BOOKS

Young Adult Fiction
Can Patrik and his family escape their totalitarian country before they are found out?
multicultural middle grade fiction
In Baghdad, war is being waged all around Talib and Nouri. Can these two Iraqi boys solve their own war and live in peace with each other?
Living in the Mayan jungle, Rosalba knows nothing about the 2012 prophesy of the end of the world. Then sophisticated Alicia comes from Mexico City to tell her all about it...
Susana and Pina grow up in an Italian orphanage Will either find a parent?
Can a white boy and an African boy keep their friendship in a changing world?
Overnight, Tinh's Vietnamese village is destroyed by a cyclone. How can Tinh make things right for himself and his family?
Binh's Ameican aunt is coming to her Vietnamese village. Will she bring the riches that Binh longs for?
Gregory has to leave the Navajo reservation for the big city of Tucson.
Why won't the new Chinese girl be Ginny's friend?
In this sequel to The Gold-Threaded Dress, Oy must again make a decision. In the talent show will she do what others want or be true to herself?
What if your best friend is also your biggest rival?
Will Noi be sent to the factory to work, or can she learn to paint umbrellas? Will a young artist be able to pursue her gift?
Gloria wakes up on Christmas morning to find that Mama is going to work instead of taking her to Nana's house in Mexico to celebrate.
Oy, a Thai immigrant, has to decide what she will give up to fit in. What would you do if the most popular girl demanded that you bring or special dress to school, or else?

ABOUT ME

I grew up in Mexico City and Southern California. Although I wrote for adults for many years, I began to write for children after the birth of my daughters. I attended Vermont College and earned an MFA in Writing for Children. My first book, THE GOLD-THREADED DRESS, published by Candlewick, was a Booklist Top Ten Youth Novel of 2002. My second novel, SILK UMBRELLAS, was a Texas Bluebonnet nominee and Booklist Top Ten Art Novel of 2003. Since then, I've published many more award-winning middle grade and YA novels with Candlewick, Viking, and Carolrhoda, almost all with multicultural/​historical themes. I live in California with my Thai husband and two half-Thai daughters.


MEXICO, JUPITER, SUBMARINE: How I Became a Writer
Exploding volcanoes! Harrowing escapes! Ouija Boards and Gong Gong on Jupiter. UFOs, auras, and fairies. Jules Verne’s submarine, under the sea and on Mars. The Beatles as a Communist plot. And the way all of this led to my resplendent writing career.

THE CREATION PROCESS
As I began MEXICO, JUPITER, SUBMARINE, I tumbled into the unknown. With big pieces of paper, scraps of this and that, found objects, cheap paint, and glue, I set out to write and illustrate my odyssey. I loved the trial-and-error, the feeling of free fall. What I created made me laugh.

HOW TO GET IT
MEXICO, JUPITER, SUBMARINE is available in the i-Books for your Apple device.



EVERY MILE A MIRACLE is the story of how I brought a crazy Dutch Land Rover from the Central American country of Belize, through Mexico with a Category 5 hurricane in pursuit, and into the US. Below are some of these panels.



COUNTRIES I HAVE VISITED AS AN ADULT:
Mexico
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Thailand
Laos
Burma
Mali
Burkina Faso
Senegal
Costa Rica
France
Belize
India
Cuba
Tahiti
Taiwan (airport only)
Japan (airport only)
Korea (airport only)

OTHER COUNTRIES I VISITED AS A CHILD:
Italy
The Bahamas
England
Germany
Sweden
Austria
Spain
Holland

NINE THINGS I LOVE TO DO:

1. Play with my dogs and cats
2. Hang out with my family
3. Boogie board in the ocean
4. Paint and do collage
5. Dance
6. Read great books
7. Take long walks by the beach
8. Travel to exotic places
9. Write!

Maleeka and Preeya years ago in their gold-threaded dresses

This is my older daughter, Maleeka, who's on the cover of MOON RUNNER.

My younger daughter, Preeya, who's on the cover of THE GOLD-THREADED DRESS. Her drawing is on page 17 of the book.

This is my husband as a boy with his four brothers. Pal is the oldest.

EDUCATION:

*Pomona College, Claremont, CA

*University of Colorado, Boulder (BA in Philosophy)

*Prescott College, Tucson, AZ (Elementary Teaching Credential)

*Vermont College, Montpelier (MFA in Writing for Children)

This is Cici. We rescued her in Mexico.

Our dog, Frankie. He's part Terrier and part Beagle. He loves to chase balls and sticks.

PLACES I'VE LIVED

Mexico City
Newport Beach, CA
Laguna Beach, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Ojai, CA
Del Mar, CA
La Jolla, CA
Claremont, CA
Boulder, CO
Berkeley, CA
Santa Fe, NM
Philadelphia, PA
New York City
Tucson, AZ
Ensenada, Mexico
Tecate, Mexico

Phoebe

Jaguar

JOBS I'VE HAD:
phone solicitor
maid
dance teacher
check microfilmer
poetry teacher
care provider
bartender
landlady
paralegal
elementary and preschool teacher
writer (Yay!)
I love to paint. Here are some of my paintings.








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Here I am with my giant "Conductor of the Jazz Band."

These paintings started out as monotype images. I painted the face on a piece of plexiglass, then pressed paper over the image. Afterwards, I filled in with paint and water-based oil pastels.

I played around with paint, using the monotype process, and came up with this abstract.

My daughter, Preeya, did the monotype for this face and I finished the painting.

This one looks like a ceremonial mask to me.

This one is on canvas. Coincidentally, it looks like me when I was about ten years old.