Biography

Guadalupe García McCall is a young adult novelist, educator, poet, and speaker. Born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, she immigrated with her close-knit family to Eagle Pass, Texas (the setting for most of her poems and some of her novels) when she was six years old.

Guadalupe is the author of Under the Mesquite (MG, Lee & Low Books, 2011), an autobiographical novel in verse based on her family’s difficult times, struggling with loss and grief during her teenage years. Under the Mesquite received the prestigious Pura Belpre Author Award, was a William C. Morris Finalist, received the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Literacy Promising Poet Award, the Tomas Rivera Children’s Book Award, and was included in Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Books of 2011, among many other accolades.

Her second novel, Summer of the Mariposas (MG, Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, 2012), is a magical retelling of the Odyssey starring five Mexican-American sisters and featuring monsters and legendary characters from Mexican mythology. Summer of the Mariposas won a Westchester Young Adult Fiction award, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, was included in the 2013 Amelia Bloomer Project List, the Texas Lone Star Reading List, and the 2012 School Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year.

Guadalupe’s third novel, Shame the Stars (YA, Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, 2016), a historical reimagining of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set during the tumultuous times at the turn of the century known as La Matanza (the slaughter/genocide). It depicts the horrific events of the summer of 1915 when Texas Rangers lynched and slaughtered Mexicans and Mexican-Americans summarily on the Texas-Mexico Rio Grande Valley. Shame the Stars was named Texas’ Great Read by the Center for the Book at Texas State Library and Archives Commission and was presented at the National Book Festival at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. It was on the Commended Lists for the Américas Book Award (Consortium of Latin American Studies Program), the Tayshas List (American Library Association), and was a Junior Library Guild Selection.

Her latest book, All the Stars Denied (YA, Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, 2018) is a companion novel to Shame the Stars and illustrates the struggles of the del Toro family 16 years later, during the 1930’s repatriation of more than a million Mexican and Mexican-Americans, 600,000 of which were US citizens. All the Stars Denied received a starred review from School Library Journal, was a 2018 Writer’s League of Texas Book Award Finalist, was included in the 2019-2020 California Reads compiled by the California Teachers Association (CTA), and was a Best Young Adult Book 2019 Finalist, awarded the Texas Institute of Letters.

Guadalupe’s fifth novel, The Keeper, a MG Horror/Mystery about a boy who receives increasingly threatening letters from a stranger who calls himself “the Keeper” will be available from Harper Collins on January 25, 2022, and her sixth novel, Echoes of Grace (YA), a YA gothic set on the US/Mexico borderlands which explores the nature of sisterhood, family secrets, sexcual crimes against women, and femicide is forthcoming from Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, in the Fall of 2022.

Guadalupe’s poems and short stories have appeared in The Poetry Friday Anthology (Pomelo Books), The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (Pomelo Books), The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Pomelo Books), ¡Juventud!: growing up on the border (VAO Publishing), Kaiju Rising II: Reign of Monsters (Outland Entertainment), Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann Publications), and World Make Way: New Poems Inspired by Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Harry M. Abrams), I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage (Lee and Low Books), No Voice Too Small (Charlesbridge), Nerds, Goths, Geeks, and Freaks: Outsiders in Latin@ Young Adult Literature (Mississippi Press), Calling the Moon (Candlewick Press).

Ms. Garcia McCall travels all over the country speaking to students and adults on topics of importance to the Latine community. She is an advocate for literacy and diverse books. In her travels, she is always looking for a good taco place and she never met a chocolate mole sauce she didn’t love! She loves to garden, cook, read, write, walk, and take pictures of nature. Though she keeps a home in Texas, she is currently an Assistant Professor of English at George Fox University and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest most of the year.

Photo by Michael Mercado Smith