Books

Filipino-American Author Erin Entrada Kelly Is First to Win Prestigious Children's Book Award

Judges say it's a mix of Filipino folklore and real life.
Comments

It is often our adventures with our closest childhood friends that we remember when we grow up. For children's book writer Erin Entrada Kelly, those memories are what inspired her to create Hello, Universe—for which she was awarded the Newbery Medal on February 12.

Raised in Louisiana and based in Philadelphia, Kelly identifies herself as a Filipino-American whose Visayan mother lives in Cebu. This is why Filipino culture is very much embedded in her creations, and Hello, Universe is no different. "Filipino folklore and real life converge at the bottom of a well," the judges said in an interview with NPR.org.

Now her third book, Hello, Universe follows the lives of middle-school students and their unexpected encounters. There's Valencia Somerset, a hearing-impaired child who is smart and brave but lonely; Kaori Tanaka who is a self-proclaimed psychic and her little sister Gen; and Chet Bullens who's passionate about basketball. One day, Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil Salinas—who is shy and kindhearted—at the bottom of a well. It is up to the three to save her and teach the bully a lesson. Ultimately, "Hello, Universe is about faith, destiny, and friendship," the author says. Fellow Filipina Isabel Roxas, a Brooklyn-based artist, turned this exciting story into a visual feast fit for kids and kids-at-heart.

The Newbery Medal was named for 18th Century British bookseller John Newbery. It is a recognition awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to authors for distinguished contributions to American literature for children.

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

Comments
About The Author
Christa De La Cruz for Spot.ph
View Other Articles From Christa
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
Why skiing Australia should be on everyone's travel bucket list.
 
Share
During the holidays this seaside town transforms into a dreamy cold-weather escape.
 
Share
These powerful duos are making big changes in the fields of education, transportation, beauty, art, and design.
 
Share
World-famous graphic designer Kenya Hara details how it influences the minimal design of the lifestyle brand.
 
Share
The photo features the couple with their two daughters, Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia.
 
Share
Director Nadine Labaki on what it was like to work with real people to tell a story of children caught in the limbo of conflict.
 
Share
She even waved to the crowd as she drove through the palace gates.
 
Share
Christmas gift ideas for the woman who has everything and the frenemy you have to play nice with, according to the Truly Rich Lady.
 
Share
The Tony-winning musical only has four weeks left until the final performance on January 6.
 
Share
These editor-approved, cult-favorite products smooth fine lines, prevent wrinkles, and help turn back the hands of time.
 
Share
 
Share
A comprehensive who's who of Queen Elizabeth's family, from her grandparents (the first Windsors) to little Prince Louis and every cousin in between.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US