Libros para Todos—A Weekend with Author Juan Villoro
By Susan Neulist
Libros para Todos announces our next activities with well-known Mexican author Juan Villoro. This year over 500 books have been distributed to children in rural communities surrounding San Miguel de Allende, and the annual program will culminate with Villoro’s visits to three communities to meet the children who have been reading his book, El Libro Salvaje. The author will talk to the children about literature, reading, and education, and sign their books.
El Libro Salvaje
Libros para Todos
Thu, Nov 12, 5pm
Literary Sala in Hotel Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio
Sat, Nov 14, 11am
The communities to be visited this year are Cruz del Palmar, Los Ricos, and El Huizachal. Children from La Cuadrilla, El Tigre, Estancia de San Antonio, San Miguel Viejo (Ojalá-Niños), La Palma, and Salitrillo will be transported to join these events.
There are two events taking place in San Miguel. On Thursday, November 12, at 5pm, at the Literary Sala at Hotel Aldea, Juan Villoro will speak in English about El Libro Salvaje, writing for youth, magical books, libraries, and “princeps” readers. On Saturday, November 14, at 11am he will address a large group of children and adults in the auditorium of Bellas Artes (Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante”).
Juan Villoro was born in Mexico City in 1956. He was cultural attaché at the Mexican embassy in the then Democratic Republic of Germany and has worked on many magazines and newspapers. He was also editor-in-chief of Pauta and editor of La Jornada Semanal, arts supplement of the newspaper La Jornada, from 1995 to 1998. He now teaches literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) is a visiting lecturer at the Princeton, Yale, Boston universities and Pompeu i Fabra in Barcelona. An award-winning writer of fiction, essays, and children’s books and translator of major works from German and English, Juan Villoro is gaining recognition as one of the most important contemporary Latin American writers.
In his children’s book, El Libro Salvaje, we meet Juan, who has already made summer plans. His mother ignores his wishes and leaves him at his Uncle Tito’s house. Tito is an eccentric book lover, and in his vast library, Juan discovers The Wild Book, one that resists being read. Its pages hold an amazing secret if you’re capable of catching it. Juan Villoro is just as skilled at writing for children as he is for adults.
All of the children reading the book have also been given a notebook and pencil. Most of the teachers who are working on this project have attended a teacher-training program under the auspices of Libros para Todos and are encouraging these children through various reading and writing activities.
We thank the San Miguel community and our many friends and family members for supporting this project, now in its third year.