Matt de la Peña
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About Matt de la Peña
Matt de la Peña's debut novel, Ball Don't Lie, was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and an ALA-YALSA Quick Pick and was made into a major motion picture. His second novel, Mexican WhiteBoy, was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adult (Top Ten Pick), a Notable Book for a Global Society, a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book. His third novel, We Were Here, was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Readers, an ALA-YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and a Junior Library Guild Selection. His fourth book, I Will Save You, was an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Readers, an ALA-YALSA Quick Pick, a Junior Library Guild Selection and finalist for the 2011 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award. De la Peña’s fifth book, The Living, was a Junior Library Guild Selection, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults and a Pura Belpré Author Honor Book.
His short fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, NPR.org and various literary journals, including Pacific Review, The Vincent Brothers Review, Chiricú, Two Girls’ Review, The George Mason Review, and The Allegheny Review. De la Peña received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific, where he attended school on a full athletic scholarship for basketball. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches creative writing. You can visit Matt and find out more about his books at mattdelapena.com and follow him on Twitter at @mattdelapena.
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Titles By Matt de la Peña
"Will resonate with any kid who's ever felt different—which is to say, every kid." —Time
Great stories take flight in this adventurous middle-grade anthology crafted by ten of the most recognizable and diverse authors writing today. Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander delivers a story in-verse about a boy who just might have magical powers; National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson spins a tale of friendship against all odds; and Meg Medina uses wet paint to color in one girl’s world with a short story that inspired her Newbery award-winner Merci Suárez Changes Gear. Plus, seven more bold voices that bring this collection to new heights with tales that challenge, inspire, and celebrate the unique talents within us all.
AUTHORS INCLUDE: Kwame Alexander, Kelly J. Baptist, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, Jacqueline Woodson
“There’s plenty of magic in this collection to go around.” —Booklist, Starred
“A natural for middle school classrooms and libraries.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“Inclusive, authentic, and eminently readable.” —School Library Journal, Starred
“Thought provoking and wide-ranging . . . should not be missed.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred
“Read more books by these authors.” —The Bulletin, Starred
When the dawn breaks, a hero rises.
His power is beyond imagining.
Clark Kent has always been faster, stronger--better--than everyone around him. But he wasn't raised to show off, and drawing attention to himself could be dangerous. Plus, it's not like he's earned his powers . . . yet.
But power comes with a price.
Lately it's difficult to hold back and keep his heroics in the shadows. When Clark follows the sound of a girl crying, he comes across Gloria Alvarez and discovers a dark secret lurking in Smallville. Turns out, Clark's not the only one hiding something. Teaming up with his best friend, Lana Lang, he throws himself into the pursuit of the truth. What evil lies below the surface of his small town? And what will it cost Clark to learn about his past as he steps into the light to become the future Man of Steel? Because before he can save the world, he must save Smallville.
Act fast! The first printing includes a poster of Clark Kent! Each first printing in the DC Icons series has a limited-edition poster--collect them all to create the full image!
Don't miss the rest of the DC Icons series! Read the books in any order you choose:
* Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
* Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
* Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas
A USA Today Bestseller
Winner of the Newbery Medal
A Caldecott Honor Book
A Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book
This award-winning modern classic—a must-have for every child’s home library—is an inclusive ode to kindness, empathy, gratitude, and finding joy in unexpected places, and celebrates the special bond between a curious young boy and his loving grandmother.
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.
This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Peña’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.
Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there's the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo--walking the same path, going to the exact same place--Milo realizes that you can't really know anyone just by looking at them.
Danny's tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it.
But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny’ s brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico.
That’s why he’s spending the summer with his dad’s family. Only, to find himself, he may just have to face the demons he refuses to see--the demons that are right in front of his face. And open up to a friendship he never saw coming.
Matt de la Peña's critically acclaimed novel is an intimate and moving story that offers hope to those who least expect it.
"[A] first-rate exploration of self-identity."-SLJ
"Unique in its gritty realism and honest portrayal of the complexities of life for inner-city teens...De la Peña poignantly conveys the message that, despite obstacles, you must believe in yourself and shape your own future."-The Horn Book Magazine
"The baseball scenes...sizzle like Danny's fastball...Danny's struggle to find his place will speak strongly to all teens, but especially to those of mixed race."-Booklist
"De la Peña blends sports and street together in a satisfying search for personal identity."-Kirkus Reviews
"Mexican WhiteBoy...shows that no matter what obstacles you face, you can still reach your dreams with a positive attitude. This is more than a book about a baseball player--this is a book about life."-Curtis Granderson, New York Mets outfielder
An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults
A Junior Library Guild Selection
When it happened, Miguel was sent to Juvi. The judge gave him a year in a group home—said he had to write in a journal so some counselor could try to figure out how he thinks. The judge had no idea that he actually did Miguel a favor. Ever since it happened, his mom can’t even look at him in the face. Any home besides his would be a better place to live.
