Emma Otheguy is the author of several books for children, including the picture books A Sled for Gabo and Martina Has Too Many Tías, the bilingual picture book Martí’s Song for Freedom, and the middle-grade novels Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene and Silver Meadows Summer.
Martí’s Song for Freedom (Lee & Low, 2017) 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.
Otheguy’s fiction picture books, A Sled for Gabo (Atheneum, 2021) and Martina Has Too Many Tías (Atheneum, 2023) were published simultaneously in English and Spanish. A Sled for Gabo is a classic snow day story with a Latin twist, and Martina Has Too Many Tías is a fresh retelling of the beloved folktale “La Cucaracha Martina.” Martina Has Too Many Tías received a starred review from Kirkus.
Silver Meadows Summer (Knopf, 2019) Otheguy’s first middle-grade novel, was called “a magnificent contribution to the diversity of the new American literature for young readers” by Pura Belpré-winning author Ruth Behar. Otheguy’s latest novel, Sofía Acosta Makes a Scene (Knopf, 2022) was an International Latino Book Award silver medal winner. Kirkus Reviews called the book “Bighearted, nuanced, and insightful.”
In Reina Ramos, Otheguy’s Level 2 I Can Read series, 2nd grader Reina Ramos is a loyal friend whose high-spirited antics sometimes cause chaos, but who always finds a way to make things right. The first book in the series, Reina Ramos Works It Out! received a starred review from Kirkus, was named a Best Book of the Year by the Chicago Public Library and the Cooperative Center for Children’s Books, and received a Cybils Award. The second book, Reina Ramos Meets a BIG Puppy, was published in May of 2023, with more books planned each year. The series is available in Spanish, with translations by Isabel Mendoza.
Otheguy 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. She contributed an original adventure, Secrets of the Silver Lion (HMH 2020), to the Carmen Sandiego universe. This Carmen Sandiego novel 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 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.