Download high-resolution image Look inside
Listen to a clip from the audiobook
audio pause button
0:00
0:00

A Seed in the Sun

Author Aida Salazar On Tour
Look inside
Listen to a clip from the audiobook
audio pause button
0:00
0:00
Hardcover
$17.99 US
5.75"W x 8.56"H x 0.98"D  
On sale Oct 25, 2022 | 272 Pages | 978-0-593-40660-1
| Grades 3-7
Reading Level: Lexile NP
**Four starred reviews!**

A farm-working girl with big dreams meets activist Dolores Huerta and joins the 1965 protest for workers’ rights in this tender-hearted novel in verse, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Pam Muñoz Ryan.


Lula Viramontes aches to one day become someone whom no one can ignore: a daring ringleader in a Mexican traveling circus. But between working the grape harvest in Delano, California, with her older siblings under dangerous conditions; taking care of her younger siblings and Mamá, who has mysteriously fallen ill; and doing everything she can to avoid Papá’s volatile temper, it’s hard to hold on to those dreams.

Then she meets Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong, and other labor rights activists and realizes she may need to raise her voice sooner rather than later: Farmworkers are striking for better treatment and wages, and whether Lula’s family joins them or not will determine their future.
Aida Salazar is an award-winning author and arts activist whose writings for adults and children explore issues of identity and social justice. She is the author of the critically acclaimed middle grade verse novels The Moon Within and Land of the Cranes, as well as the picture book anthology In the Spirit of a Dream: 13 Stories of American  Immigrants of Color. Aida is a founding member of Las Musas—a Latinx kidlit debut author collective. She lives with her family of artists in a teal house in Oakland, CA. View titles by Aida Salazar
Semilla

They tried to bury us

but they didn’t know

we were seeds.

—Mexican Proverb




Imperial Valley, California • March 1965

Remolino


I sometimes think about how
                I lost my voice. 

I could have buried it in the earth, 
                                in the surco, the long row of dry dirt 
where we planted onion bulbs last spring
while the heat of a too-hot California day 
                fell on our 
                                arched 
                                                 backs 
                                  like barrels 
                of sun. 

It could have happened 
when Papá screamed for me to work faster
      just as I was singing along 
           to Mamá’s song
                     louder than Papá’s angry words 
                                or the drone of planes spraying the fields                                                                                              overhead.

It could have been taken 
                by the roaring remolino 
                                that slammed into us
                like the storm of Papá’s belt when we upset him,
an out of nowhere tornado 
                                ripping through the fields.

maybe that’s when the dirt-drenched air 
                                                               pulled
                                               my voice out of my breath 
                                and caught it in the 
                                                               spin of wild wind.

What's left is a whispery rasp
an orange-yellow mist 
                that comes and goes 
                                               like clouds.

My real voice is either somewhere 
                in the tumble of dirt 
                                in the onion fields 
                of the Imperial Valley             
      or 
was taken by 
                                the anger of the wind.


One day, I pray it comes back. 




Delano, California • September, 1965

Open-Sky Hammocks



We drown bedbugs 
in a pail of water,
chinches we pluck 
                from the mattresses 
                propped up outside 
                on rusty barrack walls.

The worst kind of chore 
on our first day in Delano, 
                in another labor camp
                as terrible as the last
                and the one before that.

Concha and Rafa race to see 
who can drown more bugs.
                They beat me by a lot 
                because they’re 
                five and four years older.

I ask Mamá if we can sleep 
in our hammocks instead 
                but she doesn’t turn around. 
She still can’t hear the tiny hiss 
that comes from me when I try to speak. 

                “¡Mamá!” I try to say louder.

She reads the question on my lips.

                “Lula, the mattresses are better so we are together                

and not hanging like leaves from the trees.”

Me? I’d rather sleep outside 
in a crest of oaks 
                at the edge of the grape fields 
                all around us 
                with surcos like long fingers 
                spread throughout the vineyard 
                and thick vines 
                growing big across the wires.

I’d rather sleep beneath 
                a blue-black sky glistening 
                with bright stars. 

                A stage. A place to dream. 

Where I can announce 
a make-believe circus like a ringmaster
                to an audience of hooting owls 
                hunting field mice in the night. 

