Pam Muñoz Ryan

Author Pam Muñoz Ryan was born in Bakersfield, California on December 25, 1951. She received a B. A. in child development and an M. A. in education from San Diego State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a bilingual Head Start teacher. At first, she wrote adult books about child development, but soon switched to writing children's books. She has written over twenty-five picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for young readers. The novel Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Peace Award, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and the Americas Award Honor Book, is based on her own grandmother's immigration from Mexico to California. Riding Freedom has also won many awards including the national Willa Cather Award and the California Young Reader Medal. She currently lives in Leucadia, California.
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