Orona–Ramirez, Kristy 1964–

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Orona–Ramirez, Kristy 1964–


Born 1964; married; husband's name Arturo; children: four. Education: Humboldt State University, B.A. (liberal studies), 1997, Whittier College, teacher's credential, 2001; Azusa Pacific University, M.A. (educational leadership and administration), 2006. Hobbies and other interests: Kick boxing, boxing.


Home and office—Riverside, CA.


Author and educator. Alvord Unified School District, Riverside, CA, project specialist and academic coach. Lead singer and songwriter for Native-American drumming group the Mankillers.


Kiki's Journey, illustrated by Jonathan Warmday, Children's Book Press (San Francisco, CA), 2006.

Reclamation Road (poetry), illustrated by husband, Arturo Orona-Ramirez, Coyotesse Books, 2007.


Kiki's Journey, the first children's book by author and educator Kristy Orona-Ramirez, was inspired by a visit the author took to Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. Orona-Ramirez draws from her own personal experiences growing up in southern California to add realistic details to her story about a young Native-American girl who is discovering her ethnic background. In the book, Kiki is upset at the classmates and teacher at her Los Angeles elementary school because they presume that she knows everything about Native-American history and culture. In fact, the girl knows little about the Tiwa tribe from which her parents are descended. However, when she and her family take a trip away to Taos Pueblo to visit her grandparents, she is able to explore the area the Tiwa people call home. Kiki experiences the daily rituals of her people, including using an adobe oven to bake bread, and easily connects with her family's Native roots.

Hazel Rochman, reviewing Orona-Ramirez's picture book for Booklist, deemed Kiki's Journey "reverential," adding that the "authentic" story "will open up discussion about cultural stereotypes." In School Library Journal Julie R. Ranelli commented that the picture book benefits from a "clear, sequential text and evocative art [by Arturo Orona-Ramirez], which together create an authentic work." In a Children's Bookwatch review an online critic dubbed Kiki's Journey a "heartwarming story of discovery."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Kiki's Journey, p. 139.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2006, review of Kiki's Journey, p. 794.

School Library Journal, October, 2006, Julie R. Ranelli, review of Kiki's Journey, p. 122.


Children's Book Press Web site,http://www.childrensbookpress.org/ (June 8, 2008), "Kiki's Journey."

Children's Bookwatch,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (October 1, 2006), review of Kiki's Journey.

LatinoLA Web site,http://www.latinola.com/ (June 8, 2008), "Children's Author Reading with Kristy Orona-Ramirez."

Whitter College Web site,http://web.whittier.edu/ (June 8, 2008), "2007 Whittier College Children's Literature Conference."