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An Arizona Author Explores Her Immigrant Identity In This Award-Winning Children's Book

Juana Martinez-Neal
Candlewick Press
Juana Martinez-Neal with her book, "Alma And How She Got Her Name"

Alma, the little girl at the heart of the new children’s book " Alma And How She Got Her Name" has a very long name.  

Too long, according to Alma. So, in the book, her father tells her the story of her name, and how each of those who came before her are part of who she is.

The book, written and illustrated by local author Juana Martinez-Neal, just won the Caldecott Medal, a prestigious prize in children's literature.

Martinez-Neal is an immigrant to Arizona from Peru, and she explained on The Show her process of writing this book, why it took a long time and how it required her to come to terms with her immigrant identity. 

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.