Margarita Engle's Site
Engle, who was born in Los Angeles to a Cuban mother and American father spent her summers in Cuba where she developed a passion for tropical nature.
This interest led her to study agronomy, botany and, eventually, creative writing. She has written many books, including six young adult historical novels written in verse.
Among her titles are The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor book; Tropical Secrets, winner of the Sydney Taylor Award; and Pura Belpre honor books, The Firefly Letters
and Hurricane Dancers. She has received a total of over 50 honors and awards for her six young adult novels and is also the recipient of the first Newbery Honor ever
awarded to a Latino.
Her novels feature youths who are faced with seemingly hopeless situations but do their best to make positive and hopeful decisions. Through her writing, she
uses a blend of imagination and reality as a tool to reach and communicate with young readers. Her use of lyrical writing and cultural details and imagery has also helped
bridge the gap between cultures and provides a relatable way to look at places that might otherwise go unexplored.
David Mas Masumoto
David Mas Masumoto's Website
David Mas Masumoto is an organic peach and grape farmer and the author of six books. A third generation farmer, Masumoto grows peaches,
nectarines, grapes and raisins on an organic 80 acre farm south of Fresno, California.
Masumoto is currently a columnist for and The Fresno Bee. He was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2006-2008.
His writing awards include Commonwealth Club Silver medal, Julia Child Cookbook award, the James Clavell Literacy Award and a finalist
in the James Beard Foundation awards. He received the Award of Distinction from UC Davis in 2003 and the California Central Valley Excellence in
Business Award in 2007.
He is currently a board member of the James Irvine Foundation and serves on the Statewide Leadership Council to the Public Policy Institute of California.
He has served as chair of the California Council for the Humanities.