Margaret Dilloway’s middle grade novel, Momotaro Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters, was honored by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). The APALA notes, “Dilloway weaves the Japanese folktale of Momotaro into a modern coming of age adventure story of self-discovery and acceptance laced with strong themes of friendship. The main protagonist, a biracial Asian American, is a new kind of hero that embarks on a thrilling and fast-paced journey to save what is most important to him.” Xander’s adventures continue in Momotaro: Xander and the Dream Thief, and the series has been purchased for possible animation by Fox Studios.
Local author Margaret will share the afternoon spotlight with San Francisco author and lawyer Jill Diamond. Jill, a lover of cowboy boots, red lipstick, soft serve ice cream, was inspired to write Lou Lou and Pea and the Mural Mystery by her multicultural neighborhood, and her passion for the importance of friendship.
Xander Miyamoto should be feeling great. It's the beginning of summer vacation, his mother has returned from a long absence, and he has learned that he is a warrior with special powers. Xander never would have guessed that the old Japanese folktale about Momotaro, the hero who sprang from a peach pit, was real, much less part of his own heritage. But instead of reveling in his recent victory against the oni, monsters bent on creating chaos, Xander is feeling resentful. What took his mother so long to come back? Why does his father insist on ruining the summer with study and training? And why is Xander plagued by nightmares every night? Maybe this whole Momotaro thing is overrated. Xander's grandmother gives him a special baku charm to use to chase his nightmares away. He just has to be careful not to rely on it too much. If he does, the baku will not only take his dreams, but those of everyone in the house, forever. Without dreams, there is no hope, no motivation, no imagination, no Momotaro. And then it would be far too easy for Ozuno, king of the oni, to wreak havoc. . . . On his second quest, Xander explores new surreal landscapes, encounters more strange and dangerous creatures, and faces even higher stakes as he learns whether or not he has what it takes to be Momotaro.
Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl have been best friends since first grade. Every Friday afternoon, they get together in Lou Lou's backyard garden for their PSPP (Post-School Pre-Parents) tea party. They chat about school, discuss Pea's latest fashions, and plot the weekend's activities.
But all plans go out the window when a series of small crimes crop up around El Corazon, their quaint and quirky neighborhood, right before the Dia de Los Muertos procession. First, Pea's cousin's quinceanera dress is tragically ruined. Then Lou Lou's beloved camellia bush, Pinky, suffers a serious blow. And that's just the beginning! When clues start to appear in El Corazon's outdoor murals, the best friends join forces, using Lou Lou's floral expertise and Pea's artistic genius to solve the mysteries.
Accented by Lesley Vamos's spirited black-and-white illustrations, Jill Diamond's debut is a delightful introduction to two very creative best friends and their unforgettable adventures!
Xander Miyamoto would rather do almost anything than listen to his sixth grade teacher, Mr. Stedman, drone on about weather disasters happening around the globe. If Xander could do stuff he's good at instead, like draw comics and create computer programs, and if Lovey would stop harassing him for being half Asian, he might not be counting the minutes until the dismissal bell.
When spring break begins at last, Xander plans to spend it playing computer games with his best friend, Peyton. Xander's father briefly distracts him with a comic book about some samurai warrior that pops out of a peach pit. Xander tosses it aside, but Peyton finds it more interesting.
Little does either boy know that the comic is a warning. They are about to be thrust into the biggest adventure of their lives-a journey wilder than any Xander has ever imagined, full of weird monsters even worse than Lovey. To win at this deadly serious game they will have to rely on their wits, courage, faith, and especially, each other. Maybe Xander should have listened to Mr. Stedman about the weather after all. . . .