Latino Rebels Interview

I had the chance to chat with author Jonathan Marcantoni during an interview for Latino Rebels. Here's what Jonathan had to say about Who's Ju:

The book works as both a fun, classic mystery and a serious investigation into the key questions all people face: “Who am I? And why am I the way that I am?”

That this story is told from the perspective of a young Puerto Rican girl is significant in that not so long ago, Latina heroines for young adult readers were in short supply. It is a testament to Mrs. Ramos’s talent that the book is at once culture specific and universal.

Check out the interview here.

Books NJ, Maslow Reading Series, and ILBA

Much to report from last month! Who's Ju was officially released in paperback on June 1. (Woohoo!) A few days later, I had the pleasure of sharing Ju's story with a group of bright sixth-graders at a middle school in Bergen County. I also participated in Books NJ, an excellent outdoor literary festival hosted by the Paramus Public Library.

Later in the month, I had a blast visiting Wilkes University to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Creative Writing Graduate Program. I was one of seven alums featured in the Maslow Reading Series Playwrights Night. Not only did I have the opportunity to present a cutting of my script Hielo, but I got to read roles in a few of the other plays as well. Such a fun night! And it was great to see the faces of fellow alums and former mentors who taught me so much about writing plays and fiction.

Finally, last week I had the honor of attending the  2015 International Latino Book Awards ceremony held in conjunction with the ALA Conference in San Francisco. It was so powerful being in the same room with so many talented Latino authors. These awards are coordinated by Latino Literacy Now, Las Comadres Para Las Amercias, and REFORMA - three organizations that are doing so much to promote our 500+ years of diverse narratives. I'm thrilled that Who's Ju came in first for Best Young Adult eBook and that my comadre Maria Ferrer was the one to present my category and hand me the award. My book also tied for second place for Best First Book, Children/Youth. I'm truly grateful to be included on the list of honorees found here.

Who's Ju News

A quick update to share some exciting news...

Who's Ju was named a finalist for two 2015 International Latino Book Awards in the categories of Mariposa Award (Best First Book Children/Youth - English) and Best YA eBook!

Also, the paperback release of Who's Ju is set for June 1, 2015. You can pre-order signed copies here.

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WHO'S JU? Ebook Release: 1/1/15

I spent a lovely Christmas holiday with family and friends, and I’m looking forward to all 2015 has in store. And it starts with a bang: the ebook release of WHO’S JU on 1/1/15! The ebook is available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo, or through the Northampton House Press website. You don’t need an e-reader to view the book – all three sellers have free apps for all devices (including desktop and laptop computers). You can also find WHO'S JU on Goodreads and BookDaily.

WHO’S JU is a contemporary middle grade mystery novel for ages 9-12. Justina ‘Ju’ Feliciano and her fellow seventh-grade sleuths are on the case! A sneaky vandal has damaged scenery from the middle school drama club production and the newbie detectives must catch the culprit before opening night. But Ju faces a completely different kind of mystery when a genetics assignment forces her to investigate the cold hard fact that her frizzy blonde hair and amber eyes don’t match the shades of brown that run in her family.


Early praise for WHO’S JU (7th Grade Sleuths #1):

“Dania Ramos’s Who’s Ju? is absolutely wonderful. At a time when the publishing world is in desperate need for more diversity in children’s literature, Ramos has introduced Justina, who is not only full of cultural pride, but is also universally relatable as she struggles with issues all kids face: Who am I and where do I fit in? The characters are real—and real funny, and readers will love following along as the Seventh-Grade Sleuths tackle a drama club mystery while even larger mysteries unfold around them. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!” — Crystal Velasquez, Author of the Your Life, But… Series

“Ju is a terrific personality with a large, inquisitive mind and an even bigger heart. Girls of all ages will remember her long after the last page is turned.” — Cecilia Galante, Author of The Patron Saint of Butterflies

“Dania Ramos has written a fun, humorous, lighthearted caper that subtlety and brilliantly explores the importance of cultural identity.” — Linda Nieves-Powell, Author of Yo Soy Latina! and Freestyle

I’m so excited to share Ju’s story with the world. Happy new year!

Ebook Publication Date and Cover Design for WHO'S JU?

I'm happy to announce the official publication date from Northampton House Press for the digital release of WHO'S JU? (Seventh-Grade Sleuths #1) is January 1, 2015. It will also be available in print later in 2015, exact date to be announced. Be sure to sign up for my email list if you'd like to keep up with the latest news about WHO'S JU? Here's a sneak peek of the lovely cover design by Shawn Yaney. :)