René Saldaña Jr.

This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.

René Saldaña Jr. at the 2012  Texas Book Festival

In Dancing With the Devil and Other Tales from Beyond/ Bailando con El Diablo Y Otros Cuentos Del Más Allá, a collection of stories based on Mexican-American lore, author and educator René Saldaña Jr. spins age-old tales with a contemporary twist. Lauro and Miguel run for their lives with La Llorona's cold breath on their necks after being caught smoking cigarettes down by the river. And when Louie's leg swells up after he cuts his toe playing with a knife, he can't help but wonder if his mom's warning could be true. Are his guts really going to spill out of his wound because he cut himself doing something stupid? Set in the author's native South Texas, these are the stories parents have told their children for generations to discourage bad behavior and encourage kids to stay close to home. But Saldaña breathes new life into these traditional tales with contemporary settings, issues, and conflicts that resonate with today's youth. Dancing With the Devil is best for children aged eight and up. Saldaña is the author of A Good Long Way, The Whole Sky Full of Stars, The Jumping Tree and Finding Our Way: Stories. He lives in Lubbock, where he teaches in the College of Education at TexasTechUniversity.