Matt de la Peña

Matt de la Peña is an award-winning author of numerous books for young adults and children. In this interview with Colorín Colorado, Matt talks about the community where he grew up, his conversations with young people about reading and writing, and how he continues to reflect on his own identity and experiences through his books.

He also talks about his experiences writing books such as Last Stop on Market Street, Milo Imagines the World, Carmela Full of Wishes, Love, Ball Don't Lie, We Were Here, and Superman: Dawnbreaker.

Books by This Author

Carmela Full of Wishes

Carmela Full of Wishes
Illustrated by: Christian Robinson
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Chinese, Korean, Spanish

When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true — she's finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make...

Coco: Miguel and the Grand Harmony

Coco: Miguel and the Grand Harmony
Illustrated by: Ana Ramírez
Age Level: 6-9

This jacketed picture book pairs Newbery Winner Matt de la Peña and Pixar artist Ana Ramírez with the highly anticipated Pixar Studios film, Coco. Featuring a beautiful original story based on the characters of the film, as well as vibrant stylized artwork, this title is sure to appeal to readers of all ages.

I Will Save You

Age Level: Young adult (14-18)
"After running away from a group home, 17-year-old Kidd Ellison sets up camp at a beach, where he is put to work by Mr. Red, an aging surfer who runs a maintenance shop. Hardworking and handsome, if somewhat slow, Kidd begins to make friends with some of the camp's teens, especially Olivia, a blond beauty who wears a ski cap that covers part of her face regardless of the weather. Then Devon, Kidd's former best friend and nemesis, finds Kidd and threatens to destroy the peaceful life that he has fallen into." — Booklist

Infinity Ring: Curse of the Ancients (Book Four)

Infinity Ring: Curse of the Ancients (Book Four)
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

What is the secret history connecting the SQ to the Ancient Maya? Book 4 of the Infinity Ring series includes a full-color Hystorian's Guide — the key to unlocking the fourth episode of the action-packed Infinity Ring game.

Infinity Ring: Eternity (Book 8)

Infinity Ring: Eternity (Book 8)
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

Dak, Sera, and Riq have fixed the Great Breaks in history . . . but the SQ isn't beaten yet, and the biggest, boldest Infinity Ring adventure of all time has just begun!

Last Stop on Market Street

Illustrated by: Christian Robinson
Age Level: 6-9

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn't he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. Winner 2016 Newbery Award.

Love

Love
Illustrated by: Loren Long
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and acclaimed illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.

You can learn more about the inspiration for this book and how Matt decided to approach the topic of love in our author interview below.

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Video: Matt de la Peña talks about writing "Love"

Mexican WhiteBoy

Mexican WhiteBoy
Age Level: Young adult (14-18)

Danny is tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny is brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too.

Milo Imagines the World

Milo Imagines the World
Illustrated by: Christian Robinson
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there's the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler.

Pages

Anthologies and Collections

Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories

Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

For young readers who have ever wanted, known or loved a dog, the short stories in this anthology evoke the full spectrum of endearing doggy traits! With stories ordered from easiest to most difficult to read, Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories is a book for young readers of varying levels to enjoy.

Flying Lessons & Other Stories

Flying Lessons & Other Stories
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology—written by the best children’s authors and published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) — celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us. For more great stories, see the WNDB anthology Fresh Ink.