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Celia C. Perez

Born: in Miami, Florida
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Perez lives in Chicago.

Biography: Celia Perez is a community college librarian. She is a longtime zine-maker. Her zines and writing has been featured in The Horn Book Magazine, Latina, El Andar, Venus Zine, and NPR's Talk of the Nation and Along for the Ride.

  • The First Rule of Punk Best Books List, NPR, 2017; Best Books List, Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature, 2017; Best Middle-Grade Books, Kirkus Reviews, 2017; Best Books for Kids, New York Public Library, 2017; 101 Great Books for Kids List, Evanston Public Library, 2017; Best of the Best Books, Chicago Public Library, 2017; Best Books List for Young Readers, University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education, 2017; Middle Grade Fiction Nerdies Award, 2017; Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, 2017; Starred Reviews, Kirkus and School Library Journal, 2017; Indies Introduce Title, ABA, 2017; Junior Library Guild Selection, 2017; ABA Indies Introduce Title, 2017; Kids’ Indie Next List Pick; E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader Award finalist; Amelia Bloomer List Book; Junior Library Guild Selection; Publishers Weekly Flying Start;School Library Journal Best Books of 2017; Horn Book Fanfare Selection; Seattle Public Library Top 10 Children’s Chapter Book of 2017; Pura Belpré Author Honor Book, 2018; ALSC Notable Children’s Book, 2018; Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award Winner, 2018; Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Honor Book, 2018; CCBC Choices, 2018; Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, 2018; Great Lakes, Great Reads Award, 2018; Illinois READS Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2019
  • Tumble Illinois READS Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2023

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Young adult readers


Selected Titles

Strange birds :
ISBN: 0425290433 OCLC: 1078878955

After Ofelia, Aster, Cat, and Lane fail to persuade a local girls club to change an outdated tradition, they form an alternative group that shakes up their sleepy Florida town. Includes tips for beginning birders, characteristics of crystals, a cookie recipe, tips for aspiring journalists, directions for creating badges, and facts about the killing of birds for fashion.

The First Rule of Punk
ISBN: 9780425290422 OCLC: 965127991

Twelve-year-old María Luisa O'Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malú) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang--violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school's most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.

ISBN: 0593325176 OCLC:

Kokila 2022

Twelve-year-old Adela “Addie” Ramírez has a big decision to make when her stepfather proposes adoption. Addie loves Alex, the only father figure she’s ever known, but with a new half brother due in a few months and a big school theater performance on her mind, everything suddenly feels like it’s moving too fast. She has a million questions, and the first is about the young man in the photo she found hidden away in her mother’s things.Addie’s sleuthing takes her to a New Mexico ranch, and her world expands to include the legendary Bravos: Rosie and Pancho, her paternal grandparents and former professional wrestlers; Eva and Maggie, her older identical twin cousins who love to spar in and out of the ring; Uncle Mateo, whose lucha couture and advice are unmatched; and Manny, her biological father, who’s in the midst of a career comeback. As luchadores, the Bravos’s legacy is strong. But being part of a family is so much harder—it’s about showing up, taking off your mask, and working through challenges together.