Aida Salazar

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ULTRAVIOLET

April 2024, Scholastic, 256 pp

Can love break your heart – literally?

For Elio, eighth grade fizzes with change. In his body. With his pops, who makes them join a father-son group to talk about puberty and manly stuff and being Mexican. And especially around Camelia, his first girlfriend, whose golden aura distorts his vision.

When Elio finds out Camelia has been hanging out with Chava, and that he’s been pressuring her into kissing him, Elio’s emotions spiral and he craves revenge. Little does he know a fight with Chava will land him in the hospital with a real heart condition, and that Camelia isn’t looking for a savior. What will it take for Elio to learn what it really means to be a man, a true friend, and an ally?

In poems that radiate color and crackle with comedy and candor, Ultraviolet digs deep into themes of consent, toxic masculinity, and the emotional lives of boys as it challenges stereotypes about how they are socialized to behave. This vibrant, authentic story, centering an irresistible Chicano hero struggling to figure out who he wants to be, is the highly relatable coming of age story every tween and young teen needs.

STARRED REVIEWS

KIRKUS – “A story that sings to the soul.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – “A compassionate verse novel about first love, heartbreak, and vulnerability”


Marietta Zacker


Middle Grade


Contemporary

Diverse

Poetry

Realistic


Dramatic

Translation

UK

GZLA

MY LIVING WORLD 01: WHEN MOON BLOOMS

February 2024, Penguin Workshop/Penguin Random House, 26 pp

Derived from Mexican Mesoamerican wisdom, this series of poetic board books center around establishing an authentic, heartfelt connection with and respect for nature.

Using Mexican concepts, this poignantly lyrical series invites young children to pay witness to nature, to value it, and to become a steward of the planet. The moon’s phases – new, waxing, full, and waning – are seamlessly intertwined with our own natural cadences, showcasing the power and beauty of universal interconnectedness. Acclaimed middle-grade author Aida Salazar lovingly turns her attention to the youngest readers, bringing her signature lyrical text, in English with a few Spanish words interwoven. With vibrant, mystical art, this book is a truly meaningful and formative experience for all young readers.

STARRED REVIEWS

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – “Warm and fluidly told, it’s a lovely starting point for discussions about the natural world.”

NOTE: A second book in the series is under contract. Penguin has North American Spanish rights. For illustration rights, please contact subsidiary rights representative Siaurui Goh - sgoh@penguinrandomhouse.com.


Marietta Zacker


Board Book


Nature

Read-Aloud


Dramatic

Translation

GZLA

A SEED IN THE SUN

October 2022, Dial/Penguin Random House, 304 pp

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

Lula Viramontes dreams of one day becoming someone whom no one can ignore: a daring ringleader in a Mexican traveling carpa, despite her father’s traditional views of what girls should be. When her family arrives for the grape harvest in Delano, California, Lula meets activist Dolores Huerta and el Teatro Campesino (the official theater company of the United Farm Workers). She discovers an even more pressing reason to raise her voice: the upcoming farm workers’ strike, an event that will determine her family’s future—for better or worse.

STARRED REVIEWS

BOOKLIST – “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.”

THE HORN BOOK – “a powerful coming-of-age story filled with evocative language, memorable characters, and apt nature imagery.”

BOOKPAGE – “A Seed in the Sun is a well-researched glimpse into the 1965 Delano grape strike and the 1960s movement for labor justice.”


Marietta Zacker


Middle Grade


Historical


Dramatic

Translation

UK

GZLA

LAND OF THE CRANES

September 2020, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 256 pp

This free verse middle grade novel, inspired in part by the author’s own childhood as an undocumented immigrant, tells the story of 9-year-old Betita, who believes that she and other migrants follow an Aztec prophecy to fly as free as cranes. When her father is deported to Mexico and she and her mother are detained by ICE, she turns to writing picture poems as her own way to fly above the deplorable conditions that she and other cranes experience while they are caged. Betita ends up leading other detainees in a picture poem campaign that goes viral on social media and helps to bring improved change to the conditions inside the detention center and the release of some of the cranes.

STARRED REVIEWS

KIRKUS – “An emotional and powerful story with soaring poetry.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – “Salazar’s lyrical verse fashions empowerment out of indignity and suffering, creating a stirring and accessible, all-too-timely story.”

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL – “A highly original work that deserves a place in all libraries, this look at detention and deportation of undocumented people in the United States is sure to stay with readers of all ages.”


Marietta Zacker


Middle Grade


Activism

Contemporary

Diverse

Immigration

Latinx

Poetry

Social Justice


Dramatic

Translation

UK

GZLA

THE MOON WITHIN

Spring 2019, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 250 pp

This free verse middle grade novel tells the story of 11-year-old Cely, whose life swirls with questions about her changing body, her first attraction to a boy, her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid, and her mother’s insistence she have a Chicana moon ceremony for her first menses.

STARRED REVIEWS

KIRKUS – “A worthy successor to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland. . . Salazar’s verse novel is sensitive and fresh, featuring modern interpretations of pre-Columbian coming-of-age traditions that arise organically from the characters. . . An authentically middle school voice and diverse Latinx cast make this book a standout.”

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL – “An excellent addition for upper middle grade and middle school readers, especially for maturing tweens in the midst of puberty.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – “The broader message is one of acceptance, celebration, and resistance: a period is just a period, Salazar suggests, but it’s also so much more.”

BOOKPAGE – “The Moon Within is both unique and universal, relatable to women and girls everywhere and singular in its context within Latinx culture. Salazar handles this story with beauty and grace, giving young girls a picture of what it means to stand in your own power and reclaim your own story.”

ACCOLADES

  • Best Youth Chapter Fiction Book at the 2019 International Latino Book Awards
  • Spring 2019 Kids Indie Next List selection
  • NCTE 2020 Notable Verse Novel
  • A Kirkus Best Middle Grade Book in Verse
  • A 2019 New York Public Library Best Book for Kids


Marietta Zacker


Middle Grade


Contemporary

Diverse

Feminism

LGBTQIA+

Poetry

Realistic


Dramatic

Translation

UK