingers to be put down on paper. Don’t worry about what other people are writing or what you think others want to read. Tell the story you want to tell. I wasn’t sure anyone would connect with my farting talking animals but now I can say I’m the author of AWARD-WINNING fart jokes. So you never know what might happen when you tell the stories you want to tell.
This is the BEST advice! And we all need more farting talking animals in our lives.
Samantha M Clark is the author of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster) and ARROW (coming June 22, 2021).