The stories in Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky trace the history of the world from its beginnings in the dreams of the dual god, Ometeotl, to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico and the fall of the great city Tenochtitlan. In this book’s beautiful language, we learn the history of the Creator Twins―Feathered Serpent and Dark Heart of Sky―and how they built the world on a leviathan's back; of the shape-shifting nahualli; and the aluxes, elfish beings known to help out the occasional wanderer. And finally, we read Aztec tales about the arrival of the blonde strangers from across the sea, the strangers who seek to upend the rule of Moctezuma and destroy the very stories we are reading. David Bowles stitches together the fragmented folklore and mythology of pre-Colombian Mexico into an exciting, unified narrative in the tradition of William Buck's Ramayana, Robert Fagles's Iliad, and Neil Gaiman's Norse Myths. Readers of Norse and Greek mythologies will delight in this rich retelling of stories less explored. These tales hold a touch of magical realism while holding true to their meanings and their Indigenous roots.

Legends and myths captured David Bowles's imagination as a young Latino reader; he was fascinated with epics like the Iliad and the Odyssey. Despite growing up on the United States/Mexico border, he had never read a single Aztec or Mayan myth until he was in college. This experience inspired him to reconnect with that forgotten past. Several of his books have incorporated themes from Mexican myths that are told throughout generations such as the middle grade graphic novel, The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande which includes the infamous chupacabra, a creature from Latin American folklore that sucks the blood of livestock, goats, and even people. Pura Belpré award winner, Bowles has written stories that maintain the theme of history and Mexican American folklore. He has written children’s books, as well as a middle grade poetry book, They Call Me Guero: A Border Kid’s Poems which won the Pura Belpré Honor award, the TIL Best Middle Grade Book award, the Tomás Rivera award, and numerous other honors.

Pura Belpré Author Honor Book, 2019

ALSC Notable Children's Book, 2019

Walter Award Honor Book, 2019

Claudia Lewis Award for Excellence in Poetry, Bank Street 2019

NCTE 2019 Notable Verse Novels

Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award

TIL Jean Flynn Award for Best Middle Grade Book 2018

Skipping Stones Award

Ámericas Award, Commended Title

School Library Journal's 2018 Best Books

Shelf Awareness 2018 Best Children's & Teen Books of the Year, Middle Grade

Twelve-year-old Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He's starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool.

In Spanish, "Güero" is a nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo. But make no mistake: our red-headed, freckled hero is puro mexicano, like Canelo Álvarez, the Mexican boxer. Güero is also a nerd--reader, gamer, musician--who runs with a squad of misfits like him, Los Bobbys. Sure, they get in trouble like anybody else, and like other middle-school boys, they discover girls. Watch out for Joanna! She's tough as nails.

But trusting in his family's traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Life is tough for a border kid, but Güero has figured out how to cope.

He writes poetry.

In Spanish, ""Güero"" is a nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo. But make no mistake: our red-headed, freckled hero is puro mexicano, like Canelo Álvarez, the Mexican boxer. Güero is also a nerd--reader, gamer, musician--who runs with a squad of misfits like him, Los Bobbys. Sure, they get in trouble like anybody else, and like other middle-school boys, they discover girls. Watch out for Joanna! She's tough as nails.

But trusting in his family's traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Life is tough for a border kid, but Güero has figured out how to cope.

He writes poetry.

"
On September 20th, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island of Puerto Rico as a Category 4—a devastatingly powerful storm that left immense suffering in its wake.


The island still hasn’t recovered completely; a victim of continued neglect and the continued efforts of many to demean and frame Puerto Ricans as “other” or “lesser” even though they are citizens of the United States.


Net proceeds from ¡Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas! will benefit The Hispanic Federation: UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program to Support Puerto Rico, a program working to help those still affected by the disaster and ensure continued safety in the face of continued weather-related events that can and will happen again.


With a foreword by editor Angel Luis Colón and 11 stories from veteran and newcomer Latinx authors who need to be on your radar, ¡Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas! is a loud and proud celebration of Latinx writing, joy, trauma, and most of all, love.


Contributors: Chantel Acevedo, Hector Acosta, David Bowles, Hector Duarte Jr., Carmen Jaramillo, Jessica Laine, Richie Narvaez, Christopher Novas, Cina Pelayo, Alex Segura, and Désirée Zamorano.


Praise for ¡PA’QUE TU LO SEPAS!


“While cause-related anthologies aren’t unusual, what clearly separates Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas from the pack is the diligence and care the contributors obviously put into their work, and how deftly Angel Luis Colón curated the writers and their stories. This is an important, necessary, lovely collection, one that plunges the reader into the variety of cultures and beauty within the LatinX community. Truly, Sepas is magical, and filled with magical writing. A must-read, now and always.” —E.A. Aymar, author of The Unrepentant

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