Outside under the dense, starry sky 
we can only see in the back roads of California
                where we work and chase the harvests, 
                so different from the city where we hardly go
                and where the glow of lights washes away the contrast.

Yes, it’s colder in our hammocks 
than in the one-room wooden barrack,
                especially in the winter, 
                but so much better 
                than getting eaten alive by chinches.
                “Pero, Mamá, I wish we could . . .” I try to argue.

                “No time for wishing now, Lula.”

Mamá leans on my shoulder 
as she passes me holding a grass broom. 
                Her long thick braid lays against her neck
                as her body bends like a willow branch, 
                and she sighs, 

                “Vamos, Lula, Concha, Rafa. Let’s keep cleaning,                

mis amores.” 




Light Blue Schoolhouse


I watch water glisten as it splashes
                against the tin of the pail I fill 
at the only tap at this new but familiar camp.
                I think of the light blue schoolhouse
                I saw from the truck as we arrived,
                                and my panza flutters. 

I wonder about the new school year
and if the school will have
a twelfth grade for Concha
and a seventh grade for me
because there’s never a guarantee.

A school!
Where we’ll be the new faces 
along with other farmworker kids
whose families came like ours 
for the grape harvest
and who also won’t know 
what they’ll be learning
and will struggle to catch up.

An actual school! 
Not housework, 
not watching my baby siblings,
and not field work.

Back in Bakersfield
Rafa missed so many days 
he was whittled down two whole grades. 
                That’s when he had it 
                                and instead followed Papá and Mamá
                                               into the fields each daybreak 
                to pick whichever crop was in season.
Truant officers didn’t even blink 
to see him in the fields
as dandelion tall as he is. 

I’d taken what Concha 
once told me to heart.
No matter how much we miss,
no matter if teachers are mean,
no matter they sometimes punish us 
for speaking Spanish,
no matter if we can’t keep friends,
school is ours. 

               “Lula, you’re here to soak up anything you can,
                porque tomorrow, we’ll be on the road again
                and the only thing you can take with you”
                —she tapped my head— “is up here.” 

The best thing about Concha 
is she loves school
as much as me.
Concha’s gentle brown eyes 
                are maps 
when I can’t find my way.




Baby Work

Papá comes back 
with work orders from the crew leader
and a face folded in worry.

He, Mamá, and Rafa 
will pick grapes tomorrow morning. 
                Our baby sister, Gabriela, 
                and babiest brother, Martín, 
                will go with them 
so Concha and I can get to school.  

Mamá doesn’t ask us to 
work the fields to pick cotton, 
potatoes, strawberries, or grapes 
because that’s when school’s in session. 

Mamá doesn’t ask us to skip school
to watch the babies, either, 
she likes what we learn  
about the world outside the fields.
She loves to hear us translate for her
the stories in the books we get to read,
the English transforming into the Spanish 
that she and Papà speak. 

Threat of a truant officer 
or no truant officer,
I don’t think Mamá 
would want it any other way.

I wouldn't mind watching the babies, 
Gabi and Martín are 
two balls of sweet masa with legs.

Gabi’s almost three and runs 
like a cheetah on her bare feet 
with one too many toes on each foot.
Mamá calls her “una hija de Dios” 
and because she’s a child of God, 
she is perfect just as she is
with no need for shoes 
we can’t afford anyway. 

Martín crawls like a ladybug
because being one year old is still pretty little. 
He reaches up 
with his 
dimpled hands
whenever he wants 
to be carried,
and we always happily sweep him up.

It’s not hard to do squishy baby work like that. 




Escabs

I overhear Papá tell Rafa, 

                “Caramba, we just walked into a strike. Men with picket

                signs and bullhorns were yelling at all of us not to work.”

                “What do you think they’re fighting for, Apá?”

I get closer but he pulls Rafa inside,
and gives me a “what do you want, nosy”
kind of look but I can still hear him.

              “Los Filipinos seem to have left the fields because they

              want higher wages. They’re en huelga, and they think

              we’re taking their jobs,” he says.

              “Do you think there’ll be trouble, Apá?” Rafa asks.

