Effie Lee Morris 18th Annual Lecture

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Yuyi Morales

Tuesday, June 3, 2014  
San Francisco Main Library, Civic Center
Free and open to the public!
Guest Lecturer: Yuyi Morales

This was a powerful community, literary event: Yuyi Morales at the San Francisco Public Library! After a packed reception in the Children’s Center, the mariachi band led us down the stairs and through the lobby to the auditorium for Yuyi’s talk. She held us spellbound for over an hour. We were barely able to raffle the free books that Women’s National Book Association: San Francisco Chapter provided, and have books signed, before the library closed for the night!

The Fisher Children’s Center, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, and the Women’s National Book Association/San Francisco Chapter presented special guest lecturer, Yuyi Morales, who will deliver the 18th annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture in Children’s Literature, “Creating Children’s Books: An Immigrant’s Story.”

Author/illustrator Yuyi Morales has drawn on her Mexican-American heritage to create a wide variety of picture books. The winner of a 2014 Pura Belpré Award for Niño Wrestles the World, she divides her time between Mexico and California.

“When I came to the United States I did not have much here. I didn’t have the language. I didn’t have friends. I didn’t have a job anymore, which meant that I didn’t have people who listened to me or that validated my thoughts or any of that. I was very lonely.

But then, my mother-in-law brought me to this place that changed my life forever. She brought me to the public library. In the library, I found this island of peace and this world where I didn’t have to interact with anybody in order to know, and learn, and see, and love, because I was looking at these books—especially in the children’s section.”

As a Spanish-speaking immigrant and new mother who migrated to the U.S. from Mexico, Yuyi struggled with English and adapting to a new home. She found support in neighborhood libraries, where she and her son practiced English by reading children’s books. There she found her life passion writing and illustrating children’s stories, such as Just a Minute; A Trickster Tale and Counting Book; Little Night / Nochecita; Just in Case, and the 2013 Niño Wrestles the World. She is the first children’s book illustrator of Mexican descent to reach the New York Times Best Sellers List.

Each year, the Effie Lee Morris Lecture features a distinguished guest author or illustrator of children’s books discussing his or her work for the enjoyment of teachers, librarians, scholars, and the book-loving public. The event honors the work of the late Effie Lee Morris, SFPL’s first coordinator of children’s services and a founder of the SF Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association.

Morales books

For more information, call 415-557-4277 or 415-557-4554.

*Funded by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

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