David Bowles is a Mexican American author from south Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley. He has written several award-winning titles, most notably The Smoking Mirror and They Call Me Güero. His work has also been published in multiple anthologies, plus venues such as The New York Times School Library Journal, Strange Horizons, English Journal, Rattle, Translation Review, and the Journal of Children's Literature. In 2017, David was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.
They Call Me Güero
2019 Pura Belpré Honor Book
2019 Walter Dean Myers Honor Book for Outstanding Children's Literature
2019 Claudia Lewis Award for Excellence in Poetry
2019 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award
2018 Jean Flynn Award for Best Middle Grade Book
ALSC Notable Children's Book, 2019
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2018, Middle Grade
Shelf Awareness 2018 Best Children's & Teen Books of the Year, Middle Grade
NCTE 2019 Notable Verse Novels
Américas Award 2019 Commended Title
2019 White Raven
2020-2021 Texas Bluebonnet List
Twelve-year-old Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He's starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. In Spanish, "Güero" is a nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo. But make no mistake: our red-headed, freckled hero is puro mexicano, like Canelo Álvarez, the Mexican boxer. Güero is also a nerd--reader, gamer, musician--who runs with a squad of misfits like him, Los Bobbys. Sure, they get in trouble like anybody else, and like other middle-school boys, they discover girls. Watch out for Joanna! She's tough as nails.
But trusting in his family's traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Life is tough for a border kid, but Güero has figured out how to cope.
He writes poetry.