The 2019 Estela & Raúl Mora Award Winner and Honorees

In honor of her parents, The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established in 2000 by renowned author and poet Pat Mora. The award honors libraries and programs that celebrate Children’s Day, Book Day, El día de los niños, El día de los libros (also known as Día), a family literacy initiative that focuses on the promotion of connecting all children with books through creative literacy.

Pat Mora has committed her life to connect all children with books and motivate them and their families to be readers.

Today, hundreds of annual celebrations of “bookjoy” take place in libraries, schools, educational institutions, youth-serving organization, and homes across the country in April to celebrate Día.

We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 Estela and Raúl Mora Award Winner:

The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama!

The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama hosted The Gulf Coast Children’s Book Festival – the only children’s book festival in the state of Alabama and the Gulf Coast. The festival was created to help ignite a greater love of reading in the children of our area. Even though a large storm hit the area that day, they had over 3,000 children, teachers, and parents in attendance.

The Boys & Girls Club provided a variety of activities for our children to immerse themselves in all of the surrounding books, such as storyteller stages, illustrator workshop areas, a hands-on STEM games area, and of course – a bookstore. Local high school students circulated in costumes and interacted with the children dressed as an assortment of book characters. Alabama Public Television (PBS) hosted a children’s hands-on zone with tablets and opportunities to illustrate. Eighteen children’s authors attended and signed books with the children and participated on storyteller stages. In total, they had over forty different exhibitors from educational organizations.

As the primary goal was to put books into each child’s hand, the Boys & Girls Club was able to give each child at least two books, giving away almost 7,000 books on the day of the festival, including over 200 signed copies of books from nationally-recognized children’s authors across a variety of genres and topics.

The nonprofit will receive $1,000 in credits to the First Book Marketplace.

Our honorable mentions also had eventful days to celebrate Día!

Andress High School Library in El Paso, Texas, hosted several crafting stations around the high school campus and gave away over 850 free, brand new books to over 700 attendees to promote a love of literacy to high schoolers.

Anaheim Central Library Children’s Room in Anaheim, Calif., invited a special ‘Super Balloon Storyteller’ to perform balloon tricks, dancing, slap stick, and magic for about 250 kids and parents to help kids understand that reading helps your brain grow like a superhero.

Both programs will receive $500 in credit to the First Book Marketplace.


For more information about Día and resources to help you celebrate, visit the Día section on First Book Marketplace.

You can also check out First Book Marketplace’s Stories for All Project™ section to discover even more books that depict and celebrate diverse characters and experiences, and our special selection of books paired with tip sheets to help you explore Latino Culture and promote Día.

image of an educator reading to two kids from a picture book. There is text that says, 'Matching Challenge: Be a Champion for Educators! Your gift by May 31 can go twice as far to provide new, high-quality books and other resources educators need to help students unlock their full potential.' There is a red button in the bottom, right corner that says, 'I'll give now'.