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  • Writer's picturePJ Gardner Switzer

The Books that Made Me: Adrianna Cuevas

This week we get to know the lovely middle grade author, Adrianna Cuevas. She's a talented writer and baker, based on the delicious looking treats she shares on her social media.

The Books that Made Me Love Reading

I’ve always loved reading so I can’t really pinpoint a book that made me feel this way. But growing up, I was obsessed with an illustrated edition of Edgar Allen Poe stories and poems because I love horror. I also read a ton of Jack London as a kid because his stories transported a Cuban girl living in Florida to a whole new world I had never experienced.

The Books that Made Me Excited to Read Right Now

My hermanas have been putting out some amazing books and I’m most excited to read Concealed by Christina Gonzalez, Manu by Kelly Fernandez, and Big Apple Diaries by Alyssa Bermudez.

The Books that Made Me Want to Write

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. This MG sci-fi fantasy is filled with Cuban-American characters in Miami. I’d never seen myself so much in a book before and it made me want to provide that experience to young readers as well.

The Books that Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Stand Up, Yumi Chung by Jessica Kim, Red Panda and Moon Bear by Jarod Roselló, and Pawcasso by Remi Lai are all amazingly hilarious books.

The Books that Made Me Angry

Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero by Saadia Faruqi and Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros are both books that made me angry at the systems of injustice and racism that exist in this country.

The Books that Made Me Swoon

XOXO by Axie Oh. I’m a huge fan of k-dramas and this YA was basically the best k-drama in book form. (Bonus points for Made in Korea by Sarah Suk, I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee, and The Jasmine Project by Meredith Ireland)

The Books that Made Me a Lifelong Fan

The way Donna Barba Higuera pivoted from contemporary MG with Lupe Wong Won’t Dance to sci-fi with The Last Cuentista has made me a huge fan of hers. I can’t wait to see what she cooks up next.

The Books that Made Me Like a New Genre

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter and Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai by Debbi Michiko Florence made me awe at how amazing a strictly contemporary MG can be. I usually require some amount of fantastical nonsense to keep my interest, but Debbi’s books are perfection.


Adrianna Cuevas is the author of the Pura Belpre honor book The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez,Cuba in My Pocket, and The Ghosts of Rancho Espanto. She is a first-generation Cuban-American originally from Miami, Florida. A former Spanish and ESOL teacher, Adrianna currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and son. When not working with TOEFL students, wrangling multiple pets including an axolotl, and practicing fencing with her son, she is writing her next middle grade novel.


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