Anansesem Books: Our Store is on Bookshop.org!

Anansesem is now a part of Bookshop's affiliate program! Bookshop is an online bookseller network with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. When you purchase books from our shop on Bookshop, we receive a small commission and Bookshop will also give 10% of the money from each sale to independent bookstores. Your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores.

Our shop (Anansesem Books) carries Caribbean books for young readers. Our shelves include Caribbean Picture Books, Caribbean Middle Grade Books, Caribbean Young Adult Books, and we also offer a BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) Picture Book Sampler. We encourage you to first consider making your purchases directly from your local indie bookstore, but for online shoppers looking for an alternative, our store is a convenient option that also supports the wider independent bookseller community.

Our other online bookstore, which you can access right here on our website, also remains open and fully operational.

Happy reading!

Read More

Discounted Access to Anansesem's Digital Issues During COVID-19 Crisis

In response to the spike in back issue purchases since our closing and to better enable you to engage with the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak, we're offering access to our most recent digitial issues at a reduced cost of $10 for 3 PDF issues.

Offer ends November 30, 2020.

Catch up on the latest writing, news, reviews and interviews from the world of Caribbean children's and YA literature, from the comfort of your home. Get the May 2019 (Puerto Rico Issue), May 2018 (Book Reviews Issue) and September 2017 (Love Issue) .pdf special issues (259 pages in full color) of Anansesem, the premiere publication for librarians and information specialists who work with Caribbean children and teens.

*This offer expired on 11/30/2020.*

Read More

Dear Readers: On the Closing of Anansesem

UPDATE: We periodically continue to highlight the finest Caribbean books for young readers through our newsletter which you can subscribe to here.

Earlier this year, before people across the world were asked to shelter in place in their homes, Anansesem announced that we were switching to a new publicaton model. For 10 years, we put out submission calls and published issues based on responses to those calls. Starting in 2020, we'd decided to stop open-call submissions and instead rely on a team of correspondents from various Caribbean countries to produce content for the magazine. We also announced that Emily Aguiló-Pérez had joined us as the new editorial head, replacing Summer Edward. With a small but growing team of correspondents volunteering their time and talent, we'd hoped to usher Anansesem into a new era. These decisions were all made in the waning months of 2019, before any of us could know what lay ahead.

Since then, like almost everyone, we've been forced to reconsider our professional and personal priorities. Under normal circumstances, it's challenging running a small literary magazine when we receive such little funding and are unable to pay contributors and team members. In these drastically changing times, when jobs are on the line and the financial future is uncertain, it's become clear that running a magazine using volunteer staff, as we've done since our inception, is no longer feasible. There is also the simple fact that these are incredibly stressful times. Everyone is facing their own unique set of challenges. We'd planned to roll out new content by early May, and that has not happened. Our team members have simply had too much on their plates.

So it's with sadness and perhaps a bit of stoicism that we announce that Anansesem is joining the increasing number of publications either closing or going on hiatus indefinitely since the pandemic started. Right now, the magazine's future is uncertain, but everyone at Anansesem remains committed to championing good Caribbean books for young readers. Anansesem has been a safe, inclusive space for discussion and celebration of the Caribbean's youth literature and it's a space we hope to revisit in happier, stabler times. We hope those times will come soon enough.

Our website will remain online and our online bookstore will remain open. You can still purchase back copies here; issues published before 2017 remain freely accessible.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who submitted to us over the years and to everyone who has supported our work. We're grateful to past magazine staff for their part in creating a vital, versatile platform and for hosting important literary and cultural conversations over the past 10 years. It has been a remarkable run.

We send our deepest wishes for the health and safety of our community.


The Anansesem team

Read More

Exclusive Cover Reveal: A Girl Named Rosita. The Story of Rita Moreno: Actress, Singer, Dancer, Trailblazer!

We are delighted to bring you the exclusive cover reveal for Anansesem contributor Anika Aldamuy Denise's upcoming picture book biography, A Girl Named Rosita. The Story of Rita Moreno: Actress, Singer, Dancer, Trailblazer!. The book, from HarperCollins, will be out on November 3, 2020, just ahead of the film release of Steven Spielberg’s re-imagined West Side Story and the new American Masters PBS documentary about Rita produced by Norman Lear and Lin Manuel Miranda.

Watch the cover reveal video below, then keep reading to learn more about the book.

Anika Aldamuy Denise on A Girl Named Rosita:
I was a musical-theater nerd as a kid. My favorite play was West Side Story because it was the only show I knew of about people who looked like me. When my summer theater camp did the show, I knew I didn’t have the voice for Maria (or Anita), but that didn’t stop me from singing "America" into my hairbrush and watching the film on repeat in preparation for auditions. Rita Moreno was the most beautiful and talented actress and dancer I’d ever seen. And she was Puerto Rican, like me. Watching her in West Side Story—and on The Muppet Show and The Electric Company—made me feel seen. I never forgot the feeling.

Years later, I met Rita at my aunt and uncle’s house. As friends of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York, they hosted Rita and her husband for dinner. I was too star-struck to speak! Afterwards, I regretted being so shy. I wished I had thanked her for her talent, perseverance, and activism.

So, this book is my thank you. I’ve heard people say Rita Moreno is "back in the spotlight," with all the recent attention she’s received for her television work, prestigious awards, and the Oscar dress(!), but the truth is, Rita Moreno never left. She has always been here, entertaining and inspiring us. I hope her story encourages young readers to work hard, dream big, and not let others define them. That’s what Rita did for me.

Synopsis from the publisher:

Pura Belpré Honor winner Anika Aldamuy Denise (Planting Stories) and New York Times bestselling illustrator Leo Espinosa (Islandborn) tell the story of Rita Moreno, the Puerto Rican superstar best known for her Oscar-winning performance in the original West Side Story film, in this gorgeous picture book biography.

When young Rosita moved from Puerto Rico to the mainland United States, she didn’t know what to expect—but she knew she loved to sing and dance. Working to overcome the language barrier and bullying she experienced in a strange new country, Rita eventually made her way to Hollywood with a dream to be a star. There, she fought to be seen and heard and eventually reached the pinnacle of success, landing her iconic role in West Side Story and, finally, winning her groundbreaking Oscar.

Brought to life by Leo Espinosa’s bold and vibrant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous tribute to the life and career of the first Latinx person to have earned an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award will inspire little dreamers everywhere.

Informative author’s note and timeline also included. A Spanish-language edition is also available.

About the Author

Anika Aladmuy Denise is a Puerto Rican children's author based in Rhode Island, USA. She is the author of 9 picture books, including Starring Carmen!, Monster Trucks, Baking Day at Grandma’s, Bella and Stella Come Home, and Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, which received a 2020 Pura Belpré Author Honor and an NCTE 2020 Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction. Her books have been featured in The New York Times, "Kids’ Indie Next List," Junior Library Guild, A Mighty Girl, Book Riot, the Children’s Book Council’s "Around the World" showcase, and on the Latinx in Kidlit website. Visit her on the Web at www.anikadenise.com.

Read More


This Month's Books