              “Pues they were protesting and screaming ‘Don’t

              be escabs!’ at us while we were getting crew orders.

              Josesito said escab means traitor because we are crossing

              their picket line.” 

Papá says the word scab like 
his tongue is a skipped record 
adding a syllable up front.

Mamá is sitting on the edge of the bed,
holding her head between her hands
like she’s hurt, 
frowning into her closed eyes. 

I want to see what’s wrong with her 
but I stay outside the barrack
so Papá doesn’t know 
I’m snooping.

Martín toddles up to Papá,
reaches up to him.
Papá unfolds his brows and arms,
lifts him up and tosses him into
the air with an “Ah, ¡mi muchachito!” 

Papá saves his sweetness for the babies.
As soon as we get older, 
seeing his love for us 
is a sight as rare as rain 
falling on desert earth. 




Carpa Smiles        


I remember a time 
before the whirlwind,
a time before Gabi and Martín were born
when we snuck into the circus.
Rafa and me. 

Papá went without 
his bottles of beer for once
to buy three tickets 
for Mamá, Concha, and him.

Hidden behind crates,
Rafa held up the tent’s wall
to keep me from getting scratched 
like he did as he crawled 
beneath the canvas. 

We emerged into a flurry of people
trying to get a seat to see La Carpa Vázquez,
the traveling Mexican circus. 

We squirmed, pushed, and shoved 
other kids to sit up front. 
As the lights began to dim, 
I searched and found 
Concha, Mamá, and Papá
sitting still inside a crowd
moving like ants around them.

Suddenly the lights, the music, 
and a loud, booming voice 
welcomed us.
 
                “Señoras y señores, niños y niñas, welcome to the
                world-famous La Carpa Vázquez!”

That’s when I saw it.
Papá’s smile, 
with its missing right-side molar. 
    A smile so pretty and wide 
       it shined like a galaxy 
              in the center 
     of the deep brown night 
               of his face. 

I don’t understand why 
he never lets us see it, 
but seeing him smile 
because of the ringmaster’s smooth voice 
opened up my own sonrisa
like a squash bloom 
following 
the light of day.

I swept my head around
and was pulled like never before
and never since 
into the magic of la carpa.

The clown jugglers, 
the comedians, the singers,
the dancing dog show, 
the tightrope walkers,
and the flying trapeze. 

Rafa and me clapped, hollered,
           and fell on each other, 
¡muriéndonos de risa! 

When I took a breath,
a dream was etched in my heart, 
to join the circus one day,
as ringmaster.

I think about the ringmaster 
whenever I am still.

I think about how his voice 
made the lights of Papá’s face 
come alive. 

I want to be one of the reasons Papá smiles.

Educator Guide for A Seed in the Sun

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

  • SELECTION
    Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
  • SELECTION
    NCTE Notable Poetry and Verse Novels
  • FINALIST
    Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor Book
  • SELECTION
    Rise: A Feminist Book Project Top Ten
  • SELECTION
    NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies
Praise for A Seed in the Sun

Tomás Rivera Children's Book Award Winner
NCTE Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels 
Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist 
ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project Top Ten
Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year
NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book


★ “Poignantly told, the story of Lula and her family’s plight will tug young readers’ heartstrings; this is an important, and sometimes unspoken, part of the American past and present that needs to be brought to light.”—School Library Journal, starred review
 
★ “Salazar seamlessly combines historical events of the farmworkers’ rights movement and the 1965 Delano grape strike with a sensitive portrayal of a girl trying to make sense of the world. It’s a powerful coming-of-age story filled with evocative language, memorable characters, and apt nature imagery.”—Horn Book, starred review
 
★ “There is a special power in historical fiction’s ability to blend real issues and events with engaging characters, turning the past into a living, breathing thing. Salazar accomplishes this beautifully in her new novel in verse . . . Led by a memorable protagonist, this novel mixes themes of growth and change with historical details and powerful observations on the abuses that sparked the Farmworkers’ Movement and the strength of those demanding justice.”—Booklist, starred review
 
