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Helping Latina children’s book author nationally shine with the #DRUMITUP campaign

CBC Diversity

A little over a year ago, Kate Messner took up the #WeNeedDiverseBooks cause and spurred the handselling phenomenon that was The Great Greene Challenge.

This holiday season, the We Need Diverse Books team hopes to catapult another title into the spotlight with its #DrumItUp for Drum Dream Girl campaign, highlighting the latest book by Margarita Engle, the first Latin@ Newbery Honor winner. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, illustrated by Pura Belpré Award-winning artist Rafael López, is a beautiful, poetic narrative of a young girl’s bravery to pursue her dreams in the face of naysayers.

Inspired by the childhood of world-famous Chinese-African-Cuban musician Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, Drum Dream Girl is not only a vibrant tribute to the musical arts, but also a noteworthy contribution to the gender equality movement.

Engle’s descriptive yet rhythmic text takes readers into the heart of a young girl with a burning passion for music. Paired with López’s colorful surrealistic art style, the book allows readers to feel her passion while imagining the musical milieu of 1930s Cuba. Its central message says not to be limited by your gender, to persevere against all the norms, to have the courage to dream big and to have the determination to make that dream a reality. Simply put, Drum Dream Girl is bold, bright, daring and simply fantastic.

This picture book is a true celebration of what it means to follow your dreams. Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle and Rafael López isn’t just a “don’t miss” kind of book. It’s a book that all readers, booksellers, and authors will find to be a valuable addition to their collection. Read this book, buy this book, gift this book, talk about this book, and we think you’ll agree that this diverse book is one of the most distinguished picture books of this year.

The We Need Diverse BooksTM team invites booksellers and readers of all ages to join us as we celebrate this inspiring story. From November 28 to January 1st, bookstores will be drumming up interest in the book by striving to sell as many copies as possible. On Indies First Day (Small Business Saturday, November 28), members and supporters of the We Need Diverse Books movement will be appearing in bookstores across the country to handsell this title to patrons as they browse, and a social media effort centered around the hashtag #DrumItUp will commence the following week. At the end of the selling period, the top selling bookstore, as determined on a sliding scale, will receive a prize package including a WNDB Bookseller of the Year trophy and a large high quality giclee print signed by Rafael López.

Don’t worry, teachers and librarians, we haven’t left you out! If you want to participate, sign up using the form below. Take a photo of the display and email it to weneeddiversebooks @ yahoo . com (along with your name, job title, institution and location) to be entered into a lottery to win your own signed print! Please keep us apprised on your circulation numbers and patron/student feedback!

More importantly, young readers across the country will have received a gorgeous, inspiring book about the power of music and overcoming odds. Please join us!


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