Laekan Zea Kemp is the Pura Belpré Honor author of Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet, Heartbreak Symphony, and Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza. Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health. She lives in Austin, Texas. Laekan invites you to visit her at laekanzeakemp.com or follow her on Twitter @LaekanZeaKemp.
Zoraida Córdova is the award-winning author of Star Wars: A Crash of Fate, the Brooklyn Brujas series, and the Vicious Deep Trilogy. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, and Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft. Zoraida was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. When she isn't working on her next novel, she's planning her next adventure .
Rhode Montijo received a BFA in illustrations from California College of the Arts, and published Pablo's Inferno, a five-issue indie comic series. He wrote and illustrated Cloud Boy and The Halloween Kid. Rhode also illustrated Lynn Rowe Reed's Benny Shark Goes to Friend School, Greg Trine's Melvin Beederman, Vicky Rubin's The Three Swingin' Pigs, and Gary Soto's Lucky Luis. Stick Together is the fifth book in The Gumazing Gum Girl! series. Rhode lives in Los Angeles, California.
Luke Reynolds taught public middle and high school for many years before joining the Education faculty at Endicott College. Luke is the author of many books for kids, and his favorite flavor of gum is strawberry banana! He currently lives in Massachusetts and invites you to visit him at lukewreynolds.com
Jennifer Torres is the author of Stef Soto, Taco Queen; Flor and Miranda Steal the Show; The Fresh New Face of Griselda; and other books for young readers. She writes stories about home, friendship, and unexpected courage inspired by her Mexican American heritage. Jennifer started her career as a newspaper reporter, and even though she writes fiction now, she hopes her stories still have some truth in them. She lives with her family in Southern California.
Sara Palacios is the illustrator of How to Code a Sandcastle, A Way with Wild Things, and the recipient of a Pura Belpré Award Honor for illustration for Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina. Sara graduated with a degree in graphic design and went on to earn BFA and MFA degrees in illustration from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. A native of Mexico, Sara now lives in San Francisco.
Julissa Arce is a CNBC and Crooked media contributor, writer, speaker, and social justice advocate. She is the cofounder and chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program that assists immigrant students, regardless of their immigration status, ethnicity, or national origin. Julissa is also a board member for the National Immigration Law Center and for College Spring. Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street, working at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.
Daniel Aleman is the award-winning author of Indivisible. Born and raised in Mexico City, he has lived in various places across North America and is currently based in Toronto, where he is on a never-ending search for the best tacos in the city. Brighter Than the Sun is his second novel.