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Angela Cervantes, KAnsas Author



Gaby Lost And Found Book Cover




       Angela Cervantes was born and raised in Kansas. Most of her childhood was spent in Topeka, living in the Mexican-American community of Oakland. Her family also spent a lot of time in El Dorado and Wichita visiting a slew of aunts, uncles and cousins on weekends.

       Angela graduated from the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!) with a degree in English. After KU, she moved to Brownsville, Texas. In Brownsville, Angela was introduced to the music of Selena, ceviche, and learned to two-step.

       After Brownsville, Angela moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, where for two years she taught High School English and literature. In 2003, Angela returned to Kansas City, completed an MBA, co-founded Las Poetas, an all-female poetry group, and began working at an international children’s organization. Later, Angela was convinced to let guys join Las Poetas and it became the Latino Writers Collective. 

       In 2005, Angela’s short story, “Pork Chop Sandwiches,” was published in Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul.

       Angela’s first novel, Gaby, Lost and Found (Scholastic Press), was released in August of 2013. Angela’s second middle-grade novel is forthcoming in the Spring of 2018.

--- Biography submitted by author

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)

Short Stories:

  • "Pork Chop Sandwiches," Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul (HCI, 2005)


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Allie, First at Last:

Summary: Everyone in Allie's family is special in some way--her younger sister is a rising TV star; her brother is a soccer prodigy; her sister is destined for Harvard; her mother is an award-winning Kansas City news anchor; her great-grandfather (bisabuelo) is a Congressional Medal of Honor Winner. She longs to distinguish herself before leaving elementary school, and when a prestigious contest is announced, Allie has the perfect opportunity to take first (at last) and to win back her ex-best friend.

Excerpt: Back at school on Monday, Junko Tabei and her pickax are no longer on our classroomm wall. She's been replaced with the poet Gwendolyn Brooks. . . . In the poster, Gwendolyn Brooks is reading from a book. It's as if someone snuck up on her at the library and snapped a picture. I bet she didn't know that years later that picture would be made into a poster and pinned up on our fifth-grade classroom wall. Under her image it says her name in bold letters and The First Afrincan American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Gaby, Lost and Found:       

Summary:      Gaby Howard Ramirez loves volunteering at the local animal shelter. She’s in charge of writing adoption advertisements so that the strays who live there can find their forever homes: places where they’ll be cared for and loved, no matter what. Gaby has been feeling like a bit of a stray herself lately. Her mother has recently been deported to Honduras, and Gaby is stuck living with her inattentive dad. She’s confident that her mom will come home soon so they can adopt Gaby’s favorite shelter cat together. But when the cat’s owners turn up at the shelter, Gaby worries that her plans for the perfect family are about to fall apart.

Excerpt: Gaby was grateful for the school uniform. Even the stiff khaki pants. No matter how many times her father quit or lost a job, she still looked like all the other girls. So what if her shoes were from the Salvation Army store or her white shirts were paper thin and missing buttons? The cardigan sweater covered it.

"We will now vote to decide between two projects," Mrs. Kohler said. She flaoted around the rows of desks, handing out a paper about community service. "Our first option is Furry Friends Animal Shelter and our second is the City Harvest Center." All the girls cheered. Gaby bit her lower lip. Were her classmates applauding for the food pantry or the animal shelter? She hoped it was for the animal shelter.

It was bad enough that Gaby's classmates made sad puppy-dog faces whenever someone mentioned "illegal immigration" during social studies or religion class. If they went to City Harvest Center, her classmates would know that she was so poor she depended on boxes of free food. This was not good. It wouldn't take long for that scoop of juicy news to get around school.

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Honors and Awards

  • Third Place Creative Nonfiction Award , Missouri Review, 2007
  • Best of Prose Award, Kansas City Voices, 2007
  • Recognized as one of Kansas City's Emerging Writers, Kansas City Star Magazine, 2008
  • Named one of the Top Ten New Latino Authors to watch,, 2014
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Angela's Website

Angela's Facebook

Kirkus reviews

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