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Latino Literacy Now
The Latino Book and Family Festival
Book Expo of America - 2008
Los Angeles, California
May 29, 2008
Literary works in English and Spanish from the U.S., Mexico, Central and South America and Spain
Notable previous winners:
Isabel Allende
Sandra Cisneros
Gloria Estefan
George Lopez
Sandra Rodriguez Barron
Jorge Ramos
Alicia Valdez Rodriguez
Victor Villaseñor

Advance notice
Want to be notified of the exact date of the Grand Central Publishing release of America Libre?
  The 2008 International Latino Book Awards
select America Libre as the
Best Novel-Adventure or Drama-English
The significance of this award did not really sink in until I began to contemplate the competition. The second place award in the Novel–Adventure or Drama–English category went to Guillermo Arriaga, the author of six novels and seven screenplays. Among Arriaga’s most notable films are Babel, 21 Grams, Amores Perros, and The Three Burials of Melquiadas Estradas.  Renowned Cuban-born novelist Cristina Garcia received Honorable Mention. Garcia has written seven novels including Dreaming In Cuban, a 1992 National Book Award finalist. That is pretty good company to keep, much less surpass. Looking back, it’s clear this achievement would not have been possible without the support of a key figure in the Latino literary community.
Raul Ramos y Sanchez at podium
Last February I had the privilege of having America Libre nominated by Rueben Martinez of Libreria Martinez for the International Latino Book Awards. The nomination alone was an honor, coming from someone who has hosted virtually every leading Latino author in his landmark Santa Ana, California bookstore and is widely recognized for his efforts at promoting reading and literacy among Latino youth. With the awards ceremony drawing near, I received an additional thrill: being chosen as a presenter in the Non-Fiction English category.
Shortly after completing my stint as presenter I was called back to the stage. To my amazement and delight, America Libre had been selected as the winner in the Novel–Adventure or Drama–English category. Returning to my seat holding the trophy, I remembered finishing the first draft of my manuscript almost four years earlier. The possibility of being published was a distant dream at the time. The thought of winning this kind of award never entered my mind. This award is a tribute to perseverance above all else.  
Raul Ramos y Sanchez
Jamie Martinez Wood receives Latino Book Award

I had the privilege to present the trophy for Best Reference Book in English to Jamie Martinez Wood, a fellow client of the Castiglia Literary Agency, for her book Latino Writers and Journalists.

Winners at the International Latino Book Awards
Left to right: Mary Andrade, author of Day of the Dead, A Passion for Life; Ruben Ruiz, author of The Richest Latino in America; Dr. Jesus Nieto, Vice President of Latino Literacy Now; Jaime Martinez Wood, author of Latino Writers and Journalists; Raul Ramos y Sanchez, author of America Libre; Marla Norman, HarperCollins Publishers; Dennis Hernandez, President of Latino Literacy Now; Gary Urda, Atria Books.
Castiglia Literary Agency clients and agents
Two award-winning authors made it a good day for the Castiglia Literary Agency. From left to right: my agent, Sally van Haitsma; agency founder Julie Castiglia; author Jamie Martinez Wood; and a street person being kept under surveillance by the LAPD squad car in the distance.

My special thanks to Veronica Jacuinde for these photos and her tireless support.

Veronica Jacuinde
Raul Ramos y Sanchez with International Latino Book Award
Only when I stopped to consider the competition in my category did I truly realize the honor of winning this award.


Reuben Martinez-
Reuben Martinez of Libreria Martinez honored me by nominating America Libre for the awards competition.
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