Today I bring you the second installment in a series of four WWW posts about publishing houses that publish children’s literature by and about people of color, with an emphasis devoted to Latin American and Latino cultures. Our highlight today is on Cinco Punto Press.
Cinco Puntos Press is one of our absolute treasures here at Vamos a Leer. They’ve published multiple titles that we’ve highlighted here. In fact, last month’s book selection Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (which was, incidentally, one of the most moving books I’ve read in a long time), was published by Cinco Puntos.
They describe themselves as “With roots on the U.S./Mexico border, Cinco Puntos publishes great books which make a difference in the way you see the world.” The owners, Bobby and Lee Byrd, have a unique take on the publishing industry. In their own words: “We started Cinco Puntos Press in 1985. We are a small, very independent publishing company rooted here in El Paso, Texas, not three miles north of the U.S. Mexican Border. We are both writers. We started Cinco Puntos because we wanted more time to write and we found as we have moved further and further into the publishing life, that publishing, like writing, is an act of self-discovery. Every book takes us to a new place. Each book leads us into unexpected intellectual terrains. These are places we might have never experienced without the provocation of new books and the business of making and selling them.”
They’ve published a spectrum of books for kids and young adults, not to mention their books on poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels. Among their young adult novels, a few notable titles include Las Soldaderas: Women of the Mexican Revolution by Elena Poniatowska (!), Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (and if you’ve been with us for a while, you know how we feel about Sammy and Juliana), and The Day It Snowed Tortillas by Joe Hayes. To call these titles amazing isn’t even hyperbole. Their authors call and beckon to readers in ways that few books can.
Now that you know a bit about Cinco Puntos, I encourage you to browse their website to learn more or check out their blog. If nothing else, keep an eye out for their books the next time you’re looking for another good read for you or your students!