Pat Mora Biography
Children's Books

Pat MoraPat Mora, an award-winning author of books for children, teens and adults, is a literacy advocate and a popular presenter. Her new children's book, My Magic Wand: Growing with the Seasons, illustrated by Amber Alvarez, is published by Lee & Low Books.

Among her other children’s books, many available in Spanish or bilingual editions, are My Singing Nana, Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart and Tomás and the Library Lady. Pat’s poetry collections for young readers include Bookjoy, Wordjoy; Water Rolls, Water Rises; Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico!; Confetti; and This Big Sky. Pat also wrote two collections for young adults, Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love written in the voices of teens, and My Own True Name.

Pat’s honors include honorary doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, a lifetime achievement award from the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award. She’s a lifetime member of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), an honorary member of the American Library Association, and she received a Kellogg National Leadership and a Poetry Fellowship from NEA.

With her author/lawyer daughter, Libby Martinez, Pat wrote I Pledge Allegiance and Bravo, Chico Canta! Bravo! A literacy advocate excited about sharing what she calls “bookjoy,” in 1996, she founded Children’s Day, Book Day, in Spanish, El día de los niños, El día de los libros, “Día.” Pat and her partners including the American Library Association, REFORMA, NCTE and First Book nationally promote this year-long initiative of creatively linking all children and families to books and establishing annual April Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations. Pat’s Book Fiesta captures this bookjoy spirit. April 30, 2024 is the 28th anniversary of this initiative.

Born in El Paso, Texas, to a loving, bilingual family, Pat lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She’s grateful for her parents, siblings, her three children: biologist and editor, Dr. Bill Burnside; author Libby Martinez, and cat veterinarian, Dr. Cecelia Burnside; her enthusiastic granddaughter Bonny and grandson Martin; her husband, retired university professor Dr. Vern Scarborough, her friends and her readers. A former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat is working on new books for adults and children.

Please join Pat in promoting Children's Day, Book Day.