Matt de la Peña was selected as the 2016 Steinfirst lecturer on the basis of his exemplary bibliography and his experience teaching writing to teens. While his primary focus is young adult literature, de la Peña also has multiple books written for middle grade and elementary age children. His books deal with the themes of identity, family, and transformation.
In 2016, de la Peña’s book Last Stop on Market Street was awarded the Newbery Medal, the Caldecott Honor, and the Coretta Scott King Honor. De la Peña is the first Latino to ever win the Newbery Award. Upon receiving the award, Matt wrote, “I hope all the brilliant Hispanic writers of the past and present view this as a recognition or our diverse community and that it inspires young Hispanics coming up to read their way through the world and consider a path in the arts.”
De la Peña’s Steinfirst lecture is titled “Reading and Writing from the Wrong Side of the Tracks.” His artist-in-residency will focus on creating personal narratives. More information about Matt can be found at his website.
Matt Talks About Diverse Literature
“Sometimes The ‘Tough Teen’ Is Quietly Writing Stories”– link
“How We Talk (or Don’t Talk) About Diversity When We Read with Our Kids” — link