A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Ines
  • Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award from Southwest Texas State University
  • 2003 Americas Commended List  from the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • 2004 Amelia Bloomer Project Recommended List, Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association
  • Best Spanish Language Picture Book, Bank St. College of Education

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Covers from the original editions, published in English and Spanish by Knopf Books for Young Readers.
A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Ines
A Library for Juana Spanish

Also available in Chinese, published by Commonwealth Magazine Co. Ltd.

A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Ines (Chinese)
2017: 15th anniversary

A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Inés
Illustrated by Beatriz Vidal
Now back in print in paperback from Lee & Low books.
Download a hi-res jpeg of the book jacket.

“I am quiet like a turtle.”

So promised Juana Inés, a little girl who loved words, on her first day of school. When she was three years old, Juana Inés followed her sister to school and peeked in the window, then begged the teacher to be allowed to stay so she could learn how to read. Soon she was making up stories, songs, and poems—she loved learning and she loved reading. And she couldn’t wait to have her own collection of books! Eventually, Juana went on to become Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a nun, and she devoted her life to writing and learning and words. Though she died in 1695, Sor Juana Inés is still considered one of the most brilliant writers in Mexico’s history: her poetry is recited by schoolchildren throughout Mexico and is studied at schools and universities around the world. Here is the story of her life, an incredible one full of knowledge, achievement, and inspiration, lovingly told by the renowned children’s book author Pat Mora and gorgeously illustrated by Beatriz Vidal.
Una biblioteca para Juana: el mundo de Sor Juana Inés

Also available in a Spanish edition.
Una biblioteca para Juana: el mundo de Sor Juana Inés

“Me quedaré tan quieta como una tortuga.”

Prometió la pequeña que amaba las palabras, Juana Inés, en su primer día de escuela. Cuando tenía tres años, Juana Inés siguió a su hermana a la escuela y se quedó mirando a través de la ventana, luego le rogó a la maestra que la dejara entrar para que ella también pudiera aprender a leer. Pronto, comenzó a inventar cuentos, canciones y poemas—amaba aprender tanto como amaba leer—. ¡Soñaba con tener su propia colección de libros! Aunque Sor Juana Inés murió en 1695, todavía se le considera una de las escritoras más sobresalientes de la historia de México. No sólo todos los niños de las escuelas recitan sus poemas en su país natal, si no que su obra se estudia en escuelas y universidades en todo el mundo. Esta es su historia, una historia maravillosa, llena de logros e inspiración, contada con la delicadeza literaria de la conocida escritora de libros infantiles, Pat Mora, e ilustrada con los hermosos dibujos de Beatriz Vidal.

Highlighted Reviews
"This lovingly produced picture-book biography of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz features a fresh subject and introduces young American audiences to an important figure in Mexico’s literary history. Based on the few known facts about the seventeenth-century scholar who even as a child loved books and revered learning, the fictionalized text will strike a responsive chord in many young readers; her efforts to achieve her goals will intrigue them … she was indeed a remarkable woman. Moreover, she is portrayed as fun-loving, energetic, and creative.”—The Horn Book

“Mora’s beautifully crafted text does credit to its subject, following her [Sor Juana] from birth to death … The text is perfectly complemented by Vidal’s brilliant, detailed illustrations that have the look and exactitude of Renaissance miniatures. This is an exceptional introduction to an exceptional woman, and would enhance any collection.”—School Library Journal

“Mora (Tomás and the Library Lady) concisely traces the rise of spirited Juana Inés from inquisitive youngster to 17th century Mexican scholar … this story of persistence and pioneering will inspire youngsters...the heroine’s journey, coupled with Vidal’s depiction of expressive faces and lovely renderings of flowers that spill from the borders of the pictures make for a memorable volume.”—Publishers Weekly

“This picture-book biography of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz brings the 17th-century poet and intellectual, revered throughout Latin America, to the attention of English-speaking children … This magnificent offering, interspersed with Spanish phrases, and filled with authentic details in its illustrations will be a welcome addition to most library collections.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The best of children’s literature doesn’t limit itself to young readers. A good children’s book appeals to the child in all of us … Mora’s biography reveals this passionate woman’s determination to break boundaries, enriched by the exquisite watercolor and gouache illustrations of Argentina-born artist Beatriz Vidal, who employs a technique similar to that used in manuscripts centuries ago.”—Pasatiempo, The Santa Fe New Mexican

“This gorgeously illustrated book is the story of a 17th century Mexican writer still revered today throughout that country … The story is lovingly told.”—The Cincinnati Enquirer