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Alexandra Peñaloza Alessandri is the author of Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! (Albert Whitman), which won the silver medal in the 2020 Florida Book Awards Young Children’s Category, and Isabel and Her Colores Go to School (Sleeping Bear Press), as well as the forthcoming middle grade fantasy The Enchanted Life of Valentina Mejía, which releases Spring 2023 from Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

The daughter of Colombian immigrants, she received her BA and MA degrees in English from Florida International University and a Certificate in Fiction Writing from UCLA Extension. She is a former associate professor of English, a writer for Curriculum Associates, and a poet, with some of her work appearing in The Acentos Review, Rio Grande Review, Atlanta Review, and Young Adult Review Network. Her experience growing up straddling both cultures often influences her children’s fiction and poetry.

Alexandra is represented by Deborah Warren of East West Literary Agency. When not writing or teaching, Alexandra spends her time daydreaming of Colombia, relearning the piano, and planning the next great adventure with her family. She lives in Florida with her husband, son, and hairless pup.


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