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"A library is a temple unabridged with priceless treasure. Librarians are the majesties who loan the jewels of measure. They welcome to the kingdom the young and old of reapers and reign among the riches as the wondrous fortune keepers."
- Pam Munoz Ryan

"Why does BookBrowse always quote dead authors?" I was asked a few weeks ago. The answer is simple - the biographies of dead authors don't need updating while these pesky live authors keep on doing new things making their biographies out of date (believe me, with more than 1,200 author biographies at BookBrowse it's a major headache!) - so with so many great comments to choose from I've tended to pick dead authors when it comes to selecting quotes for the ezine.

Until now! Pam Muñoz Ryan is alive and well and the author of over twenty-five books for young people including Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpre Medal and the Jane Addams Peace Award; and Riding Freedom.

She was born and raised in California's San Joaquin Valley, and is the oldest of three sisters, and the oldest of twenty-three cousins on her mother's side. She grew up with many of her aunts and uncles and grandparents nearby and considers herself truly American because her cultural background is an ethnic smorgasbord. She is Spanish, Mexican, Basque, Italian, and Oklahoman.

She spent most of her childhood riding her bike to the library during the long hot summers (the Central Valley can get very hot!) It became her favorite hang out because her family didn't have a swimming pool and the library was air-conditioned! That's how she got hooked on reading and books. After college, she knew that she wanted to work in a profession that had something to do with books, and she thought that would be teaching. She became a teacher, an administrator and then, at the encouragement of a friend who thought she could write, began her first book. That's when she finally knew what she really wanted to do.

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