René Colato Laínez is a writer and teacher. In this guerrilla reading he reads from his most recent work, the award-winning bilingual children’s book, From North to South / Del norte al sur. Among the honors it has received are the 2011 International Latino Book Award for Best Bilingual Children’s Picture Book and 2011 California Book Award Finalist.
Illustrations in North to South are by another guerrilla reader, Joe Cepeda.
In an interview with Paper Tigers, Colato talked about the challenge of becoming a professional writer and the importance of persistence and hard work:
It was definitely rocky and challenging, but all the rejection letters that I received did help me to craft my stories and make them better. I did not give up: I went to Vermont College and got a masters in “Writing for Children and Young Adults.” I might not have had any of my books published if it weren’t for those letters, in a way.
Believing that what was genuinely needed at this time was a more sincere, empathetic but not sanitized attempt to imagine the lives of people we think of as different, and remembering one of my favorite quotes from John Coltrane–“If there is something one does not understand, one must go humbly to it”–I tried in Do They Know I’m Running? to depict a Salvadoran-American family dealing with both the damage of war and the nightmare of deportation.
Before writing his first novel, Corbett worked for a private investigations firm and his wife’s law practice. He’s the author of three critically acclaimed novels as well as many articles and stories.
In her article at The Atlantic, Taking Literature to the Streets, Katharine Schwab profiles a number of terrific ventures around the world that take literature out of bookstores and libraries and, well, into the streets. GuerrillaReads was included