★ “[W]ell-researched . . . In two previous novels, Salazar established herself as an expert writer of middle grade verse narratives filled with beautiful metaphors and similes. Her skill is evident here . . . Salazar’s text is dynamic . . . Readers gravitate toward middle grade historical fiction because it makes complex history tangible. A Seed in the Sun deserves a space on the shelf alongside Brenda Woods’ When Winter Robeson Came…and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Pura Belpré Award-winning Esperanza Rising.”—BookPage, starred review
 
“Salazar’s lyrical poetry offers a sensitive depiction of Lula’s struggles and hopes, culminating in a personal arc that emphasizes developing one’s voice.”—PW
 
“[An] introspective novel with a well-developed sense of place . . . The character development is strong . . . Lula shows tenacity as her seeds of potential are nourished. Compelling and atmospheric.”—Kirkus Reviews


Accolades for Aida Salazar

The Moon Within
Four starred reviews: Kirkus, SLJ, PW, BookPage
Best Books of 2019: Kirkus, NPR’s Book Concierge, SLJ, NYPL, Center for Multicultural Children’s Literature
   • 2020 Indie Next List 
   • ALA 2020 Rainbow Book List
   • Charlotte Huck Recommended Book
   • International Latino Book Award (MG fiction) winner
   • Golden Poppy Award winner
   • Américas Award honor
   • NCTE 2020 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels
   • Nerdy Book Award for Poetry
   • Lincoln Nebraska City Libraries Top 100 Novels for Youth  

Land of the Cranes

Three starred reviews: Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best Books of 2020: Kirkus, SLJ, NYPL (Top 10), BookPage
   • Book Expo Buzz pick
   • John and Patricia Beatty Award winner
   • Charlotte Huck Award honor
   • Jane Addams Peace Association honor
   • Vermont Golden Dome Book List
   • ALA RISE: Feminist Book List

About

**Four starred reviews!**

A farm-working girl with big dreams meets activist Dolores Huerta and joins the 1965 protest for workers’ rights in this tender-hearted novel in verse, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Pam Muñoz Ryan.


Lula Viramontes aches to one day become someone whom no one can ignore: a daring ringleader in a Mexican traveling circus. But between working the grape harvest in Delano, California, with her older siblings under dangerous conditions; taking care of her younger siblings and Mamá, who has mysteriously fallen ill; and doing everything she can to avoid Papá’s volatile temper, it’s hard to hold on to those dreams.

Then she meets Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong, and other labor rights activists and realizes she may need to raise her voice sooner rather than later: Farmworkers are striking for better treatment and wages, and whether Lula’s family joins them or not will determine their future.

Author

Aida Salazar is an award-winning author and arts activist whose writings for adults and children explore issues of identity and social justice. She is the author of the critically acclaimed middle grade verse novels The Moon Within and Land of the Cranes, as well as the picture book anthology In the Spirit of a Dream: 13 Stories of American  Immigrants of Color. Aida is a founding member of Las Musas—a Latinx kidlit debut author collective. She lives with her family of artists in a teal house in Oakland, CA. View titles by Aida Salazar

Excerpt

Semilla

They tried to bury us

but they didn’t know

we were seeds.

—Mexican Proverb




Imperial Valley, California • March 1965

Remolino


I sometimes think about how
                I lost my voice. 

I could have buried it in the earth, 
                                in the surco, the long row of dry dirt 
where we planted onion bulbs last spring
while the heat of a too-hot California day 
                fell on our 
                                arched 
                                                 backs 
                                  like barrels 
                of sun. 

It could have happened 
when Papá screamed for me to work faster
      just as I was singing along 
           to Mamá’s song
                     louder than Papá’s angry words 
                                or the drone of planes spraying the fields                                                                                              overhead.

It could have been taken 
                by the roaring remolino 
                                that slammed into us
                like the storm of Papá’s belt when we upset him,
an out of nowhere tornado 
                                ripping through the fields.

maybe that’s when the dirt-drenched air 
                                                               pulled
                                               my voice out of my breath 
                                and caught it in the 
                                                               spin of wild wind.

What's left is a whispery rasp
an orange-yellow mist 
                that comes and goes 
                                               like clouds.

My real voice is either somewhere 
                in the tumble of dirt 
                                in the onion fields 
                of the Imperial Valley             
      or 
was taken by 
                                the anger of the wind.


