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Author Adrianna Cuevas visits virtually with PSJA elementary campus

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Texas Border Business

PHARR – Children’s book author Adrianna Cuevas visited Ford Elementary virtually recently to speak to students about the influences for her work, writing process and her upcoming new book. 

“We commend our Library Services Department for continuing to seek creative ways to keep our students engaged with the incredible world books have to offer,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “Visits like these— even virtual— help our students understand the importance reading has in their academic success.”

Cuevas is a first-generation Cuban American from Miami, Florida who now resides in Austin. She wrote the book “The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez,” which was published over the summer, and “Cuba in My Pocket,” which will be released in the fall of 2021.

Author visits virtually with PSJA elementary campus. Google Meet

Cuevas said getting her stories published meant not only accomplishing a life-long dream, but it also gave her the platform to share Latinx stories.

“I think it’s super important not only for other Latinx kids to see, but for kids who are not Latinx because they get to see our people as heroes of the story and I think that that’s crucial in terms of our understanding and acceptance of each other,” Cuevas said. “So, I write them for kids to be able to see themselves as the heroes of the story and for them to see that these books can be fun, and they don’t always have to be serious issue books.”

Ford Elementary Librarian Rachel Alvarez, who organized the virtual visit, shared that authors who write about the culture they are proud of can be an extremely positive experience for the kids who read their stories. 

“I really appreciated that she discussed the importance of representation in literature and how she incorporates elements of Cuban culture and Latin American folklore into her books,” Alvarez said. “One of my priorities as a librarian is to share diverse books with our students, and it was wonderful to be able to introduce our students to a role model in the field of writing.”

And it was that relatability to Cuevas that stood out to 3rd grade student Sienna Hack.

“I really enjoyed her visit,” Hack said. “She was very nice and answered all our questions. And I liked that she likes scary stories like me!” 

For Cuevas, in speaking with the students, she hopes that because of her visit, students will be motivated to pick up a book and start their next adventure. 

“I just feel like it’s so important for kids to be reading what they love and what they’re interested in— regardless of whether that’s a graphic novel, a comic, or nonfiction,” she said. “So, I hope that they were inspired to read something and that’ll maybe help them start sharing their own stories.”

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