Pablo Cartaya

Middle Grade Novelist
Pura Belpré Honored Author
Travels from: Miami, FL

“The Last Beekeeper will sting readers from page one and leave them buzzing for more!” — Ryan Calejo, author of the Charlie Hernández series

Pablo Cartaya is an internationally acclaimed author, screenwriter, speaker, and educator. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, and on Oprah’s Booklist. Pablo has worked with Disney, Apple+, and Sesame Street on projects adapted from television series and movies. In 2021, he served as a judge for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature and has taught creative writing workshops and spoken at various universities and conferences throughout the world. He calls Miami home and Cuban-American his cultura. Novels include: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, Each Tiny Spark, and the upcoming climate dystopia The Last Beekeeper. He also contributed to the collection of essays Hope Wins published in 2022. Notable Awards and Honors include: 2020 Schneider Family Book Award Honor, 2019 ALSC Notable Book, 2018 American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Honor, 2018 Audie Award Finalist, and 2018 E.B. White Read Aloud Book Award Finalist.

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The Last Beekeeper

Harper Collins |
Middle Grade Novel

Facing a world dually altered by climate change and those who profit from it, Yolanda Cicerón will have to fight to save the last known beehive from extinction in this stirring new adventure by award-winning author Pablo Cartaya.

In a future shaken by climate disasters, Yolanda Cicerón knows that nature is something to be feared. While life in the Valley is brutal and harsh, Yoly dreams of leaving her farm to live in Silo—the most advanced town for miles around. But first, Yoly will need to prove she belongs in a place where only the smartest and most useful are welcomed.

Between her razor-sharp smarts and sheer determination, Yoly is well on her way until she discovers her family can no longer afford her schooling. When forced to take matters into her own hands, the closer she gets to securing her future, the more she uncovers the dangers lying inside Silo’s walls—ones that threaten the entire Valley.

As she cracks long-guarded secrets, Yoly, along with those closest to her, is put in grave peril and the only chance of surviving may lie in the rediscovery of a long-extinct species—the honeybee. Can the last surviving beehive be the key to pulling the Valley out from under Silo’s thumb, or will they destroy what remains of Yoly’s future?

Each Tiny Spark

Kokila |
Middle Grade Novel

From award-winning author Pablo Cartaya comes a deeply moving middle grade novel about a daughter and father finding their way back to each other in the face of their changing family and community.

A SCHNEIDER FAMILY BOOK AWARD HONOR FOR MIDDLE GRADE

Emilia Torres has a wandering mind. It’s hard for her to follow along at school, and sometimes she forgets to do what her mom or abuela asks. But she remembers what matters: a time when her family was whole and home made sense. When Dad returns from deployment, Emilia expects that her life will get back to normal. Instead, it unravels.

Dad shuts himself in the back stall of their family’s auto shop to work on an old car. Emilia peeks in on him daily, mesmerized by his welder. One day, Dad calls Emilia over. Then, he teaches her how to weld. And over time, flickers of her old dad reappear.

But as Emilia finds a way to repair the relationship with her father at home, her community ruptures with some of her classmates, like her best friend, Gus, at the center of the conflict.

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya is a tender story about asking big questions and being brave enough to reckon with the answers.

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish

Viking Books for Young Readeres |
Middle Grade Novel

One boy’s search for his father leads him to Puerto Rico in this moving middle-grade novel, for fans of Ghost and See You in the Cosmos.

Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you’re only in the eighth grade, you’re both a threat and a target.

After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus’s mom decides it’s time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don’t remember or have never met. But Marcus can’t focus knowing that his father–who walked out of their lives ten years ago–is somewhere on the island.

So begins Marcus’s incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn’t know if he’ll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

Viking Books for Young Readeres |
Middle Grade Novel

A 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book

Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?

For Arturo, summertime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn’t notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.

Funny and poignant, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora is the vibrant story of a family, a striking portrait of a town, and one boy’s quest to save both, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia.

Design Thinking in Education

Pablo is the contributing author for the academic National Council for Teachers of English journal, “Voices from the Middle,” and can speak on a variety of subjects centered around Design Thinking in Education.

Incorporating multiple languages into your creative writing

Learning to use research for your writing

How ambiguity plays a role in critical thinking

How books are adapted into TV or movies

Using personal narrative in creative writing

On the subject of neurodiversity in literature

On acting, writing, and how they both meet to create stories

On the Cuban-American experience through personal lens and that of family

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Honors, Awards & Recognition

Pura Belpré Honor Book
Schneider Family Book Award Honor for Middle Grade
E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader Award finalist
2018 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year
Amazon Best Children’s Books of 2017
Publishers Weekly Flying Start
Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2017
Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017
NYPL Best Books for Kids 2017
2017 Nerdy Boo Award Winner
2018 Texas Lone Star Reading List Selection
2018-2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Chidlren’s Book Award Nominee
2018-2019 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Nominee
Charlotte Observer Best Books of 2017 for Young Readers
News & Observer Best Books for Young Readers

Media Kit

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