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Pablo Cartaya: Each Tiny Spark (ADHD, PTSD)

Hi everyone! This week we have something new: a Zoom chat between wonderful middle grade author Pablo Cartaya and Sally. Pablo, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your mg novel Each Tiny Spark, the character of Emilia Rosa, family love, and ADHD -- just one of the sparks in your warm and nuanced story.

Pablo Cartaya is an award-winning author whose books have been reviewed by The New York Times, featured in The Washington Post, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal, and featured on many Best Books of the Year and state award lists. He is the author of the critically acclaimed middle-grade novels The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora (a 2018 Pura Belpre Honor Book) and Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish (currently in development as a feature film adaptation).

His most recent novel, Each Tiny Spark, was honored with the 2020 Schneider Family Book Award for its portrayal of the disability experience and published by the Kokila Penguin Random House Imprint, which focuses on publishing diverse books for children and young adults.

Pablo is proudly bilingual en español y ingles. While currently available for virtual visits only, he looks forward to once again visiting readers around the country soon. Follow him at @phcartaya on Instagram and Twitter.


Sally J. Pla is co-founder and editor of A Novel Mind. She's the award-winning author of The Someday Birds (HarperCollins), recipient of the 2018 Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award for its authentic portrayal of disability, a Goodreads Choice Nominee, NYPL Best Book, Bank Street Best Book, LA Library Best Book, and Junior Library Guild Selection, among other accolades, state lists, and starred reviews.

Sally’s second novel, Stanley Will Probably Be Fine (HarperCollins) is a Kirkus Best Children’s Book of 2018, A Bank Street Best Book, a NYPL Best Book, and a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Her picture book, Benji, The Bad Day, & Me (Lee and Low), won the 2019 San Diego Book Award for best children’s book, and is a “Teacher’s Pick” on Amazon. Find out more at or follow her on Twitter @sallyjpla.

Sally is an autism advocate who believes in kindness, respect, and the beauty of different brains. We are all stars shining with different lights.


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