Julia Alvarez Wins the 2010 Pura Belpré Award

Julia Alvarez Wins the 2010 Pura Belpré Award

The American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Award for 2010 was given to Julia Álvarez for her children’s book Return to Sender (2009).

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

Alvarez´s latest novel focuses on the circumstances of Mexican and Central American migrant workers who make their way to work at dairy farms in northern New York and Vermont. The author was moved to write the novel when she got involved translating at local schools in Vermont for the children of Mexican workers. Observing the bewilderment of the Mexican children in a new setting and the reaction of the classmates to the newcomers, she decided to write a book that would make sense of the new situation.

Return to Sender is a contemporary immigration story told through the alternating viewpoints of two young people, Tyler and Mari, and tells of their efforts to learn about one another’s perspectives, and to understand their differences.

For more information, see http://return-to-sender.juliaalvarez.com/

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