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Erin Entrada Kelly Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Blackbird Fly (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Land of Forgotten Girls (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hello, Universe (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
You Go First (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lalani of the Distant Sea (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
We Dream of Space (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Her Name Was Fidela (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Erin Entrada Kelly is a children’s fiction author best known for winning the John Newbery Medal for her third novel “Hello Universe.” Kelly is a Filipina America and loves to refer to herself as mestiza which means that she is of mixed race. Her mother is Filipino from the island of Cebu in the Philippines while her father is a white American. As a young single mother, she attended college while working at a newspaper, even as she wrote her novels. It was during this time that she also had to take care of her child Carolanne. She took one class a semester and it took a decade to finally graduate with an MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. Kelly is currently a professor of children’s literature in the publishing and graduate fiction programs at Rosemont College. Entrada’s fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Philippines Free Press Literary Award. Erin was born in Lake Charles Louisiana in 1977 to Virgilia Entrada, a Filipino immigrant and Dennis Ray Kelly an American. Growing up was quite an experience as Erin was the only mestizo Filipino in her class, in a town where there were very few Asians. She desperately wanted to be like everyone else and fit in but she did not have the blue eyes and could never be normal. Given her experiences growing up as a bullied child that was often the outsider, she writes about similar characters in her novels.

Entrada Kelly has always been a voracious reader and was writing when she was in the second grade. She cannot remember a time when she was not reading books but then she came to realize that she could create her own stories and everything changed. She was drawn to the idea of creating a new world where anything was possible. When she was in her twenties she tried writing a full-length novel but always got writer’s block when she had written fifty pages or so. Kelly decided to default to short stories that had characters aged between eight and twelve. Writing middle-grade novels came naturally to her partly because middle school had been a difficult time in her life. As a self-taught author, she wrote “The Legend of Fidela” her first short story that was published in 2008 in “Story Philippines.” Since she grew up listening to her mother speaking her native Filipino tongue, many of her characters speak the Cebuano language. Her award-winning novels portray the experiences of friendship, bullying, abuse isolation and hope. Kelly’s first full-length children’s fiction was “Blackbird Fly” that she published in 2015. She has said that inspiration for her books can strike at any time as long as she meets and interacts with interesting people who form the basis for her characters. “Hello Universe” her third novel was the winner of the Newbery Medal in 2018. She has also won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for her debut novel “Blackbird Fly” and her short fiction won the Pushcart Prize and the Philippines Free Press Literary Award.

Entrada’s “Blackbird Fly” is a story of Apple, a twelve-year-old girl who feels that she does not belong with her classmates. She is accused of being too American even though she is an immigrant that had come to the US with her mother a few years past. Apple has dreams of one day becoming a rock star and believes that everything is possible in America. She has no one to talk to until a new boy shows up and Apple falls hard for him. Entrada’s 2016 work “The Land of Forgotten Girls” is the story of two Filipino siblings who have to find their own way through life after being abandoned by their father in Louisiana. It was her most critically acclaimed novel that went on to win the Newbery Medal. Kelly’s third novel “Hello Universe” is the story of a boy who went missing to finally get rescued by his friends. The eleven-year-old boy has to deal with sadness, bullying, and loneliness. In reliving her experiences, Kelly writes of how the boy is tormented by a bully who goes as far as throwing his bag and his pet into a well. Kelly writes intriguing and charming novels that foster empathy and connection with her characters. She asserts that even in a fickle and mysterious universe there is still friendship and self-awareness for each other to be found.

Erin Entrada Kelly’s “Blackbird Fly” tells the story of a friendless misfit with ambitions of becoming a rock star. Twelve-year-old Apple is very different from her classmates who do not like that she also wants to follow her dreams. She has always felt different since she is Filipino immigrant that had moved to the US with her mother when she was little. Even her mother thinks she is too American given that she still sticks to Filipino ways, cooks Filipino cuisine and has never got around to improving her English. Things become really bad when she is in middle school when she gets put on the list of the most unpopular students named the “Dog Log.” She had always thought she had a few friends but then they also turn against her and everything becomes embarrassing and weird. She comforts herself by playing music as it is the one thing she believes she can control. If she can manage to save some money, she can buy and learn to play the guitar and become a rock star. Music is her only hope though someone beautiful is waiting for her just around the corner.

“The Land of Forgotten Girls” by Erin Kelly is the story of two Filipino sisters that are living in dire circumstances in Louisiana. Their father had abandoned them but they are determined to make something of their lives. Soledad has always been a writer and found solace crafting stories in which she would immerse herself in other worlds and better circumstances. She had gotten the habit from her late mother who would also write stories as a form of escape. She now needed the escape not as a hobby but as something that could help maintain her sanity, and keep herself and her younger sister safe. Since her father had disappeared, they had to live with Vea their evil stepmother who despises the two girls. Soledad has protected Ming her younger sister for several years using stories but Ming believes that their mythical world-traveling aunt is on her way to rescue them. Soledad may have told too many stories to her sister and may now have to undo the false hope she had instilled in Ming.

Erin’s “Hello, Universe” tells the story of four lives that are weaved together in one eventful day. Virgil Salinas is a kindhearted and shy man who feels out of place in his boisterous and loud family. Valencia is a brave, deaf, smart and secretly lonely man with a love for nature. Kaori Tanaka believes herself a psychic and is known to be always with Gen her little sister. Chet Bullens wants to concentrate on basketball but thinks the other kids are acting too weird and he thinks he is the one to make them act right. While they are not friends, they are forced together when Chet who is bored pulls a prank that ends with Virgil and his beloved guinea pig at the bottom of a well. Valencia, Kaori and Gen team up to try to find the missing boy. With a little smarts, bravery and luck, they finally locate the boy and rescue him and his pet from the well. Chet is put in his pace and they soon become fast friends.

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