But Miguel didn’t bet on meeting Rondell or Mong or on any of what happened after they broke out. He only thought about Mexico and getting to the border to where he could start over. Forget his mom. Forget his brother. Forget himself.
Life usually doesn’ t work out how you think it will, though. And most of the time, running away is the quickest path right back to what you’re running from.
From the streets of Stockton to the beaches of Venice, all the way to the Mexican border, We Were Here follows a journey of self-discovery by a boy who is trying to forgive himself in an unforgiving world.
"Fast, funny, smart, and heartbreaking...The contemporary survival adventure will keep readers hooked."-Booklist
"This gripping story about underprivileged teens is a rewarding read."-VOYA
"A furiously paced and gripping novel."-Publishers Weekly
"A story of friendship that will appeal to teens and will engage the most reluctant readers."-Kirkus Reviews
An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Readers
An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Desde las calles de Stockton hasta las playas de Venice Beach, y hasta la frontera con México, Aquí estuvimos narra el viaje de autodescubrimiento de un niño que intenta perdonarse a sí mismo en un mundo implacable.
Cuando sucedió, a Miguel lo enviaron al centro de detención juvenil. El juez lo sentenció a un año en una casa hogar para menores; dijo que tenía que escribir en un diario para que algún consejero pudiera tratar de entender su forma de pensar. El juez no tenía idea de que en realidad le había hecho un favor a Miguel. Desde que sucedió, su madre ni siquiera había podido mirarlo a la cara. Cualquier hogar que no fuese el suyo sería un lugar mejor para vivir.
Pero Miguel jamás pensó que conocería a Rondell y a Mong, y en todo lo que sucedería cuando huyesen. Solo pensó en llegar a la frontera con México, donde podría empezar de nuevo. Olvidar a su mamá. Olvidar a su hermano. Olvidarse de sí mismo.
Sin embargo, la vida no suele funcionar como uno cree. Y la mayoría de las veces, escapar te lleva de regreso al mismo lugar del que una vez huiste.
In their first collaboration since the Newbery Medal- and Caldecott Honor-winning Last Stop on Market Street, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson deliver a poignant and timely new picture book that's sure to be an instant classic.
When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true--she's finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make . . .
With lyrical, stirring text and stunning, evocative artwork, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson have crafted a moving ode to family, to dreamers, and to finding hope in the most unexpected places.
"[A] poetic reckoning of the importance of love in a child's life . . . eloquent and moving."—People
"Everything that can be called love -- from shared joy to comfort in the darkness -- is gathered in the pages of this reassuring, refreshingly honest picture book."—The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice / Staff Picks From the Book Review
“Lyrical and sensitive, ‘Love’ is the sort of book likely to leave readers of all ages a little tremulous, and brimming with feeling.”—The Wall Street Journal
From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.
"In the beginning there is light
and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed
and the sound of their voices is love.
A cab driver plays love softly on his radio
while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city
and everything smells new, and it smells like life."
In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that's soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.
“De la Peña has created a rare thing: a plot-driven YA with characters worthy of a John Green novel.” —Entertainment Weekly on The Living, A-
For those left living, it’s kill or be killed. When Shy pulled himself from the wreckage of the Paradise Cruise luxury liner, he met Addie. Addie was rich and blond, and with no one else to trust, she told Shy a secret she never should have revealed.
It’s a secret that people would kill for—have killed for—and she has the piece that could turn everything on its ear. The problem? Shy has no idea where Addie is. Back home in California seems logical, but there are more ways to die back home than Shy could ever have guessed. And thanks to what Shy knows now, he’s a moving target.
Praise for The Hunted:
“Readers will be drawn to the raw and gritty setting, fast-moving plot, and diverse characters worth rooting for.“—School and Library Journal
"Between [the] fast-paced plot and meaningful, diverse character development, this is a great crossover for fans of both thrillers and more character-driven novels."-Booklist
Praise for The Living:
“De la Peña has created a rare thing: a plot-driven YA with characters worthy of a John Green novel.”-Entertainment Weekly, A-
“Action is first and foremost. . . . De la Peña can uncork delicate but vivid scenes.” —The New York Times
“[The Living] is special because of its extraordinary protagonist, Shy, who I haven’t been able to shake from my mind in the weeks since I read the book.”-John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars
"There's no way to classify The Living. It's everything I love mixed into one fantastic, relentless, action-packed story. As always with Matt, the characters are the best part. So real. I loved this book."-James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series
[STAR] "An addictive page-turner and character-driven literary novel with broad appeal for fans of both."-Kirkus Reviews, Starred
[STAR] "An excellent, enthralling ride...a great read for those looking for adventure and survival stories."-VOYA, Starred
A Pura Belpré Author Honor Award Winner
An ALSC 2014 Notable Children's Book Pick
Dak, Sera, and Riq have fixed the Great Breaks in history . . . but the SQ isn't beaten yet, and the biggest, boldest Infinity Ring adventure of all time has just begun!