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Monica Brown

Biography

Monica Brown

Monica Brown, Ph.D. is the author of many award-winning books for children, including PABLO NERUDA: Poet of the People, winner of the Américas Award for Children's Literature and an Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction, and WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO, a Christopher Award winner. Her picture book MARISOL MCDONALD DOESN'T MATCH / MARISOL MCDONALD is the winner of the Tejas Star Book Award, the International Latino Book Award, and a Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration. TITO PUENTE, MAMBO KING/TITO PUENTE, REY DEL MAMBO was chosen as a 2014 ALA Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book.

Monica's books are inspired by her Peruvian-American heritage and desire to share Latino/a stories with children. "I write from a place of deep passion, joy, and commitment to producing the highest possible quality of literature for children. In my biographies, the lives of my subjects are so interesting and transformational that I am simply giving them voice for a young audience. I don't think it is ever too early to introduce children to the concepts of magical realism, social justice, and dreaming big!" Monica is in demand as a conference keynote speaker and has appeared at ALA, TLA, NCTE, Book Expo America, and at book festivals across the country.

Monica Brown is a Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, specializing in U.S. Latino Literature and Multicultural Literature. She writes and publishes scholarly work with a Latino/a focus, including Gang Nation: Delinquent Citizenship in Puerto Rican and Chicano and Chicana Literature; and numerous articles and chapters on Latino/a literature and cultural studies. She was the recipient of the prestigious Rockefeller Fellowship on Chicano Cultural Literacies from the Center for Chicano Studies at the University of California. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Photo Credit: Josh Briggs.

Monica Brown

Books by Monica Brown

by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown - Adventure, Children's 7-10, Family, Fiction, Travel

When Sarai outgrows her bike, she worries she'll never get to travel anywhere. But, when Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary hosts their first Around the World Fair, Sarai learns that with a little imagination, you can go anywhere you want! Inspired by the life of viral video sensation and social activist Sarai Gonzalez with the help of award-winning children's book author Monica Brown.

by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown - Adventure, Children's 7-10, Contemporary Fiction, Performing Arts

They're cutting funding at Sarai's school and her band program is the first to go. That is totally not okay with Sarai. She decides to organize a benefit concert to raise money! When she and her bandmates promote the concert on their video channel, it catches the attention of Sarai's favorite singer, Sparkles Sanchez! Can Sarai save the music?

written by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown with illustrations by Christine Almeda - Children's 7-10, Contemporary Fiction, Family, Fiction
Fourth grader Sarai Gonzalez can do anything. She can bake, dance and run her own cupcake business. But when Sarai's grandparents are forced to move, even Sarai's not sure what to do. So she hatches a super-awesome plan with her younger sisters and cousin to buy back the house. But houses are more expensive than she ever thought, her sisters won't listen and she's running out of time. Will Sarai find a way to save the day?
written by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown with illustrations by Christine Almeda - Children's 7-10, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Performing Arts
When Sarai's best friend suddenly moves away, Sarai has to navigate school all by herself. Then, new girl Christina moves to town and the teacher volunteers Sarai to show her around. But Sarai thinks Christina is not at all like her --- she never wants to play at recess, she's always got her head in a notebook and she's so shy! But when Christina writes Sarai a spoken-word poem for her to recite at the class talent show, Sarai learns that sometimes winning teams are made from unlikely pairs!
by Monica Brown - Children's 6-9, Family, Family Life, Fiction, Holiday
It's Halloween --- Lola and Ben's favorite holiday. She loves pumpkins, scary costumes, monsters, and ghosts --- and she likes to scare people, too. But when Lola plays a scary joke on her super best friends, Josh Blot and Bella Benitez, it doesn't go as planned. Can Lola learn from her mistake and still have a happy halloween?
by Monica Brown - Children's 6-9, Culture, Fiction, Jewish Interest, Judiasm

Lola is named after her tía Lola, who lives in Lima, Peru. Lola misses her aunt and dreams of visiting her. After Lola's dad has a successful art show, Lola's dream comes true. The Levines are going to Peru! Thousands of miles from home, Lola and Ben discover all the new adventures Lima has to offer. But will Lola and Ben manage to stay out of trouble? With Lola's and Ben's wit and talent for mischief, we can expect some international trouble in this adorable chapter book.

Written by Monica Brown with illustrations by Angela Dominguez - Animals , Children's 6-9, Family Life, Fiction
The Levines are finally getting a pet --- a furry one that is. They are excited about adopting a kitty they name Jelly, but they don't get very far in the process when Ben starts sneezing. Oh no, he's allergic! Lola is devastated and sets out to find Jelly a good home. Luckily, Lola is rewarded with a very happy (and still furry) ending!
by Monica Brown - Children's 6-9, Family, Fiction, Friendship

When new classmate Bella, a ballet dancer, walks into Lola's class at Northland Elementary, all Lola can see is pink everywhere --- pink ribbons, a pink sweatshirt and pink tennis shoes. Pink is Lola's least favorite color. Plus, Ballet isn't nearly as hard as soccer, is it? Lola and Bella can't seem to stop squabbling. But when a mishap during class lands them in Principal Blot's office, Lola's mom comes up with a scheme --- a ballet scheme --- that just might make these classroom rivals realize that ballerinas and soccer players have more in common than they ever thought possible.

by Monica Brown - Children's 6-10, Culture, Judiasm
Seven-year-old Lola Levine is fierce on the soccer field. She can do a slide tackle (although she's not supposed to) and even likes gooey worms. Nothing scares Lola! That is, until she is auditioning in front of EVERYONE for her class play. After Lola is overcome with stage fright, she's cast as Squirrel #2, a non-speaking part! Lola is more than a little disappointed, and she looks to her bubbe for advice and comfort. But on opening night, the curtain rises, and she finds herself smack in the middle of an exasperating turn of events. 
 
by Monica Brown - Children's 6-9, Friendship
Lola loves writing in her diario and playing soccer with her team, the Orange Smoothies. But when a soccer game during recess gets "too competitive," Lola accidentally hurts her classmate Juan Gomez. Now everyone is calling her Mean Lola Levine!
 
Lola feels horrible, but with the help of her family and her super best friend, Josh Blot, she learns how to navigate the second grade in true Lola fashion --- with humor and the power of words. 
written by Monica Brown with illustrations by David Diaz - Culture, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Fiction

Inspired by the traditional Yiddish folk song “Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl” (“I Had a Little Coat”), this delightful bilingual picture book puts a child-focused, Latino spin on the tale of an item that is made into smaller and smaller items. Maya’s Blanket/La manta de Maya charmingly brings to life this celebration creativity, recycling, and enduring family love.

written by Monica Brown, illustrated by Rafael López - Biography, Children's, Music, Nonfiction

In this vibrant bilingual picture book biography of musician Tito Puente, readers will dance along to the beat of this mambo king's life. From Spanish Harlem to the Grammy Awards --- and all the beats in between --- this is the true story of a boy whose passion for music turned him into the "King of Mambo."