The Circle of Thanks

GraciasIn the author note of my book Gracias~Thanks, I wrote, “Listing what I’m thankful for always makes me happy.” Advertisers spend billions at this time of year tempting us to think about what we don’t have. Hardly the Thanksgiving spirit, is it? I end the author note, “Keep the circle of thanks, growing.” Let’s do that. Let’s inspire our family and friends to join the circle, no cash or credit card required.

I am deeply grateful for my dear family, for my health and faith, and for all of you who share my bookjoy habit and the desire to share that pleasure with all of this country’s children and families.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Illustration by Raphael Lopez from Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! America's Sproutings

Illustration by Raphael López from Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! America’s Sproutings

Introducing the 2016 Mora Award!

First BookSo pleased to pass on this message from First Book:

As part of our ongoing commitment to promote literacy and celebrate cultural diversity, First Book is proud to announce that we are working with author and poet Pat Mora to present the annual Estela and Raúl Mora Award in 2016!

Established by Pat and her siblings in honor of their parents, this esteemed award recognizes programs that embrace the spirit of Children’s Day/Book Day, El día de los niños/El día de los libros, (known as “Día”.)

Día is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children, from all backgrounds, and creatively links them to the gift of reading. In honor of Día’s 20th anniversary in April 2016, the Mora Award will be open for the first time to school-based and school-led partnerships that adopt Día as a way of connecting all children to bookjoy and promoting literacy all year round, culminating with Children’s Day/Book Day celebrations in April.

We are excited to seek nominations for the Mora Award from within the First Book community in 2016, but we just couldn’t wait to share the news! In the meantime, share bookjoy with all of the children you serve by exploring the variety of fun, culturally relevant, and engaging titles available on the First Book Marketplace.

To learn more, email Mora Award coordinator Roxana Barillas.

Happy Reading!

Your friends at First Book

dia mora parents

Pat’s parents, Estela and Raúl Mora, her sister Cissy and Pat

Congratulations to First Book

Congratulations to First Book, who has received the 2015 David M. Rubenstein Literacy Award from the Library of Congress. The Rubenstein Prize is awarded annually to an organization that has made outstanding and measurable contributions in increasing literacy levels and has demonstrated exceptional and sustained depth and breadth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy. In addition, the award, which includes a $150,000 cash prize, honors organizations that meet the highest standards of excellence in operations and services.

We are so pleased that First Book will be coordinating the The Estela and Raúl Mora Award, with special outreach to schools.
First Book

Creative Día Dynamos to be thankful for

Thom Eberhardt & Christy VasquezI would like to introduce our new Día Dynamos, Christy Vasquez and Thom Eberhardt. Californians now living in Santa Fe, they first heard about Día a few months ago. Librarian Elizabeth Martinez introduced me to Christy, a retired librarian who had worked with Elizabeth in CA, and to Christy’s husband Thom, a retired screenwriter. To assist in promoting Día’s 20th Anniversary nationally, as Sky City Productions, they created and filmed wonderful short Día video spots that visually convey bookjoy. How generous of them to donate their creative talents for all of us to share! In January, I’ll be posting the spots for your use and sharing on this site.

Gracias for new Día Dynamos

November: the month for giving thanks. This year, as we prepare for Día’s 20th Anniversary next April, I am deeply grateful to each of you, our creative and persistent Día Dynamos. Gracias.

I’m pleased to introduce our new Dynamos, my friends, Dr. Dan Moore (Vice President-Programs Retired, W.K. Kellogg Foundation) and Dr. Kay Moore (Dean and Professor Emerita, North Carolina State University, Retired), both long-time Día supporters. I’m sure they wonder if we’ll ever have a visit when we don’t discuss Día’s future. Dan supported Día from its beginning providing ALSC organizational support while he was at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Moores then enhanced the The Estela and Raúl Mora Award supporting of the Mora Honor Awards in recent years and have now contributed to our upcoming Anniversary. Gracias, gracias!

Dan and Kay Moore

Dan and Kay Moore