Pam Muñoz Ryan

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Pam Muñoz Ryan
Pam Muñoz Ryan smiling.jpg
Born (1951-12-25) December 25, 1951 (age 71)
Bakersfield, California, US
GenreChildren's and young adult
Notable worksEsperanza Rising, Echo

Pam Muñoz Ryan is an American writer for children and young adults, particularly in the Multicultural genre.


Muñoz Ryan was born in Bakersfield, California.[1] She is half Mexican with Basque, Italian, and Oklahoman cultural influences.[2]

Muñoz Ryan has written over forty books for young people, including picture books, early readers, and middle grade and young adult novels. She has been the author recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award, the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature, and the Ludington Award for body of work. She is also the 2018 U.S. nominee for the International Hans Christian Andersen Award.[3] Her novel Esperanza Rising[4] was commissioned as a play by the Minneapolis Children's Theatre and has been performed in venues around the US including the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.[5]

Born Pamela Jeanne Banducci in Bakersfield, California, on December 25, 1951, her last name was changed before she attended school to match the name of her parents, Hope Bell and the man she considered her real father, Donald Bell. As Pamela Bell, she attended McKinley Elementary and Longfellow Elementary. As a child, she did not fit in with the other children. Rather than being outside with friends, Muñoz Ryan was riding her bike to the library.[3] She also briefly took music lessons in both piano and violin, but after her violin broke, she stopped taking lessons.[6] Muñoz Ryan attended Washington Jr. High, Bakersfield High School, and Bakersfield Community College. She then attended San Diego State University where she received a bachelor's degree. She married James Ryan in 1975. An early childhood teacher, he worked for the Escondido, California, school district for three years before they started their family. After her four children were born, she became the director of an early childhood program and went back to school to get her master's degree in Post-Secondary Education with the intention of teaching Children's Literature in college. When she finished her graduate program, she became interested in writing, and at the encouragement of her agent, Kendra Marcus, included her family name, Muñoz, to her signature, to reflect her Mexican heritage.[7]

Selected bibliography[edit]



The Dreamer, illustrated by Peter Sís

Becoming Naomi León

When Marian Sang, illustrated by Brian Selznick

  • 2004 Norman Sugarman Award for Distinguished Biography[26]
  • 2003 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children[27]
  • 2003 Flora Stieglitz Straus Award-Bank Street College[28]

Riding Freedom, illustrated by Brian Selznick

  • 2000 Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award[29]
  • 2000 Arkansas Simon Young Reader Honor[30]
  • 1998 Parenting Magazine’s Reading Magic Award[31]

Esperanza Rising

  • 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist[32]
  • 2001 Southern California Judy Lopez Award[33]
  • 2001 Arizona Young Adult Book Award[34]


  1. ^ "Pam Muñoz Ryan's Biography -". 1916-07-18.
  2. ^ "papertigers - interviews - Pam Muñoz Ryan". 1916-07-18. Archived from the original on 2016-09-28.
  3. ^ a b "Pam Munoz Ryan - New York Times Best Selling Author - Pam Muñoz Ryan". Pam Muñoz Ryan. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  4. ^ "Library to Host 2016 Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature". Library of Congress. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Author - Pam Muñoz Ryan". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  6. ^ "Q & A with Pam Muñoz Ryan". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  7. ^ "Author - Pam Muñoz Ryan". Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  8. ^ "Newbery Medal".
  9. ^ "Américas Award @ CLASP, Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  10. ^ "Audie Award Winners". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  11. ^ "2015 Finalists: young readers | Kirkus Reviews". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  12. ^ "New-York Historical Society Children's History Book Prize".
  13. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  14. ^ "Winners | PEN Center USA". Archived from the original on 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  15. ^ admin (1999-11-30). "The Pura Belpré Award winners, 1996-present". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  16. ^ "Américas Award".
  17. ^ Belknap, Mary. "2011 GOLD Winners". Archived from the original on 2011-12-19. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  18. ^ "Past Boston Globe -- Horn Book Award Winners — The Horn Book". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  19. ^ "Washington Parent". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  20. ^ "The NAIBA Carla Cohen Free Speech Award - New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  21. ^ "Der Träumer :: Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  22. ^ admin (1999-11-30). "The Pura Belpré Award winners, 1996-present". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  23. ^ "Schneider Family Book Award Winners, 2004- Present | Campbell University Libraries". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  24. ^ "Tomás Rivera Mexican American Book Award".
  25. ^ "Américas Award" (PDF).
  26. ^ "Norman A. Sugarman Children's Biography Award". 2015-04-10. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  27. ^ Orbis Pictus Awards 1990-2010 Archived 2012-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Bank Street - List of Winners". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  29. ^ "Previous Winners". Grand Canyon Reader Awards. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  30. ^ "2000 Arkansas Simon Young Reader Honor" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-03.
  31. ^ "Parenting Magazine's Reading Magic Award".
  32. ^ "Book Prizes – Los Angeles Times Festival of Books» 2001-03-05". Archived from the original on 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  33. ^ "Judy Lopez Award Winners". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  34. ^ "List of Past Winning Authors | Libraries, LTD". Retrieved 2016-08-09.

External links[edit]