Years ago I was following Yamile Saied Méndez's blog. She was a writer but hadn't published yet. She also did sensitivity readings, so read other people's manuscripts and make comments on any stereotypes, biases, or inaccuracies of culture.
Then a few years ago, I invited Yamile to speak at a library where I worked and she graciously accepted. She is an Argentine-American and spoke about her culture and the importance of diversity in literature. She read fun books, but they weren't her own since she still hadn't published yet. And she is as sweet and cute in person as she seemed on her blog.
Fast-forward just a little bit to present-day. She has has published several books, 3 of which were published by Scholastic and sold at book fairs in elementary and middle schools near you. I gave away a copy of her book Where Are You From? on my Facebook page after it came out.
As the release date neared for her latest book, Furia, I knew I wanted to have a giveaway for it. All I knew was that the protagonist was a young woman in Argentina who wanted to be a professional fútbol (soccer) player despite the cultural norms and family expectations. The book is in English with some Spanish words and phrases here and there so you can learn a little if you don't already speak Spanish.
Before I could do a giveaway, Furia was chosen as the Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine YA Book Club's September book. Reese chooses a book each month with a female in the center of the story.
- It was also on New York Library's Best Books of the Year 2020 list for teens.
- As if that wasn't cool enough, I happened to see it on BuzzFeed's 30 YA Books By Latinx Authors We Can't Wait To Read In 2020.
- It was on Cosmopolitan magazine's Best Young Adult Books You'll Read All Year list.
- It was chosen for A Mighty Girl's 60 Empowering Books Starring Latina Mighty Girls. And I'm sure I don't know about some other honors.
So, now that you're all hyped to read this book with a strong, determined young woman that everyone is talking about, enter my giveaway for one hardcover copy of Furia! The giveaway is open to anyone living in the U.S.
To enter, just post a comment (with an email address if I don't know you personally or come back on Saturday to see if you won) and tell me at least one book you've read that I should be sure to read. Enter by Friday, January 22 at midnight MST.
In the meantime, you can print your own Furia bookmarks from Reese's Hello Sunshine .