Donna Barba Higuera


Levine Querido




-Pura Belpre Honor Award 2020- American Library Association

-Sid Fleischman Award 2020

-Best Books for Youth List 2020- American Library Association

-Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award 2020

      “Humorous, fast-paced chapters will have readers turning the pages to find out what interesting situation Lupe will find herself in next. A laugh-out-loud story about family, friendship, and the beauty in being true to yourself.”

—Booklist, Starred Review

      “Inclusive and emotionally resonant, Higuera’s debut is a home run, with a plot as multifaceted and compelling as her characters, whose nuanced voices and varied range of interests ring wholly true.”

—Publishers Weekly,  Starred Review

"In the context of middle grade literature, Higuera’s novel delivers on virtually every level. It’s remarkably funny, but many of the moments of levity are meaningful. Higuera has knocked it out of the park."

—The New York Times

"Grab your partner and do-si-dothis one is simply delightful."

—Kirkus Reviews

When Ramón moves to a new town with a new school and new kids, suddenly El Cucuy, aka the Mexican boogeyman, is suddenly less horrifying than all the new changes. But El Cucuy is sad and afraid too. Ramón realizes if he can reassure and help El Cucuy to be fuerte y valiente, then perhaps he can be strong and brave as well.

Illustrated by 

"A delightful infusion of folklore makes this new-school narrative stand out." —Publishers Weekly

"This exploration of children in transition reminds readers that change can make even El Cucuy insecure."—Kirkus Reviews

"A unique picture book featuring two very unlikely friends who show young readers the importance of supporting one another and discover that everyone has fears of their own. VERDICT A sweet choice for most picture book collections."—School Library Journal

The Last Cuentista_final cover.jpg

Relocating to a new planet after Earth is destroyed, 12-year-old Petra Peña’s suspended animation fails during the 370-year journey, so when all the other children are mysteriously reprogrammed and the adults purged, Petra becomes the lone bringer of Earth's now forbidden stories and her grandmother's Mexican folklore to a changing humanity.

      "This is the work of a true cuentista: gripping, euphonious (“The wind carried it off far away into the stars”), and full of storytelling magic."

—Publishers Weekly,  Starred Review

     "With poetic use of startling imagery and unabashed nostalgia, Higuera spins a tale that crosses the depths of space, interweaving Mexican folklore with a mystical strand of science fiction. An overall slow burner, this tale packs a wallop."

—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

     "A keep-you-up-all-night, compulsively readable science fiction novel that offers much food for thought."

—School Library Journal, Starred Review


And coming soon in Spanish!

Y veniendo 16 de Noviembre en Español!

Levine Querido
November, 2021


About Donna

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Donna grew up in central California surrounded by agricultural and oil fields. As a child, rather than dealing with the regular dust devils, she preferred spending recess squirreled away in the janitor’s closet with a good book. Her favorite hobbies were calling dial-a-story over and over again, and sneaking into a restricted cemetery to weave her own spooky tales using the crumbling headstones as inspiration. ​

Donna's Middle Grade and Picture Books are about kids who find themselves in odd or scary situations.​ From language to cultural differences in being biracial life can become…complicated. So like Donna,  characters tackle more than just the bizarre things that happen to them in their lives. 


Donna likes to write about all things funny, but also sad, and creepy, and magical. If you like those things, she hopes you will read her books! 

Donna lives in Washington State with her family, three dogs and two frogs. 

You can find Donna through the "Social Media" links below, or through the Connect portal in the "Contact" section with questions. 

Teachers and Librarians: Please contact me for classroom Skype visits!


Happy reading and writing!



Please fill out the form below to reach Donna regarding school or Skype visits, or anything at all!

Donna supports equity and inclusivity in the world of books and beyond. She is not available for any book events that discriminate against marginalized or underrepresented people, either on the page or off.

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Literary Agent

Allison Remcheck

Stimola Literary Studio

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© 2021 by Donna Barba Higuera