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Juana Martinez-Neal

ALMA Releasing in Two Weeks

I’m waking up my blog for Spring, and to share some wonderful and amazing news! I just received my author’s copies of Alma, my first picture book as an author and illustrator! This can only mean that the book is coming out very soon!

Alma will release from Candlewick Press on Tuesday, April 10th – less than 2 weeks from today in a simultaneous English and Spanish release. Alma and How She Got Her Name and Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre will be out in the world so soon! You can read a little bit about Alma in a previous post I wrote announcing that the book had been sold.

Author's copies of Alma

This book has been a dream come true, and there are so many people to thank for their help and support! My editor Mary Lee at Candlewick who helped make the book what it is today. My agent Stefanie at Full Circle Literary who has been the biggest cheerleader since we starting working together. Thanks to her Alma is a book now! Laura, my Candlewick publicist, who has been busy getting all these books out in the world and in the right hands. A whole-hearted thank as well to everyone on my wonderful Candlewick team! There are not enough words to express how grateful I am!

Alma's Case Cover

Thanks to Laura and Elsie at Candlewick, Alma is an Indie Next List Top Ten Pick and has received some wonderful reviews so far!

  • Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW):

    “It’s an origin story that envelops readers like a hug.”

  • School Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW):

    “A beautifully illustrated, tender story to be shared with all children, sure to evoke conversations about their names.”

  • Booklist (STARRED REVIEW):

    “While Alma feels enriched by learning her family’s history, she is also empowered by the knowledge that she will give her name, Alma, its own story.”

Pre-order signed copies of Alma

If you are interested in getting a copy, why not support an independent bookstore? You can pre-order signed and personalized (dedicated) copies of Alma from Changing Hands, my indie bookstore. Pre-order and I’ll include stickers and signed prints when I’m signing your copy. Wondering if the good guys at Changing Hands ship worldwide? Yes, they do!

[note]Pre-order signed and personalized (dedicated) copies by April 14th by visiting this page or calling 480-730-0205 or 602-274-0067.[/note]

Laura has and continues to line up some amazing events for the book! In April, I will be at the Texas Library Association (TLA) Conference, San Antonio Book Festival, LA Times Festival of Books and bookstore events at Changing Hands in Tempe, The Cellar Door in Riverside and Palabras Bookstore in Phoenix.

In May, I’ll be visiting NYC and attending Phoenix Comic Fest. This Summer, I will be at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference and International Literacy Association (ILA) Conference. I’ll also be visiting bookstores in RI and CT.

Please check my events page for more details and events, as more bookstore readings and events will be announced.

Hope to see you this Spring, Summer or Fall!

Copies of Alma in English and Español


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Children's book author and illustrator, mami of three, wife, sun aficionado, amateur singer and Margarita lover born in Lima, Peru and living in sunny AZ.


  • July 3, 2018


    Que hermoso tu libro nos encanto. Nosotros vivimos en Australia, mi hija de 7 años trajo Alma and how she got her name de la biblioteca de su escuela y quedamos fascinadas con el. Su nombre es Carlotta y al leer tu nota al final decidió que tú eras su ancentro de donde ella recibió su nombre 😂😂 los niños y su imaginación. Muy hermoso tu trabajo. Me encantaría compra una copia dedicada pero creo que el tiempo para ello ya pasó, por favor avísame si es posible y por donde lo puedo ordenar. Un millón de gracias y continúa tu hermoso trabajo, te has ganados dos fans en Australia. Besos Luisana y Carlotta Ferrer.

  • August 30, 2018

    im so proud of you and your books! seems like ages since we worked on my art/site. take care and enjoy your happenings! joyce dodd harcharik

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153 Boston Post Rd Ste 2
East Lyme, CT 06333

Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel
858-824-9269 ext. 2
Full Circle Literary