Donna Barba Higuera with Kevin Emerson — 'The Last Cuentista' and 'Lupe Wong Won't Dance'

Join 2022 Newberry Medalist Donna Barba Higuera at our Lake Forest Park store

Third Place Books welcomes acclaimed author Donna Barba Higuera to our Lake Forest Park store for a discussion of her standout books for young readers—The Last Cuentista, winner of the 2022 Newberry Medal; as well as her debut Lupe Wong Won't Dancenow available in paperback. Higuera will be in conversation with Kevin Emerson, author of Drifters. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.

Copies of Lupe Wong Won't Dance, The Last Cuentista, and Lupe Wong No Baila (the Spanish translation of Lupe Wong Won't Dance) will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

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About Lupe Wong Won't Dance. . .

Lupe Wong is going to be the first female pitcher in the Major Leagues.

She's also championed causes her whole young life. Some worthy, like expanding the options for race on school tests beyond just a few bubbles. And some not so much, like complaining to the BBC about the length between Doctor Who seasons.

Lupe needs an A in all her classes in order to meet her favorite pitcher, Fu Li Hernandez, who's Chinacan/Mexinese just like her. So when the horror that is square dancing rears its head in gym? Obviously she's not gonna let that slide.

About The Last Cuentista. . .

Había una vez . . .

There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita.

But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children—among them Petra and her family—have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race.

Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard – or purged them altogether.

Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

Praise for Donna Barba Higuera. . .

"The brilliance of Higuera’s narrative is that it shows rather than tells us the power of story. As Petra shares her tales and they guide her shipmates out of darkness, readers will find corners of their own hearts illuminated as well. This book is gripping in its twists and turns, and moving in its themes—truly a beautiful cuento.”
The New York Times

"Truly good children’s books engage and entertain while also helping young readers come to understand themselves and the complicated world they live in. The best picture, middle grade and young adult books of 2021 deftly rise to that challenge, telling stories about identity, allyship and more...Donna Barba Higuera’s The Last Cuentista asks kids to consider the danger of adopting dogmatic beliefs without questioning authority figures."

"Higuera's debut is a home run, with a plot as multifaceted and compelling as her characters, whose nuanced voices and varied range of interests ring wholly true."
Publisher Weekly

Donna Barba Higuera grew up in central California surrounded by agricultural and oil fields. As a child, rather than dealing with the regular dust devils, she preferred spending recess squirreled away in the janitor’s closet with a good book. Donna's Young Adult and Middle Grade books feature characters drawn into creepy situations, melding history, folklore, and or her own life experience into reinvented storylines. She still dreams in Spanglish. She lives in Washington State with her family. (Photo credit: Studio B Portraits)

Kevin Emerson is the author of twenty-two novels for children and young adults, including the acclaimed Chronicle of the Dark Star series. His books have been published in ten different countries, and you could say that he's big in the Czech Republic. Formerly a science teacher, Kevin has taught creative writing to children and teens with Seattle Arts & Lectures' Writers in the Schools program, and Richard Hugo House. His is also a drummer and singer, most recently with his bands MODEL SHOP and MATH AND PHYSICS CLUB. He has won a spelling bee, lost a beauty pageant (probably because he was wearing a suit of armor), and once appeared in a Swedish TV commercial. 

Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.

Third Place Books Events Code of Conduct: Third Place Books is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of event attendees and guest authors, during both online and in-store events. By registering for this event, you are agreeing to refrain from engaging in inappropriate behavior and harassment of any kind throughout the course of this event (i.e. racial slurs, profanity, hate speech, spam comments, etc.). Please note that any participants who engage in inappropriate behavior or harassment of any kind will be immediately ejected from the event.

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