(pub. 6.26.2012) 32 pages
A True Tale with A Cherry On Top
C haracter: Martin de Porres -- patron saint of brotherhood, interracial relations, social justice, those of mixed race, public education, and animal shelters
O verview from the jacket flap:
"The illegitimate child of a Spanish nobleman and a former slave, Martin de Porres was born into extreme poverty. Barred from the priesthood, he joined the Dominican Order as a servant instead. Soon he was performing miracles and healing nobles and beggars alike. As a celebration of his selflessness, he was canonized into the sainthood.
Journey with this gentle friar as he calmly confronts racial and economic prejudice in seventeenth-century Peru..."
T antalizing taste:
"Anna Velazquez hurried out of the barrios of Lima and onto the plaza. She carried a quiet baby, wrapped closely so that no one could see him - but no one was looking.
The slave boys sweeping the plaza saw only the dusty cobblestones.
The Spanish royals sipping lemon ices saw only their ruby rings.
And the priests standing on the cathedral steps saw only another beggar, and turned away."
and something more: What a lovely dedication written by David Diaz: "For Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser, the lamp, lifeboat, and ladder to so many." I echo that sentiment. In 1971, Lin and Stephen co-founded SCBWI, the organization for children's book writers and illustrators. SCBWI now has over 18,000 members! I've heard both of them speak several times at various conferences, including the national conference in Los Angeles the past two summers, and they are wonderful -- inspiring, encouraging, entertaining. Not only are Lin and Stephen the Executive Director and President of SCBWI, respectively, they are also prolific authors. I can't wait to hear them speak again at this year's SCBWI conference. A heartfelt thank you to Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser and everyone who works and volunteers for SCBWI! You've made such a difference in so many lives and careers, including mine.