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Penguin: Young Readers Group Summer 2019

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Each Tiny Spark
By (author): Pablo Cartaya
9780451479723 Hardcover English Juvenile: Age (years) from 10, Grade (US) from 5 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / Hispanic & Latino Aug 06, 2019
$22.99 CAD
Active 5.88 x 8.56 x 1.07 in 336 pages Penguin Young Readers Group Kokila
From award-winning author Pablo Cartaya comes a deeply moving middle grade novel about a daughter and father finding their way back to each other in the face of their changing family and community.

Emilia Torres has a wandering mind. It’s hard for her to follow along at school, and sometimes she forgets to do what her mom or abuela asks. But she remembers what matters: a time when her family was whole and home made sense. When Dad returns from deployment, Emilia expects that her life will get back to normal. Instead, it unravels.

Dad shuts himself in the back stall of their family’s auto shop to work on an old car. Emilia peeks in on him daily, mesmerized by his welder. One day, Dad calls Emilia over. Then, he teaches her how to weld. And over time, flickers of her old dad reappear.

But as Emilia finds a way to repair the relationship with her father at home, her community ruptures with some of her classmates, like her best friend, Gus, at the center of the conflict.

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya is a tender story about asking big questions and being brave enough to reckon with the answers.

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR: Pablo Cartaya’s debut novel is the recipient of a Pura Belpré Author Honor and three starred reviews. It’s a Kirkus, NYPL, and CPL Best Book of 2017, and Pablo was selected as a PW Flying Start alongside Angie Thomas.

UNIQUE HOOK CELEBRATING STRONG GIRLS: Emilia’s love of welding is inspired by real metal working, tinkering, and makers workshops for girls, which are gaining popularity.

Thematically, this book is FOR READERS OF Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, Rules by Cynthia Lord, Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan.

A FATHER-DAUGHTER STORY that will break your heart and put it back together again.

Each Tiny Spark is an exciting evolution for Pablo. With each book, his voice gets sharper and he invites young readers to ask bigger questions. We see this becoming an award contender and a SCHOOL AND LIBRARY FAVORITE.

A THOUGHTFUL LOOK AT IMPORTANT ISSUES such as micro cultures, proximity to whiteness and the concept of “passing,” school segregation that persists today, gender norms within the Latino community, learning disabilities, and complicated father-daughter relationships.

Each Tiny Spark highlights THE DIVERSITY WITHIN THE LATINX COMMUNITY: Latinos aren’t monolithic. This book adds to our understanding of what Latinidad looks like in this country (in this case, the South).

WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS: Fulfills Kokila’s mission of centering stories from the margins, celebrating the full range of authors’ experiences, and answering the call for more diverse children’s literature.

Pablo Cartaya is an award-winning author, speaker, actor, and educator. In 2018, he received a Pura Belpré Author Honor for his middle grade novel, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. His second novel, Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, is available now. Learn more about Pablo at and follow him on Twitter @phcartaya.

Author Residence: Miami, Fl.

Author Hometown: New York, NY.

Marketing: Major prepublication buzz campaign

National media campaign

National school tour

Consumer advertising campaign

Promotion at select consumer festivals and cons

Online promotion and social media outreach

Author blog tour

Extensive blogger outreach

Major promotion at national school and library conferences

Librarian and educator outreach

Author Website:

Author Social Media: @phcartaya


* “Irresistibly exquisite.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* “Engrossing.”—Booklist, starred review

* “Vibrant.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

A 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book

An E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader Award finalist

A 2018 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

Amazon Best Children’s Books of 2017

Publishers Weekly Flying Start

Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2017

Chicago Public Library Best Book on 2017

NYPL Best Books for Kids 2017

2017 Nerdy Book Award Winner

2018 Texas Lone Star Reading List Selection

2018-2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award Nominee

2018-2019 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Nominee

Charlotte Observer Best Books of 2017 for Young Readers

News & Observer Best Books for Young Readers

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