Children’s Literature

Emma Otheguy is the author of the bilingual picture book Martí’s Song for Freedom (Lee & Low, 2017) about Cuban poet and national hero José Martí, as well as her middle-grade novel Silver Meadows Summer (Knopf, 2019), which Pura Belpré-winning author Ruth Behar called “a magnificent contribution to the diversity of the new American literature for young readers.” Martí’s Song for Freedom received five starred reviews, was named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and the New York Public Library, and was the recipient of the International Literacy Association’s 2018 Children’s and Young Adult Book Award in Intermediate Nonfiction. Emma co-authored, with Newbery Honor-winning author Adam Gidwitz, The Unicorn Rescue Society: The Madre de Aguas of Cuba (Dutton 2020) a magical adventure set in contemporary Cuba. Otheguy’s most recent publication is her contribution to the new Carmen Sandiego universe, Secrets of the Silver Lion (HMH 2020). This original Carmen Sandiego story takes kids on a globe-trotting caper through a museum in Washington Heights, New York, a historical archive in Sevilla, Spain, and the silver mines of Potosí, Bolivia. Otheguy’s first fiction picture book, A Sled for Gabo, will be published simultaneously in English and Spanish by Atheneum this January.

Otheguy holds a Ph.D. in History from New York University, where she focused on colonial Latin America and held fellowships and grants from the Mellon Foundation, the American Historical Association, the Council of Library and Information Resources, and Humanities New York. Otheguy’s books emphasize the deep connections between Latin America and the United States and aim to share these stories of bridges and convergences with everyday kids. Before becoming a writer and historian, Otheguy graduated from Swarthmore College, sold books at an independent bookstore, and taught elementary-school Spanish.