David Bowles is a Mexican-American author and translator from south Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley. He has written several award-winning titles, most notably The Smoking Mirror and They Call Me Güero. His work has also been published in multiple anthologies and publications, and David has worked on several TV/film projects. In 2017, David was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. He now serves on its governing council. In 2019, he co-founded the hashtag and activist movement #DignidadLiteraria, which has negotiated greater Latinx representation in publishing.
David's work is also featured in this Colorín Colorado article by Janet Wong, Hearing Our Voices, Honoring Ourselves.
For a complete list of David's work, see his website and blog.
Books by This Author
Tradition meets tragedy in the chilling local lore of the Rio Grande Valley. Hidden in the dense brush and around oxbow lakes wait sinister secrets, unnerving vestiges of the past and wraiths of those claimed by the winding river. The spirit of a murdered student in Brownsville paces the locker room where she met her end. Tortured souls of patients lost in the Harlingen Insane Asylum refuse to be forgotten. Guests at the LaBorde Hotel in Rio Grande City report visions of the Red Lady, who was spurned by the soldier she loved, and driven to suicide.
Who protects our precious fields of corn? What leaps from the darkness when you least suspect it? Which spirit waits for little kids by rivers and lakes? From the ahuizotl to the xocoyoles—and all the imps, ghosts and witches in between—this illustrated bilingual encyclopedia tells you just what you need to know about the things that go bump in the night in Mexico and the US Southwest.
Early one Saturday morning, a boy prepares for a trip to The Other Side/El Otro Lado. It's close -- just down the street from his school -- and it's a twin of where he lives. To get there, his father drives their truck along the Rio Grande and over a bridge, where they're greeted by a giant statue of an eagle. Their outings always include a meal at their favorite restaurant, a visit with Tío Mateo at his jewelry store, a cold treat from the paletero, and a pharmacy pickup.
The title of David Bowles' first book of original poetry references the artistic technique of creating by combining in a mosaic the shards of previous, broken works. The volume explores the idea of psychological growth as a sort of bursting-apart and reintegration of the ego, examining the illusions and deceptions that humans can free themselves from if they are willing to undo their personas in order to expand their selves.
Sayam has always been different from other kids ― he’s very short for his age, his best friend is a monkey, and most curious of all: he was born from an egg! His grandmother, a witch, found him and taught him all the ancient magic she uses to help her people. So when a giant snake starts terrorizing a nearby city, Sayam decides it’s time for him to use his knowledge to help others, and steps into action. But the beast might not be Sayam’s biggest problem: the ruthless King Kinich Kak Ek sees Sayam as a threat to his throne.
Jitsu. Once the center of human expansion into distant space, this world was isolated for the better part of a century, a theocratic government rising to fill the void left by its former corporate owners. Now, as Jitsu begins to open itself to the rest of humanity, Brando D’Angelo di Makomo accepts a teaching position on the arid planet. He finds himself drawn to controversial architect Tenshi Koroma and her religious reform movement.
Twins Teri and Miwa Miranda are happy and popular high school students on the independent world of Terego. Their family is beloved by the community: their sweet half-brother Jakobo, caring stepmother Rhea, and doting father Nando, a model citizen in all aspects of his life. But every bit of that life is a lie. In reality, Nando Miranda is Brando D'Angelo, a wanted fugitive, raising the clones of his murdered wife and daughter, hoping he won't be discovered. Now the armed forces of the Consortium have finally tracked him down.
Twelve-year-old red-headed Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He’s starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. Trusting in his family’s traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Winner of the 2019 Walter Honor Book Award for Younger Readers and the Pura Belpré Author Honor Award.
Anthologies and Collections
In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican Americans. Living Beyond Borders is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today's young readers.