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A quick glance at the books written by Diane Gonzales Bertrand shows a writer who grabs inspiration from her many roles as daughter, wife, mother, and teacher. Although she has written stories and poems since childhood, it was her decision to study writing in graduate school at Our Lady of the Lake University that created an avenue for publication. As she read and studied literature from international authors, she gained confidence to write about her own Mexican-American heritage. She also discovered Arte Público Press, an independent press that welcomed the style of her familia-friendly novels Sweet Fifteen, Lessons of the Game, and Close to the Heart.
To fill in the gaps in quality Latino children's literature, Diane wrote a short novel for intermediate readers, Alicia's Treasure, and two award-winning novels for middle school students, Trino's Choice and Trino's Time. Several of her published bilingual picture books (Sip, Slurp, Soup, Soup / Caldo, caldo, caldo; Family, Familia; The Last Doll / La última muñeca; Uncle Chente's Picnic / El picnic de Tío Chente; and The Empanadas that Abuela Made / Las empanadas que hacía la abuela) have earned "Best Bilingual Book" awards from the National Latino Literary Hall of Fame. Her collection of bilingual short fiction, Upside Down and Backwards / De cabeza y al revés, earned Honorable Mention in the Paterson Prize for Young Adults and was a finalist for the Writers' League of Texas Teddy Book Award for children's books. Recent books include a children's biography, Ricardo's Race / La carrera de Ricardo, and a bilingual book for preschoolers, We Are Cousins / Somos primos. Her short bilingual novel for intermediate readers, The Ruiz Street Kids / Los muchachos de la calle Ruiz (2006), earned a Skipping Stones Award and was a finalist for the Tejas Star Book Award. New titles include A Party for Papa Luis / Una fiesta para Papá Luis and a novel for teens called The F Factor.
Diane is a native of San Antonio, Texas, where she is Writer-in-Residence at St. Mary's University. Her husband, children, and extended family continue to provide encouragement and inspiration for new stories, poems, and essays.