One day, I pray it comes back. 




Delano, California • September, 1965

Open-Sky Hammocks



We drown bedbugs 
in a pail of water,
chinches we pluck 
                from the mattresses 
                propped up outside 
                on rusty barrack walls.

The worst kind of chore 
on our first day in Delano, 
                in another labor camp
                as terrible as the last
                and the one before that.

Concha and Rafa race to see 
who can drown more bugs.
                They beat me by a lot 
                because they’re 
                five and four years older.

I ask Mamá if we can sleep 
in our hammocks instead 
                but she doesn’t turn around. 
She still can’t hear the tiny hiss 
that comes from me when I try to speak. 

                “¡Mamá!” I try to say louder.

She reads the question on my lips.

                “Lula, the mattresses are better so we are together                

and not hanging like leaves from the trees.”

Me? I’d rather sleep outside 
in a crest of oaks 
                at the edge of the grape fields 
                all around us 
                with surcos like long fingers 
                spread throughout the vineyard 
                and thick vines 
                growing big across the wires.

I’d rather sleep beneath 
                a blue-black sky glistening 
                with bright stars. 

                A stage. A place to dream. 

Where I can announce 
a make-believe circus like a ringmaster
                to an audience of hooting owls 
                hunting field mice in the night. 

Outside under the dense, starry sky 
we can only see in the back roads of California
                where we work and chase the harvests, 
                so different from the city where we hardly go
                and where the glow of lights washes away the contrast.

Yes, it’s colder in our hammocks 
than in the one-room wooden barrack,
                especially in the winter, 
                but so much better 
                than getting eaten alive by chinches.
                “Pero, Mamá, I wish we could . . .” I try to argue.

                “No time for wishing now, Lula.”

Mamá leans on my shoulder 
as she passes me holding a grass broom. 
                Her long thick braid lays against her neck
                as her body bends like a willow branch, 
                and she sighs, 

                “Vamos, Lula, Concha, Rafa. Let’s keep cleaning,                

mis amores.” 




Light Blue Schoolhouse


I watch water glisten as it splashes
                against the tin of the pail I fill 
at the only tap at this new but familiar camp.
                I think of the light blue schoolhouse
                I saw from the truck as we arrived,
                                and my panza flutters. 

I wonder about the new school year
and if the school will have
a twelfth grade for Concha
and a seventh grade for me
because there’s never a guarantee.

A school!
Where we’ll be the new faces 
along with other farmworker kids
whose families came like ours 
for the grape harvest
and who also won’t know 
what they’ll be learning
and will struggle to catch up.

An actual school! 
Not housework, 
not watching my baby siblings,
and not field work.

Back in Bakersfield
Rafa missed so many days 
he was whittled down two whole grades. 
                That’s when he had it 
                                and instead followed Papá and Mamá
                                               into the fields each daybreak 
                to pick whichever crop was in season.
Truant officers didn’t even blink 
to see him in the fields
as dandelion tall as he is. 

I’d taken what Concha 
once told me to heart.
No matter how much we miss,
no matter if teachers are mean,
no matter they sometimes punish us 
for speaking Spanish,
no matter if we can’t keep friends,
school is ours. 

               “Lula, you’re here to soak up anything you can,
                porque tomorrow, we’ll be on the road again
                and the only thing you can take with you”
                —she tapped my head— “is up here.” 

The best thing about Concha 
is she loves school
as much as me.
Concha’s gentle brown eyes 
                are maps 
when I can’t find my way.




Baby Work

Papá comes back 
with work orders from the crew leader
and a face folded in worry.

He, Mamá, and Rafa 
will pick grapes tomorrow morning. 
                Our baby sister, Gabriela, 
                and babiest brother, Martín, 
                will go with them 
so Concha and I can get to school.  

Mamá doesn’t ask us to 
work the fields to pick cotton, 
potatoes, strawberries, or grapes 
because that’s when school’s in session. 

Mamá doesn’t ask us to skip school
to watch the babies, either, 
she likes what we learn  
about the world outside the fields.
She loves to hear us translate for her
the stories in the books we get to read,
the English transforming into the Spanish 
that she and Papà speak. 

