Born in TX. Education: Texas A & M—Corpus Christi University, B.A.; Ohio University, M.F.A. Hobbies and other interests: Photography, surfing, skateboarding.
Home—Madison, WI. E-mail—[email protected].
Writer and filmmaker. Director of films, including Office Beast, 2006; Vanessa Rising, 2007; and Living under Linda's Desk, 2007. Has worked as an actress and film producer.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Delacorte Dell Yearling Award, 2004, Parents' Choice Silver Honor, 2006, and National Council for the Social Studies Notable Book designation, and Books for the Teen Age designation, New York Public Library, both 2007, both for Prizefighter en Mi Casa.
Prizefighter en Mi Casa, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2006.
Feels Like Home, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2007.
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo worked as a filmmaker for many years before turning to fiction-writing. "I think being a filmmaker has made a difference in how I write regardless of the form," she explained on her home page, "because as a filmmaker your [sic] constantly thinking about what is absolutely necessary in the frame. It's all about listening and precision. It's a lot of fun when it all comes together!" Charlton-Trujillo's first published book, the middle-grade novel Prizefighter en Mi Casa, was honored with several awards as well as critical praise, following its publication in 2006.
In Prizefighter en Mi Casa, readers meet twelve-year-old Chula Sanchez. Of Mexican ancestry, Chula feels self-conscious about her weight and because she has epilepsy. Her father has been left unable to work because of the same car accident that injured his daughter, and Chula now worries that her family's resulting poverty has made her even more of an outcast in her South Texas community. Mr. Sanchez is a fighter, however, and he arranges for a brutal Mexican prizefighter named El Jefe to appear in a local—but illegal—boxing match in the hope that a bet on the fighter will yield the money needed to keep up with family bills. Through her relationship with the battle-scarred El Jefe while he stays at her home, Chula learns to persevere and find the strength to come out of the shadows and into her own as an intelligent young woman. In School Library Journal, Carol A. Douglas described Charlton-Trujillo's first-person narration as "startlingly vivid," adding that the fast-moving story features an unusual cast of characters. Noting that the novel "opens a world not often seen in children's literature," a Kirkus Reviews writer called Prizefighter en Mi Casa "a terrific choice for discussion."
In Feels Like Home, Charlton-Trujillo focuses on older teens, setting her story once again in the South Texas region where she was raised. In this story seventeen-year-old Michelle Owens has been haunted by the disappearance of her older brother, Danny, six years earlier. Still reeling from the tragic death of her alcoholic father, Michelle is surprised and even resentful when Danny suddenly returns. Danny had been a popular, successful teen when he left, abandoning Michelle to deal with neighbors' questions and an undependable father; now he has changed, becoming almost like the father he ran away from home to avoid. When Danny finds his sister's copy of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, a favorite coming-of-age novel that the two had once read together, it helps him tap into the close relationship the siblings had once shared. While Michelle is able to eventually put aside her anger, she must now learn to come to terms with the person her brother is now, as well as the young woman she is in the process of becoming, in a novel that features richly drawn characters, according to School Library Journal contributor Stephanie L. Petruso. The author's use of "realistic dialogue and unexpected metaphors help to enliven a narrative that builds suspense," in the opinion of a Kirkus Reviews writer, the critic adding that Michelle's school friends and romantic interest flesh out the novel's "lively supporting cast." Feels Like Home presents readers with "an intense story about loss and pain," noted Kliatt critic Janis Flint-Ferguson, while in Publishers Weekly a reviewer contended that Chartlon-Trujillo's novel "opens a world not often seen in children's literature and is a terrific choice for discussion."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 2006, Elizabeth Bush, review of Prizefighter en Mi Casa, p. 63; May, 2007, Deborah Stevenson, review of Feels Like Home, p. 363.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2006, review of Prizefighter en Mi Casa, p. 720; April 1, 2007, review of Feels Like Home.
Kliatt, March, 2007, Janis Flint-Ferguson, review of Feels Like Home, p. 8.
Publishers Weekly, May 14, 2007, review of Feels Like Home, p. 55.
School Library Journal, December, 2006, Carol A. Edwards, review of Prizefighter en Mi Casa, p. 134; July, 2007, Stephanie L. Petruso, review of Feels Like Home, p. 99.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2007, Amy S. Pattee, review of Feels Like Home, p. 44.
Children's Literature Network Web site,http://www.childrensliteraturenetwork.org/ (May 1, 2008), "e.E. Charlton-Trujillo."
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo Home Page,http://www.bigdreamswrite.com (April 30, 2008).