What a treat I have for you today!

While doing some research for Multicultural Children’s Book Day (you know me – into anything book-related) my youngest daughter and I happened upon a wonderful author.

As a matter of fact, this is one of those time when a 50-something-year-old mom and her pre-teen daughter agree on something big time. Let me introduce you to Mrs. Laura Resau…

I was born in Baltimore City and spent the first ten years of my life there in old brick houses with alleys. When I was eleven, my family moved to a Baltimore suburb that used to be farmers’ fields and woods.

When I wasn’t in school, I was exploring the woods and stream and discovering remnants of what used to be there – rusted fences, ancient farm tools, an abandoned barn.

As a teenager, I loved to hang out with my friends by the Patapsco River, which ran through a nearby old mill town. Down a path through the trees, there was an enormous dam that we would sneak inside of. It felt like a cave in there. You could climb out an opening onto some rocks and stand behind the waterfall and get soaked in its spray. Source

Her early adult years were spent studying Anthropology and French, and traveling abroad. Living and spending time in Ecuador, France, Mexico and Guatemala gave her experiences that fueled the stories she later wrote about in her books. Upon returning to the States and settling in Colorado, she married Ian, and together they adopted their son from Guatemala.

Laura Resau writes about characters from countries and cultures with which we may be unfamiliar, who feel emotions and experience situations that will be familiar to us all…

Her stories started important conversations between my tween and me, made even easier because they were in the context of a different culture – I find it’s often easier to talk about touchy subjects when they aren’t so “close to home.” Context is everything!). Her books are wonderful tools to begin discussing “coming of age” issues, while also displaying how similar we all are deep inside.

The Queen of Water was the first book we read. You can read a summary below, but what I enjoyed most about this were the two themes of pride-in-ancestry and how a young girl grows up and learns to stand up for herself. Knowing that this was based on true events made this both a remarkable story and a fascinating read. Mrs. Resau had me hooked with this one…
The Queen of Water - Laura ResauThe Queen of Water – Laura Resau

Born in an Andean village in Ecuador, Virginia lives with her large family in a small, earthen-walled dwelling. In her village of indígenas, it is not uncommon to work in the fields all day, even as a child, or to be called a longa tonta—stupid Indian—by members of the ruling class of mestizos, or Spanish descendants. When seven-year-old Virginia is taken from her village to be a servant to a mestizo couple, she has no idea what the future holds. In this poignant novel based on a true story, acclaimed author Laura Resau has collaborated with María Virginia Farinango to recount one girl’s unforgettable journey to self-discovery. Virginia’s story will speak to anyone who has ever struggled to find his or her place in the world. It will make you laugh and cry, and ultimately, it will fill you with hope.

This was a real nail-biter. It may or may not have been one of Hope’s favorites; she had a hard time choosing. But at any rate, I did my best!

Red GlassRed Glass

One night Sophie and her parents are called to a hospital where Pedro, 6-year-old Mexican boy, is recovering from dehydration. Crossing the border into Arizona with a group of Mexicans and a coyote, or guide, Pedro and his parents faced such harsh conditions that the boy is the only survivor. Pedro comes to live with Sophie, her parents, and Sophie’s Aunt Dika, a refugee of the war in Bosnia. Sophie loves Pedro – her Principito, or Little Prince. But after a year, Pedro’s surviving family in Mexico makes contact, and Sophie, Dika, Dika’s new boyfriend, and his son must travel with Pedro to his hometown so that he can make a heartwrenching decision.


Some of the other Laura Resau works my daughter and I have both enjoyed...
These are some of the other Laura Resau works my daughter and I have both enjoyed.

If you’re looking for something different than some of the current popular literary offerings out there, give Mrs. Resau’s books a try! Not only will you discover new cultures together, but they will definitely provide fodder for some important conversations between you and your teen…

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