Threat of a truant officer 
or no truant officer,
I don’t think Mamá 
would want it any other way.

I wouldn't mind watching the babies, 
Gabi and Martín are 
two balls of sweet masa with legs.

Gabi’s almost three and runs 
like a cheetah on her bare feet 
with one too many toes on each foot.
Mamá calls her “una hija de Dios” 
and because she’s a child of God, 
she is perfect just as she is
with no need for shoes 
we can’t afford anyway. 

Martín crawls like a ladybug
because being one year old is still pretty little. 
He reaches up 
with his 
dimpled hands
whenever he wants 
to be carried,
and we always happily sweep him up.

It’s not hard to do squishy baby work like that. 




Escabs

I overhear Papá tell Rafa, 

                “Caramba, we just walked into a strike. Men with picket

                signs and bullhorns were yelling at all of us not to work.”

                “What do you think they’re fighting for, Apá?”

I get closer but he pulls Rafa inside,
and gives me a “what do you want, nosy”
kind of look but I can still hear him.

              “Los Filipinos seem to have left the fields because they

              want higher wages. They’re en huelga, and they think

              we’re taking their jobs,” he says.

              “Do you think there’ll be trouble, Apá?” Rafa asks.

              “Pues they were protesting and screaming ‘Don’t

              be escabs!’ at us while we were getting crew orders.

              Josesito said escab means traitor because we are crossing

              their picket line.” 

Papá says the word scab like 
his tongue is a skipped record 
adding a syllable up front.

Mamá is sitting on the edge of the bed,
holding her head between her hands
like she’s hurt, 
frowning into her closed eyes. 

I want to see what’s wrong with her 
but I stay outside the barrack
so Papá doesn’t know 
I’m snooping.

Martín toddles up to Papá,
reaches up to him.
Papá unfolds his brows and arms,
lifts him up and tosses him into
the air with an “Ah, ¡mi muchachito!” 

Papá saves his sweetness for the babies.
As soon as we get older, 
seeing his love for us 
is a sight as rare as rain 
falling on desert earth. 




Carpa Smiles        


I remember a time 
before the whirlwind,
a time before Gabi and Martín were born
when we snuck into the circus.
Rafa and me. 

Papá went without 
his bottles of beer for once
to buy three tickets 
for Mamá, Concha, and him.

Hidden behind crates,
Rafa held up the tent’s wall
to keep me from getting scratched 
like he did as he crawled 
beneath the canvas. 

We emerged into a flurry of people
trying to get a seat to see La Carpa Vázquez,
the traveling Mexican circus. 

We squirmed, pushed, and shoved 
other kids to sit up front. 
As the lights began to dim, 
I searched and found 
Concha, Mamá, and Papá
sitting still inside a crowd
moving like ants around them.

Suddenly the lights, the music, 
and a loud, booming voice 
welcomed us.
 
                “Señoras y señores, niños y niñas, welcome to the
                world-famous La Carpa Vázquez!”

That’s when I saw it.
Papá’s smile, 
with its missing right-side molar. 
    A smile so pretty and wide 
       it shined like a galaxy 
              in the center 
     of the deep brown night 
               of his face. 

I don’t understand why 
he never lets us see it, 
but seeing him smile 
because of the ringmaster’s smooth voice 
opened up my own sonrisa
like a squash bloom 
following 
the light of day.

I swept my head around
and was pulled like never before
and never since 
into the magic of la carpa.

The clown jugglers, 
the comedians, the singers,
the dancing dog show, 
the tightrope walkers,
and the flying trapeze. 

Rafa and me clapped, hollered,
           and fell on each other, 
¡muriéndonos de risa! 

When I took a breath,
a dream was etched in my heart, 
to join the circus one day,
as ringmaster.

I think about the ringmaster 
whenever I am still.

I think about how his voice 
made the lights of Papá’s face 
come alive. 

I want to be one of the reasons Papá smiles.

