Delivered 11.23.2020 at the ALAN Workshop Thank you so much to the committee for selecting Patron Saints of Nothing as a finalist for the Amelia Walden Award. I know you probably read a ton of books this past year, and I know the difficulty of then having to select only 5 titles. It also means … Continue reading 2020 WALDEN AWARD FINALIST SPEECH
Americans who read Patron Saints of Nothing often tell me that my story made them cry. It means a lot to me that something I’ve written moves people so deeply, but our tears are not enough. At midnight in the Philippines on July 18, the country’s Anti-Terror Law (ATL) went into effect. Its vague language … Continue reading OUR TEARS ARE NOT ENOUGH
WHAT DOES “BLACK LIVES MATTER” EVEN MEAN? The movement wants to build a society that truly treats everyone equally. But to do that we need to admit that we’re not there yet, understand why that is, and then apply corrective solutions. The expression is meant to remind us that Black people are inherently equal to … Continue reading IN WHICH I ADDRESS, IN GOOD FAITH, SOME QUESTIONS RAISED BY A CONSERVATIVE MEME
The following is the text of the speech I delivered at the 2019 ALAN Workshop session on November 25, 2019: Thank you, Jason, for that introduction, and thank you to Steven Bickmore and ALAN for inviting me to speak today. And thank you to all of you who for some reason have not used this … Continue reading CRITICAL LIT THEORY AS PREPARATION FOR THE WORLD (2019 ALAN WORKSHOP SPEECH)
HUGE news this week: Patron Saints of Nothing was named a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature! The other finalists in the category are Pet by Akwaeke Emezi, Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds, Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby, and 1919 by Martin Sandler. It's an absolute … Continue reading NATIONAL BOOK AWARD NEWS!
When I was growing up, I never felt like I fully belonged anywhere. As a half-white, half-Filipino American who very much appears mixed race, my ethnicity was constantly interrogated. Friends, acquaintances, teachers, coaches, and even the occasional stranger would ask, “What are you?” or “Where are you from?” I understand that (in most cases) there … Continue reading WHAT BLACK HISTORY MONTH MEANS TO THIS FILIPINO AMERICAN
I'm excited to kick off the new year with a new (and free) short story for you all to read thanks to the awesome folks at Foreshadow! The story is titled "Ours" and I'm not exactly certain how to categorize the genre. Maybe YA Filipinx American contemporary horror/paranormal? I don't know. I don't want to give … Continue reading OURS
I was invited to join a session at this year's NCTE convention about complexity in YA literature. As part of the session, Dr. Jennifer Buehler (author of Teaching Reading with YA Literature: Complex Texts, Complex Lives) and Dr. Cathy Fleisher asked me and the other authors (Elizabeth Acevedo, David Arnold, Sharon Draper, David Levithan, Emily X.R. Pan, & … Continue reading COMPLEXITY IN YA
On Monday, Penguin Teen revealed the cover of PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING, my next book, out in June 2019 from Kokila/Penguin Random House! You can see the full cover and read an exclusive excerpt at the link above. The book tells the story of Jay Reguero, a Filipino American teen, who travels to the Philippines … Continue reading COVER REVEAL!
After five months of sitting on this secret, I can finally announce that my next book, PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING, will be out in summer of 2019 with Kokila Books (a new imprint of Penguin Random House)! (Add it to your TBR shelf on Goodreads!) This has been in the works for several months, so … Continue reading BOOK #3 ON THE WAY!