May 26, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

A Sneak Peek At What’s New in Spanish-Language Publishing

Emma Otheguy, author of Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad.

The Northeast chapter of REFORMA (National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking) had their second annual Spanish-language Book Buzz on Friday, January 12, at the Penguin Random House offices in New York City.

A group of approximately 50 librarians from the tri-state area were treated to a preview of upcoming and recently released Spanish-language, bilingual, and Latinx-focused books for the library market. The day was also marked by keynotes from historian and children’s author Emma Otheguy, author of SLJ Best Book Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad (Lee & Low), and Ernesto Quiñónez, author of Bodega Dreams, which will be available in Spanish as El vendedor de sueños this August (Vintage Español).

The first half of the event was dedicated to materials for children and young adults. In her opening talk, Otheguy spoke about the power of books.. “My hope is that we will follow the Latinx tradition of using children’s literature as a way of pushing the world forward. We can use children’s literature to remind [them] that they are not the margins; they are our hearts,” said Otheguy.

Ernesto Quiñónez, author of Bodega Dreams, and REFORMA Northeast chapter president Susan Paredes.

A panel of experts in the Spanish-language and bilingual books market, which included representatives from Rosen Publishing, Bilingual Publications, Lectorum, and Overdrive, and was moderated by SLJ’s Shelley Diaz, discussed some recent trends and important resources for librarians. In addition to an uptick on books about mindfulness and well-being, the group found that there has also been a big call for works authentic to the Latin American experience. Each of the sponsoring publishers and distributors also discussed some of the children’s and YA titles that they were excited about.

See the event website for more information about the day and to download a PDF of the titles presented.

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz ( is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.



  1. Fran Manushkin says:

    I am so pleased that Capstone has published the eight books of my Pedro series of easy readers into Spanish.

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