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Mora, Colon to receive Tomas Rivera Book Award

Date of release: 09/02/98

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Author Pat Mora and illustrator Raul Colon have been named the recipients of the third annual Tom‡s Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, given by Southwest Texas State University, for their work on the book Tom‘s and the Library Lady.

A reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 24, at the Southwestern Writers Collection in the Alkek Library on the SWT campus. A plaque and cash award, made possible through an endowment from the Anheuser-Busch Companies, will be presented to Mora and Colon during the reception.

Established in 1995 by the SWT School of Education, the award recognizes and honors writers and illustrators of Mexican American children’s literature. Books submitted for the awards must authentically represent the Mexican American experience of the Southwest.

The award is named for Rivera, a Mexican-American author and educator and the first minority chancellor in the University of California system. Rivera earned a bachelor’s degree from SWT in 1958 and a master’s in 1964. He was the author of the novel y no se lo trago la tierra (.. and the earth did not swallow him), a work that reflected his experience growing up as a migrant farm worker.

Tomas and the Library Lady recalls how a young Rivera, after a long and arduous day in the fields, would listen intently to the stories his grandfather told. Soon, he knew all the stories by heart. So, his grandfather took him to the library and introduced him to the librarian and a whole new world, limited only by his imagination.

Colon’s warm, expressive paintings portray both the harsh realities of young Rivera’s life and the special relationships he has with his grandfather and the caring librarian.

Mora has published 11 children’s books in English and Spanish, as well as five collections of poetry and two volumes of nonfiction.

She has been the recipient and judge of the poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships and has received four Southwest Book Awards and numerous children’s book awards.

Mora was a consultant to the Kellogg Foundation on U.S.-Mexico youth exchanges, an administrator and museum director at her alma mater, the University of Texas at El Paso, and has taught English at all levels.

For more information about the award or the reception, please call (512) 245-8359. Updated information on the award is available on the World Wide Web at