Las Musas Author Panel with Reina Luz Alegre, Rebecca Balcárcel, and Anika Fajardo

Las MusasSunday, July 26, 3PM

Meet Zoey, Eddie, and Quijana, three mixed Latinx tweens who are on a mission to help their families, to discover their true selves, and have a little adventure and fun along the way. Join Latinx authors Reina Luz Alegre, Rebecca Balcárcel, and Anika Fajardo, all members of the author collective Las Musas, as they explore how dual-culture kids find their footing as they straddle two worlds. This conversation will be fun for kids and adults alike.
Reina Luz Alegre lives in the Miami area with her family. She’s dreamed of becoming an author since the second grade, and grew up to work on various other professional dreams—including as a freelance journalist and lawyer—before debuting her first novel, The Dream Weaver, a Junior Library Guild Selection. When she’s not writing, Reina loves to read, sing, and salivate over baking shows. 
Half-Guatemalan, Rebecca Balcárcel loves cats, popcorn, and teaching. Her debut middle grade novel, The Other Half of Happy, has been named a Pure Belpré Honor Book, ALA Notable Book, Américas Award Honor Book, and Best Middle Grade Book by Texas Institute of Letters. Catch Rebecca on YouTube as the SixMinuteScholar (to see her at her nerdiest!) or find her at
Anika Fajardo was born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota. Her book about that experience, Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Awards. A writer, editor, and teacher, she lives in the very literary city of Minneapolis, not far from Lake Harriet. What If a Fish is her first middle grade novel.
Reina Luz AlegreRebecca BalcarcélAnika Fajardo



The Dream Weaver By Reina Luz Alegre Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534462311
Availability: Unavailable to Order
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - June 23rd, 2020

Twelve-year-old Zoey navigates the tricky waters of friendship while looking for a way to save her grandfather’s struggling business in this heartwarming, coming-of-age debut novel perfect for fans of Kristi Wientge, Donna Gephart, and Meg Medina.

Zoey comes from a family of dreamers. From start-up companies to selling motorcycles, her dad is constantly chasing jobs that never seem to work out. As for Zoey, she’s willing to go along with whatever grand plans her dad dreams up—even if it means never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. Her family being together is all that matters to her.

So Zoey’s world is turned upside down when Dad announces that he’s heading to a new job in New York City without her. Instead, Zoey and her older brother, José, will stay with their Poppy at the Jersey Shore. At first, Zoey feels as lost and alone as she did after her mami died. But soon she’s distracted by an even bigger problem: the bowling alley that Poppy has owned for decades is in danger of closing!

After befriending a group of kids practicing for a summer bowling tournament, Zoey hatches a grand plan of her own to save the bowling alley. It seems like she’s found the perfect way to weave everyone’s dreams together...until unexpected events turn Zoey’s plan into one giant nightmare. Now, with her new friends counting on her and her family’s happiness hanging in the balance, Zoey will have to decide what her dream is—and how hard she’s willing to fight for it.

The Other Half of Happy: (Middle Grade Novel for Ages 9-12, Bilingual Tween Book) By Rebecca Balcárcel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781452169989
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - August 20th, 2019

This immersive and beautifully written novel follows the story of Quijana, a girl in pieces.

Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole.

This is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.

• Lyrical middle grade debut from author Rebecca Balcárcel
• A diverse and family-centered story that resonates with anyone who remembers, or is going through, growing pains
• Inclusively embraces real life experiences with biracial, autistic, and gay characters

One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana's Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn't know more about her family's heritage.

One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she's found true friends. But she can't help the growing feelings she has for Jayden.

One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what's going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother.

What If a Fish By Anika Fajardo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534449831
Availability: Unavailable to Order
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 11th, 2020

A whimsical and unflinchingly honest generational story of family and identity where hats turn into leeches, ghosts blow kisses from lemon trees, and the things you find at the end of your fishing line might not be a fish at all.

Half-Colombian Eddie Aguado has never really felt Colombian. Especially after Papa died. And since Mama keeps her memories of Papa locked up where Eddie can’t get to them, he only has Papa’s third-place fishing tournament medal to remember him by. He’ll have to figure out how to be more Colombian on his own.

As if by magic, the perfect opportunity arises. Eddie—who’s never left Minnesota—is invited to spend the summer in Colombia with his older half-brother. But as his adventure unfolds, he feels more and more like a fish out of water.

Figuring out how to be a true colombiano might be more difficult than he thought.

Event Address:
Minneapolis, MN 55410
United States