Sneak Peek of THE HIDDEN CITY

IFWG Publishing has posted the first chapter of The Hidden City, book three of my middle-grade fantasy series Garza Twins. In this excerpt, we learn see Carol use song magic against a trio of bullies and begin to experience complicated feelings for her friend Nikki Jones. Read and enjoy! Preview: The…

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AKBTW Playlists for Carol and Johnny

As I worked on A Kingdom Beneath the Waves, the second book of Garza Twins, I used music to help me get inside the heads of my two teen protagonists. Here are the playlists for each character:  

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Guest Blog Post Up

Cindy Rodríguez over at Latin@s in Kid Lit graciously invited me to write a blog post about the Garza Twins series, the Pura Belpré Honor Award, etc. That post is up today, and you can read it here.  

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Cover Reveal for A Kingdom Beneath the Waves

IFWG Publishing just dropped the cover of Garza Twins Book Two on their website. Kudos to Charlene for her incredible work on this.  

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Mesoamerican Day Signs

The post below is mainly intended for students reading my Garza Twins series, but the information may be useful for others as well. Most societies in pre-Columbian Mexico (Aztec, Maya, Mixtec, etc.) used a complex system to keep track of dates. Basically there were two overlapping calendars in this system: a 365-day…

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Meet Carol Garza

Here are some key facts about one of the protagonists of the Garza Twins series. Name: Carolina “Carol” Garza Birthday: August 10 Aztec day sign: Ce Ocelotl or “One Jaguar.” Note, however, that the twins were baptized on August 26, which falls under the sign Nahui Izcuintli or “Four Dog,”…

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Meet Johnny Garza

Here are some key facts about one of the protagonists of the Garza Twins series. Name: Juan Ángel “Johnny” Garza Birthday: August 10 Aztec day sign: Ce Ocelotl or “One Jaguar” Home town: Donna, Texas Interests: electronica music, old cartoons and comics, video games, architecture, social justice, drawing Play list:…

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Discussion Questions for The Smoking Mirror

What is the most likely reason Carol wakes up in her back yard with a dead jackrabbit in her hands? How has the disappearance of the twins’ mother affected their family? Why is it ironic that Johnny says, “An animal? Maybe I am one, too” in Chapter 2? At the…

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Teaching resources for The Smoking Mirror

Here are a few resources than can be used by teachers in connection with The Smoking Mirror Glossary for The Smoking Mirror Related readings The Mayan Hero Twins story from the Popol Vuh Condensed version Newly translated and adapted version by David Bowles Description of the Aztec Underworld from the Florentine Codex 1978 translation…

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Glossary for The Smoking Mirror

Here is a list of mythological characters, objects, places and concepts mentioned or featured in The Smoking Mirror. Acolmiztli—A black puma who leads the Balamija in the second level of Mictlan Ahuiateteo—Gods of vice and excess. ahuitzotl—(pl. ahuitzomeh) “Water dog,” a sort of magical aquatic creature with a hand at…

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