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Diane Gonzales Bertrand - book author

Diane Gonzales Bertrand’s vivid imagination led her to write her first novel in the fifth grade. Her creativity didn’t stop there. She went on to write school plays, Girl Scout skits, and poetry. When Diane became a teacher, she created funny soap operas, religious plays, and translated Shakespeare into easier words for her students to enjoy and perform. Today, Diane writes stories for families to read together.

Diane’s many accomplishments include: National Hispanic Scholar, Author for PEN Center (New York) Writer-in-School Program, Member National Council Teachers of English, Member Texas Council of Creative Writing Teachers, and Texas Writers’ League. Diane has published nine young adult novels and six picture books, and has received several awards from the national Latino Literary Hall of Fame for her children’s picture books and young adult novels. Her recent children’s book with Raven Tree Press, My Pal, Victor / Mi amigo, Víctor was recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) as the 2005 winner of The Schneider Family Book Award for best picture book for young children. The award honors an author and illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

Diane earned her B.A. in English and History from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and her M.A. in Communication Arts from Our Lady of the Lake University. She currently works as Writer-in-Residence at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX, where she teaches English Composition and Creative Writing.

Source: Raven Tree Press

Diane Gonzales Bertrand is the author of books: Trino's Choice, My Pal, Victor / Mi amigo, Victor, The Empanadas that Abuela Made / Las empanadas que hacía la abuela, Sweet Fifteen, Trino's Time, The Party For Papa Luis / La Fiesta Para Papa Luis, We Are Cousins/Somos Primos, Family / Familia, The Park Our Town Built / El parque que nuestro pueblo construyó, Sip, Slurp, Soup, Soup - Caldo, Caldo, Caldo

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Author Books

To be thirteen is worthless, Trino thinks. Trino has three little brothers he's supposed to look after, and no father he can look up to. He rules at video games, but in the classroom and out in the real world he's barely getting by --just like his mom, who scarcely manages to pay the bills and feed her kids by working all the time. Trino gets angry at his terrible life; but when an older teen with a vicious streak invites him to hang with his crowd -- and maybe make some quick money too --Trino doesn't know what to think. What kind of choices does he have, anyway? To run or die?
Tells a story of two boys who enjoy the summer doing all of the things that boys do despite one boy's disability.
Children's Fiction. In this whimsical look at the making of empanadas, popular children's author Gonzalez Bertrand serves up the festive fun of a family's effort to concoct the delicious pastries. In the tradition of popular rhymes like "The Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly," the laughter rises from page to page. Alex Pardo de Lange fills the story with offbeat illustrations of blankets of dough and dancing rolling pins. With an easy empanada recipe included in the back of the book, this will be a literary delicacy for the whole family and will give many readers their first taste of a celebrated Latino tradition.
A compelling coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of a traditional quinceanera celebration.

Preparations for the traditional quinceanera celebration marking young Stephanie's fifteenth birthday serve as the backdrop for a traditional, Mexican-American family struggling with the problems of breaching the gap between male and female, young and old. The unexpected death of Stephanie's father, a loving but domineering and influential man who ran his business and his family with an equally firm hand, has cast a shadow over Stephanie's quinceanera party, which is supposed to mark her transition to womanhood. Rita, the young seamstress charged with designing Stephanie's gown, detects the girl's reluctance to go through with what she considers an outmoded tradition. Her efforts to convince Stephanie's Uncle Brian that the girl needs a compassionate friend more than a dress lead to a budding romance between the two.
Finalist, Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award; Finalist, Texas Institute of Letters 2001 Friends of the Austin Public Library Young Adult Book Award; Named to The New York Public Library's 2002 Books For The Teen Age: Finalist, ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Young Adult category; and Finalist, Writer's League of Texas' Teddy Children's Book Award.
Everybody loves a birthday party, and there's a lot to enjoy at Papa Luis' fiesta! The children excitedly count the candy that will fill the pinata. The nieces bring the candles for the birthday cake that Mama Marta baked. Family and friends begin to arrive, and soon, they surprise Papa Luis with his special celebration. Told in lively verse, this cumulative tale builds from one page to the next as popular children's book author Diane Gonzales Bertrand presents a charming look at a big family gathering that celebrates the patriarch's birthday. Like her previous award-winning book, The Empanadas that Abuela Made/Las empanadas que hacia la abuela, Diane Gonzales Bertrand gives emerging readers another book that creates confidence and skills through repetition and sentence building. Accompanied by Alejandro Galindo's whimsical illustrations of big-eyed children and elderly family members dancing and enjoying each other, this fun-filled fiesta is sure to delight children ages 4 - 8. After reading this appealing bilingual story, kids will eagerly begin planning their own birthday parties.
Cousins are friends and rivals. Cousins are funny and frustrating. But the most important thing is that cousins are family. We are Cousins/Somos primos celebrates the joy of this special family bond. The children explain that they are cousins because their mothers are sisters, and from the moment they get together, the fun begins. They march in a make-believe parade, gobble up a pizza, and share a cozy story on Abuelo's lap. But they also blame each other if something goes wrong, don't want to share their toys, and wiggle against each other to nab a spot on Abuela's lap. Written in simple language for children ages 2-5, the brief English and Spanish text will become a valuable tool to encourage children to think and talk about their own families. It will also become a favorite book for children and grandchildren to share with their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and of course, cousins. Vivid illustrations by Christina Rodriguez in bright, primary colors complement this story that will be as much fun to read at story hour as it will be to read on the family sofa.
A reluctant participant in the Gonzalez family reunion, Daniel has some pleasant surprises and discovers the meaning of family."
The mayor wants a community park and safe playground for the children. She enlists a group of kids to join her in asking one of the citizens to donate some of his land to build a park. When he agrees, he joins all the families and friends who set out to build swings, benches, gardens, and a fountain. There is excitement and sense of purpose to build the park for all to enjoy. The whole town comes together to create a beautiful park and celebrate with a grand picnic and beautiful fireworks when the job is done. English story with key words in Spanish.
There are never too many cooks in the kitchen when Mama makes the family's favorite vegetable soup and everyone pitches in. With a poetic narrative and colorful illustrations, this delightful book celebrates the joys of simple family rituals.