Guides

Educator Guide for A Seed in the Sun

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Awards

  • SELECTION
    Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
  • SELECTION
    NCTE Notable Poetry and Verse Novels
  • FINALIST
    Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor Book
  • SELECTION
    Rise: A Feminist Book Project Top Ten
  • SELECTION
    NCSS-CBC Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies

Praise

Praise for A Seed in the Sun

Tomás Rivera Children's Book Award Winner
NCTE Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels 
Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist 
ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project Top Ten
Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year
NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book


★ “Poignantly told, the story of Lula and her family’s plight will tug young readers’ heartstrings; this is an important, and sometimes unspoken, part of the American past and present that needs to be brought to light.”—School Library Journal, starred review
 
★ “Salazar seamlessly combines historical events of the farmworkers’ rights movement and the 1965 Delano grape strike with a sensitive portrayal of a girl trying to make sense of the world. It’s a powerful coming-of-age story filled with evocative language, memorable characters, and apt nature imagery.”—Horn Book, starred review
 
★ “There is a special power in historical fiction’s ability to blend real issues and events with engaging characters, turning the past into a living, breathing thing. Salazar accomplishes this beautifully in her new novel in verse . . . Led by a memorable protagonist, this novel mixes themes of growth and change with historical details and powerful observations on the abuses that sparked the Farmworkers’ Movement and the strength of those demanding justice.”—Booklist, starred review
 
★ “[W]ell-researched . . . In two previous novels, Salazar established herself as an expert writer of middle grade verse narratives filled with beautiful metaphors and similes. Her skill is evident here . . . Salazar’s text is dynamic . . . Readers gravitate toward middle grade historical fiction because it makes complex history tangible. A Seed in the Sun deserves a space on the shelf alongside Brenda Woods’ When Winter Robeson Came…and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Pura Belpré Award-winning Esperanza Rising.”—BookPage, starred review
 
“Salazar’s lyrical poetry offers a sensitive depiction of Lula’s struggles and hopes, culminating in a personal arc that emphasizes developing one’s voice.”—PW
 
“[An] introspective novel with a well-developed sense of place . . . The character development is strong . . . Lula shows tenacity as her seeds of potential are nourished. Compelling and atmospheric.”—Kirkus Reviews


Accolades for Aida Salazar

The Moon Within
Four starred reviews: Kirkus, SLJ, PW, BookPage
Best Books of 2019: Kirkus, NPR’s Book Concierge, SLJ, NYPL, Center for Multicultural Children’s Literature
   • 2020 Indie Next List 
   • ALA 2020 Rainbow Book List
   • Charlotte Huck Recommended Book
   • International Latino Book Award (MG fiction) winner
   • Golden Poppy Award winner
   • Américas Award honor
   • NCTE 2020 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels
   • Nerdy Book Award for Poetry
   • Lincoln Nebraska City Libraries Top 100 Novels for Youth  

Land of the Cranes

Three starred reviews: Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best Books of 2020: Kirkus, SLJ, NYPL (Top 10), BookPage
   • Book Expo Buzz pick
   • John and Patricia Beatty Award winner
   • Charlotte Huck Award honor
   • Jane Addams Peace Association honor
   • Vermont Golden Dome Book List
   • ALA RISE: Feminist Book List

Books for Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Every May we celebrate the rich history and culture of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Browse a curated selection of fiction and nonfiction books by AANHPI creators that we think your students will love. Find our collections of titles here: Middle School High School

Read more

PRH Education High School Collections

All reading communities should contain protected time for the sake of reading. Independent reading practices emphasize the process of making meaning through reading, not an end product. The school culture (teachers, administration, etc.) should affirm this daily practice time as inherently important instructional time for all readers. (NCTE, 2019)   The Penguin Random House High

Read more

PRH Education Translanguaging Collections

Translanguaging is a communicative practice of bilinguals and multilinguals, that is, it is a practice whereby bilinguals and multilinguals use their entire linguistic repertoire to communicate and make meaning (García, 2009; García, Ibarra Johnson, & Seltzer, 2017)   It is through that lens that we have partnered with teacher educators and bilingual education experts, Drs.

Read more

PRH Education Classroom Libraries

“Books are a students’ passport to entering and actively participating in a global society with the empathy, compassion, and knowledge it takes to become the problem solvers the world needs.” –Laura Robb   Research shows that reading and literacy directly impacts students’ academic success and personal growth. To help promote the importance of daily independent

Read more