Official Blog of the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

International Children’s Literature Celebration Authors Receive Prestigious Américas Award

Each year LACIS co-sponsors an event called the “International Children’s and Young Adult Literature Celebration” which hosts children’s authors representing works from different regions of the world or cultures.  This event is offered by the Wisconsin International Outreach Consortium (WIOC) of which LACIS is a member. Historically, it has involved a visit to the Governor’s mansion where invited authors read excerpts from their books to school children from around the state of WI, as well as a one-day workshop attended by librarians, K-12 educators and others.

In 2010, LACIS-sponsored author Laura Resau participated in the event, and in 2009, author Margarita Engle.  We enjoyed getting to know both of these authors during their visits to Madison and are pleased to announce that they have both been recently selected to receive Americas Awards for Children’s & Young Adult Literature.  This prestigious award is administered by the Consoritum of Latin American Studies (CLASP) of which LACIS is a member.

Margarita Engle received an award this year for her book “Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck”. She is a previous recipient of this award (2007 for “The Poet Slave of Cuba” and 2009 for “The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom”). She writes about young people who make “hopeful choices in situations that seemed hopeless” ( Her writing is inspired by her Cuban-American heritage and her love of tropical nature and writing.

Laura Resau received an honorable mention award for “The Queen of Water” which is a beautiful memoir of a young Ecuadorean girl’s struggle to come to terms with her indigenous roots and the mestizo world into which she is thrown in “The Queen of Water.” (Resau co-wrote this book with María Virginia Farinango.)

Congratulations to both authors!