FREE Literacy Workshop

Join us for a unique professional learning experience especially for NYC educators!

Learn everything you need to know to successfully incorporate Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in the Castle, the new middle grade novel coming this fall from Hilda Eunice Burgos and Tu Books, into your classroom or school community.

This novel about a young Dominican-American girl growing up in Washington Heights is perfect for readers in grades 4-7 and will also appeal to teens and grown-ups.

Workshop participants will receive:

  • A copy of the book to be read before the workshop (while supplies last)
  • 90-minute workshop on engaging students with the book
  • 30-minute Q&A and signing with author Hilda Eunice Burgos
  • All workshop materials available for adaption and future classroom use
  • Food and beverages from Mottley Kitchen
  • Optional 30-minute individual follow-up session via phone/videoconference to support further planning and instruction

Questions? Email us!


Thursday, November 1


Mottley Kitchen

402 E. 140 St.

Mott Haven, South Bronx

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors who support NYC teachers, this literacy workshop is now FREE!

Register Now

About the Author

Hilda Eunice Burgos has been writing for many years, but Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle will be her first published novel. Her parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic before she was born, and she grew up in Washington Heights as one of four sisters. She now lives with her family near Philadelphia, where she works as an environmental lawyer.

About the Book

Her last name may mean "kings," but Ana María Reyes REALLY does not live in a castle. Rather, she's stuck in a tiny apartment with two parents (way too lovey-dovey), three sisters (way too dramatic), everyone's friends (way too often), and a piano (which she never gets to practice). And when her parents announce a new baby is coming, that means they'll have even less time for Ana María.

Then she hears about the Eleanor School, New York City's best private academy. If Ana María can win a scholarship, she'll be able to get out of her Washington Heights neighborhood school and achieve the education she's longed for. To stand out, she'll need to nail her piano piece at the upcoming city showcase, which means she has to practice through her sisters' hijinks, the neighbors' visits, a family trip to the Dominican Republic . . . right up until the baby's birth. But some new friends and honest conversations help her figure out what truly matters, and know that she can succeed no matter what. Ana María Reyes may not be royal, but she's certain to come out on top.

About the Publisher

Lee & Low Books is the largest multicultural children's book publisher in the country. We are also one of the few minority-owned publishing companies in the United States, as well as a throwback to what many publishers used to be: independent, generational businesses in which the people running the company have a personal stake in its success. 

What does it mean to be an independent publisher? It means we make our own decisions and publish what we want. It means we control the quality of our books and keep books in print for a long time so they have a chance to find their audience. It means we have the freedom to pursue our mission of increasing the number of diverse books available to children.

Tu Books is an imprint dedicated to publishing middle grade and young adult novels that will spark your imagination, move your spirit, and keep you turning the pages. If our world alone does not satisfy you, you are a Tu reader. If you look for books that are doorways to other times, places, and civilizations—with heroes and heroines that all readers can connect with—you are a Tu reader. Our readers are unconventional by choice. They dare to imagine the unimaginable.

About the Facilitator

Rebekah Shoaf is a New York City-based educational consultant and the founder and owner of Boogie Down Books™, a bookstore-without-walls for kids, teens, families, and educators in the Bronx. 

After teaching high school English for ten years, she served as a Teacher Development Coach with the NYC Department of Education, where she supported educators at middle and high schools in promoting rigorous, student-centered instruction. She continues to work with a variety of clients to promote educational equity through transformative professional learning experiences as an instructional and teacher leadership coach, professional development facilitator, and curriculum designer for both adolescent and adult learning. 

A Miami native, Rebekah is a lifelong bookworm, a graduate of the Chef's Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute, and an aunt to six budding bibliophiles. She believes that teaching young people to read well and eat well can change the world.

What Educators Say

Here's what our past workshop participants have said:

"I really enjoyed Ghost Boys but I thoroughly loved the experience of participating in discussions about how to appreciate the book with students and am thankful for the rare opportunity to speak with the author."

"Overall, this was a fantastic experience! I thought coming together to discuss this book with other educators was productive and valuable. Having the opportunity to discuss with the author was a true gift."

"Very impressed.  Loved the book, loved that it was easy to read but delved into big, real world, heavy realities.  The video talk with the author was wonderful and the space for the event was lovely and much appreciated."

"I plan to read it [Ghost Boys] with them [my students]. I feel more ready, with more tools in my tool box."

"Too often I get caught up in trying to find the most rigorous texts and the most thought-provoking assignments that I lose sight of the most important facet of reading, namely joy. Hearing the other educators talk about their responses to the book and the general book-positive environment of the afternoon reenergized my commitment to fostering a love for reading in my students."

"My participation in this initiative gives me an opportunity to really prepare for reading it with my students, whether it is through the activities we went through during the event or being able to anticipate some of my students feelings now that I have heard other perspectives."

"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! What a wonderful opportunity for Bronx teachers. Thank you for making it happen."