Saturday, February 25, 2023

Q&A with Christina Diaz Gonzalez




Christina Diaz Gonzalez is the author of the new middle grade graphic novel Invisible. Her other books include the middle grade novel Concealed. She lives in Miami.



Q: What inspired you to create Invisible, and how was the book's title chosen?


A: Having been a student who learned English after starting school, I always felt a connection with students that were learning English as a second language.


I noticed that there weren’t many books that showcased them and I also knew how valuable illustrations are when learning a new language. Having the story be in a graphic novel format seemed to make perfect sense. 


I chose Invisible as the title because we all sometimes feel that the “real” us is often overlooked or unseen… plus the word is spelled and means the same in both English and Spanish!


Q: What do you think illustrator Gabriela Epstein’s work adds to the book?


A: She created a new dimension to the story through her illustrations because art is visual literacy and a language unto itself. 


Q: What do you see as the dynamics among your five characters?


A: The five characters only see their differences at the beginning while the world sees them as the same. By the end of the story, they see their commonality and the world sees their individuality. 


Q: The Publishers Weekly review of the book says, in part, “Alternating flashbacks among the five students, Gonzalez (Concealed) clearly shows how each kid—all characterized distinctly and with complexity—is more than others’ assumptions.” What do you think of that description, and what do you hope kids take away from the story?


A: I love that description and I hope kids (and adults) remember that we are each more than what we see on the surface. 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m currently working on a new graphic novel, but I can’t say much beyond that. 


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Just that I am so appreciative for all the love readers have given this book and that I hope it makes more kids feel visible.  


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Christina Diaz Gonzalez.

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