Biography Children’s Books

Pat Mora Biography
Children's Books

Pat Mora

Many cultures have traditions for honoring their loved ones. In Remembering Day: El Día de los Muertos, Pat imagines how this custom may have started in Mexico. Other recent books include Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube and two recent books she wrote with her daughter, Libby Martinez, I Pledge Allegiance and Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo!

Pat enjoys writing, presenting, and promoting creativity, inclusivity and bookjoy. Among her other children's books, many available in Spanish or bilingual eductions are The Beautiful Lady: Our Lady of Guadalupe; her haiku collection Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! winner of the Américas Award and an ALA Notable; and Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart, an ALA Notable that received a Pura Belpré Author Honor Award and a Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Her books for adults include Zing! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students, a writing memoir and innovation guide; House of Houses, a family memoir; Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle; and six poetry collections, the most recent, Adobe Odes. Her most recent collection for teens is Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems About Love written in teen voices.

A literacy advocate excited about sharing what she calls "bookjoy," Pat founded Children's Day, Book Day, El día de los niños, El día de los libros often known as Día. The year-long commitment promotes creatively linking all children and families to books and establishing annual April Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations across the country. 2016 is Día's 20th Anniversary. Pat's Book Fiesta captures the Día spirit. She spoke about this initiative and her work at the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture this spring.

Among her awards are Honorary Doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, Honorary Membership in the American Library Association, Life-time Membership in USBBY, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship to write in Umbria, Italy, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas at El Paso. She was a recipient and judge of a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships.

A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is a popular national speaker at conferences, campuses, libraries and schools. She has three adult children and a sweet Austin granddaughter. Pat is married to anthropology professor Vern Scarborough and lives in Santa Fe, NM.