Isabel Quintero is an award-winning writer from the Inland Empire of Southern California. She has authored: Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, Ugly Cat and Pablo and Ugly Cat and Pablo and the Missing Brother, Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, and My Papi Has a Motorcycle. Forthcoming from Kokila, Martinez Paranormal Services, Golden State, and Mama’s Panza, as well as a short story in the 2023 Candlewick anthology Ab(solutely) Normal: Short Stories that Smash Mental Health Stereotypes. Her books have garnered many starred reviews and awards and have been included in multiple best-of lists. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking, laughing, and cooking with her partner and child.
Isabel’s most recent books are about going on adventures. In My Papi Has a Motorcycle, Daisy Ramona, a young girl, takes a ride with her dad on the back of his motorcycle. She loves the smell of the gas, the rumble of the engine, the freedom, and all of the things that come with a motorcycle. In Photographic, Isabel wrote about the life of a Mexican photographer, Graciela Iturbide, a woman who set out to succeed in the art world, a world that has never made it easy for women. Both books are very much about dreaming and celebration.
Isabel believes strongly that she is just trying to tell a good story, “and when you tell a good story, a story that is honest, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, readers gravitate to that, despite what communities they are a part of. In my work, I don't try to teach anyone what being Chicana or Latine or the daughter of immigrants. I simply write about people—the type of people I know and grew up with. And for some folks, that resonates, and for others, it doesn’t. Especially as a writer for children, I try not to moralize or teach. Rather, I want to engage and be in conversation with the folks who give my work a chance.” Furthermore, Quintero shared that having events like the Los Angeles Libros Festival makes a huge difference because It lets people know that the library is thinking about all the people it serves, not just one certain population.
Isabel is currently working on a middle-grade series, Martinez Paranormal Services, which follows a young girl whose parents are paranormal investigators. She is also developing a young adult novel titled Golden State, which centers around a young woman embarking on a road trip to meet her previously unknown brother. She also has a picture book scheduled for release next year titled Mama’s Panza, illustrated by Iliana Galvez. This book explores the relationship between a toddler and their mother, focusing on the changes in the mother’s body after childbirth. Isabel is excited for readers to experience her upcoming creations.
Isabel Quintero will be one of our featured authors at the Los Angeles Libros Festival, a free bilingual book festival for the whole family celebrating stories and music from Latin America and the United States. L.A. Libros Fest will be streamed live on YouTube on Friday, September 29, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The Festival will be in-person at Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.