LEE & LOW BOOKS announced today that Gloria Amescua, an Austin SCBWI member, has been chosen to receive the 2016 New Voices Award Honor for her manuscript Luz Jiménez, No Ordinary Girl, a story in verse about a Nahua educator and art muse in Mexico. As a young girl Luz dreamed of becoming a teacher, but the Mexican Revolution left Luz’s family struggling to survive. Luz supported her family by working for various artists, sharing stories about her experiences and inspiring important works of art. She went on to become a teacher and served as a living link to the Aztecs, preserving her Nahua culture and language. Gloria is a poet and was inspired to write Luz’s story after reading about Luz and the obstacles she overcame. Gloria admires the message in Luz’s story: dreams may come true in ways that are unexpected.
Established in 2000, LEE & LOW BOOKS New Voices Award encourages writers of color to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing authors who are new to the world of children’s book publishing. Past winners include It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Honor, Bird by Zetta Elliott, an ALA Notable Book, and, most recently, Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, a Spring 2015 Junior Library Guild selection.