Unveiling of The Queen of Water...

Hello everyone!

I've been in Michigan and Chicago this past week, having a fun time doing school and library visits, the IRA conference, and my agent's annual retreat... it's been a whirlwind! I'm dying to post pics of all these amazing events, but the little slot in my computer where the memory card goes is broken... it got drenched with tea (with lots of milk and honey) one disastrous morning a few months ago (hmm... now how did that happen?) Anyway, I'll be doing a bunch of posts about this trip when I get home next week, but in the meantime, I thought I'd give you this treat...

Isn't it beautiful!? This is more-or-less what the cover of The Queen of Water will look like when it comes out next spring (2011). A coupla little details will be changed, like the word order of the title). This is a photo of Maria Virginia that my friend Ken Burgess took of her! I'm so excited that she's on the cover. I love the rich, warm colors, and the shimmery gold of the beads and lace and her lips... and her expression is so tender and introspective.

Let's hope this is the final cover... there's always a chance it could change, depending on the whims of the giant bookstore chains.

Here's a description of the book:

Born in an Andean village in Ecuador, Virginia lives with her large family in a small, earthen-walled dwelling. In her village of indígenas, it's not uncommon to work in the fields all day, even as a child, or to be called a longa tonta--stupid Indian--by the ruling class of mestizos, or Spanish descendants. On the day Virginia is taken from her Andean village to be an unpaid servant to a mestizo couple, she has no idea what the next decade will hold for her.

Virginia, who has always dreamt of leaving her village, soon embraces the privileges of mestizo life. But as much as she wants to be part of her new family, she instead receives a tangled mixture of love and disdain. Beaten and taunted by her boss, she has to fight to hold onto her spirit and humor. Told that the sole purpose of indigenous girls is to serve, she teaches herself to read and write… and performs science experiments in secret.

But when her most cherished ally betrays her, can she gather the courage and wits to escape? And once free, will Virginia—now a teenager caught between cultures—find a place where she belongs?

In this poignant novel based on a true story, acclaimed author Laura Resau has collaborated with María Virginia Farinango to recount an indigenous girl's unforgettable journey to self-discovery that will speak to anyone who has ever struggled to find his or her place in the world. Virginia’s story will make you laugh and cry, and ultimately, fill you with hope.

I can't wait until the book is out in the world for you to read! Okay, I'm off to take a walk in this windy, sunny city right now... and then I'll be having dinner with my agent (Erin Murphy) and a bunch of her wonderful authors. Thanks for reading!