Author Archives: wordupbooks

September 8 – Save the Date for Uptown Kid Lit!

Word Up is hosting Uptown Kid Lit—a mini-children’s book festival—in Inwood Hill Park! Come by for books, author readings and signings, story times, and FREE school supplies! Watch this space for the schedule soon!

Uptown Kid Lit is made possible in part with funding from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and administered by LMCC; with support from the Partnerships for Parks Inwood Parks Grant, made possible by Columbia University.

#UptownKidLit #WordUpBooks

Uptown Kid Lit
A Mini-Festival of Children’s Literature
Sunday, September 8, 2019

Inwood Hill Park (Pat’s Lawn)
Enter at 218th St. and Indian Rd.


August 7 – Book Launch: Pablo Cartaya’s EACH TINY SPARK

[Español abajo]

Meet Pura Belpré Honor-winning author Pablo Cartaya when he presents his new book, Each Tiny Spark, 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. This book is ideal for ages 10 and up. Summer camps and programs are welcome. If you would like to arrange to have your dismissal from the bookstore, please feel free to get in touch at

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 family’s auto shop to work on an old car. Emilia peeks in on him daily from afar, mesmerized by his welder.  But one day he calls her over and teaches her how to weld. As the two work to fix up the old vintage car, flickers of her old dad reappear. Meanwhile, as Emilia finds a way to repair her relationship with her father at home, a conflict in her community causes a rift in town with some of her classmates at the center. 

Pablo Cartaya is an award-winning author, speaker, actor, and educator. He received a Pura Belpré Honor for his critically acclaimed debut novel The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. NBC News lauded his sophomore novel, Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, as “exceptional” and theNew York Times Book Review called it “a love song to the people of Puerto Rico”. His novels explore identity, place, and the spaces in-between.

Pre-order the book here.

Vengan a conocer al escritor galardonado Pablo Cartaya cuando presenta su nuevo libro Each Tiny Spark, una novela profundamente conmovedora acerca de la relación de una hija y su papá.. Este libro es ideal para jóvenes de más de diez años de edad. Grupos de programas de campamento de verano están bienvenidos. Si quiere arreglar que su despido del programa sea de la librería, por favor póngase en contacto:

Emilia Torres tiene un problema enfocándose en la escuela y algunas veces se olvida hacer lo que su mamá o abuela le piden. Pero ella siempre recuerda lo que es importante, su familia. Cuando su papá regresa del despliegue militar, Emilia cree que todo va a ser como antes. En cambio, su papá se encierra en el taller de carrocería de la familia para arreglar un carro viejo. Desde lejos, Emilia lo observa, hipnotizada con la soldadora. Hasta que un día la llama y le enseña a soldar, y mientras los dos trabajan en el carro, ella mira a su papá de antes. Pero mientras Emilia y su papá encuentran una manera de reparar su relación en casa, un conflicto en su comunidad involucra a sus compañeros de clase y causa más inestabilidad para Emilia.

Pablo Cartaya es un autor premiado, un orador, educador, y actor. Su primera novela, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, recibió el premio de honor Pura Belpré. Las noticias NBC le alabó su novela secundaria, Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, como “excepcional” y el New York Times Book Review llamó el libro “una canción de amor para el pueblo de Puerto Rico.” Sus novelas exploran la identidad, el lugar, y los espacios entre ellos.

Pre-ordene el libro aquí.

Book Launch: Pablo Cartaya’s Each Tiny Spark 
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

August 3 – Chrishaunda Lee Perez’s We Come as Girls, We Leave as Women

Jump into your summer reading with a touching and confidence-boosting story about a teen girl. Join Chrishaunda Lee Perez for a book signing of her novel We Come as Girls, We Leave as Women. Books will be given away for free to teens in the community.

Chrishaunda Lee Perez is an orator, story teller, and creator. She has been invited to speak in Senegal, Atlanta, and Philadelphia; on Wall Street; and at many other places to elevate conversations about girls and women. You can find her on Instagram and twitter at @ChrishaundaLee and on Facebook as Chrishaunda Lee Perez.

Book Giveaway and Signing: We Come as Girls, We Leave as Women: The Gift of Summer Reading!
Saturday, August 3rd, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Libreria Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. (@ 165th st.)

July 27 – Write with JP: A Guide to Writing Micro-Fiction

This class will have students reading and writing micro-fiction. We review micro short stories from fiction anthologies, and read excerpts from Sandra Cisneros, Etgar Keret, and Francis Mateo. We will discuss the elements that make up micro-fiction and discuss why they resonate.

Suggested donation: $10

At the workshop, you will have the opportunity to schedule a revision consultation with JP for a time outside this event.

John Paul “JP” Infante is a Dominican-American teacher and writer who hosts cultural events in New York City. He’s taught creative writing at Lehman College of CUNY and holds an MFA in fiction from the New School for General Studies. His fiction, nonfiction and poetry can be found in Kweli Journal, The Poetry Project, Uptown Collective, Dominican Writers, Hip-Not Magazine and Manhattan Times. His writing has won many awards, including the prestigious PEN Faulkner Emergent Writer Award. JP lives in New York City, believes in horoscopes and spends too much time on Instagram. Follow him @infanteJP.

Write with JP: A Guide to Writing Micro-Fiction
Saturday, July 27, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Avenue @ 165th Street
New York NY 10032

July 26 – C@P Book Club presents Willie Perdomo

Join the C@P Book Club #3 for a conversation on The Crazy Bunch by Willie Perdomo, with the poet himself, at Word Up on Friday, July 26 at 6:30pm.

The Creatives at Play (C@P) Book Club is where creatives and art lovers get together to talk literature over wine.

Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a special night with one of the dopest poets of all time still changing the game with every book he drops.

About the book:
Twenty years after the release of Where a Nickel Costs a Dime changed how we read and recite poetry, Perdomo is back with The Crazy Bunch, a novella in verse that tells the story of a crew from El Barrio, Harlem.

In a style that gets you bobbing your head whether you’re reading or hearing it, Perdomo has you experience everything from Santeria ceremonies to C.O.P.S. interrogations, making you part of the crew.

C@P Book Club #3 presents Willie Perdomo
Friday, July 26, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032