Maria Virginia Farinango (my co-author and me... happy!!)
Nice news to start off my week: The Queen of Water just got its *third* starred review-- this one from Publishers Weekly! I'm over the moon!
* This compelling collaboration between Resau (The Ruby Notebook) and Farinango--who met while Resau was teaching English at a community college--is based on Farinango's tumultuous upbringing in Ecuador as part of an indígena (indigenous) family, forced to live under the thumb of the mestizos (the Spanish upper class). As is common for indígena girls her age, Virginia is sent to live with a wealthy mestizo couple--in her case, Niño Carlitos and his wife, Doctorita--and she babysits their children and serves as their maid for eight years. While the living conditions are an improvement over her family's small farm, she endures physical and verbal abuse and is denied an education.
Narrating in a singular, authentic voice, Virginia dreams of escape, but her broken identity leaves her directionless. Along the way, though, she employs her imagination, persistence, and hard-won wisdom to recover her strength and freedom. The authors' candid narrative richly depicts Virginia's passage from a childhood filled with demoralization to a young woman who sees her life through new eyes. Ages 12–up.
Yay! So happy about this... I didn't even know what starred reviews meant before my first book came out... Basically, it's a system for recognizing the book as having exceptional merit... and the happy consequence is that librarians, book sellers, teachers, and people in the publishing industry pay more attention to the book.... which ultimately gets the book into the hands of more readers... and this, as a writer, is one of my biggest goals... to connect with as many readers as I can.
Okay, I have to wade my way through the heaps of emails that have been building up since I left for Michigan. I'm in the midst of planning lots of author visits (virtual and actual) with schools and libraries in Colorado-- Broomfield, Boulder, Fort Collins, Basalt, Grand Junction, and more...
(If I owe you an email, don't worry, it'll be coming soon... my apologies!) Thanks for reading and keeping in touch-- I'm grateful!