Sciurba, Katie 1957-

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Sciurba, Katie 1957-

Personal

Born 1957. Education: University of California, San Diego, B.A., 2001; New School University, M.F.A., 2003; Mercy College, M.S. (education), 2005; New York University, Ph.D. candidate (English education).

Addresses

Home—New York, NY.

Career

Writer. City University of New York, Borough of Manhattan Community College, instructor in writing, 2005—; YMCA of Greater New York, creative writing instructor, 2006—. New York City teaching fellow.

Writings

Oye, Celia!: A Song for Celia Cruz, illustrated by Edel Rodriguez, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2007.

Sidelights

In her first book for children, Katie Sciurba tells the story of one of the world's most beloved singers. Oye, Celia!: A Song for Celia Cruz introduces young readers to the Cuban-born woman who was known to many as the Queen of Salsa. Cruz came to the United States in 1961, after the Cuban Revolution led to restricted artistic freedoms. During her career, she helped popularize salsa music, a combination of traditional Latin dances and modern drum beats. By the time of her death in 2003, Cruz had sold millions of albums, performed before crowds all over the world, and earned three Grammy awards and a National Medal for the Arts.

In Sciurba's book, "poetic lines written from a fan's perspective hint at the deep, personal connection the singer forged with her audience," Jennifer Mattson wrote in Booklist. By explaining the origins of Cruz's songs, a Kirkus Reviews critic noted, "Sciurba acknowledges Cruz's music for its historical evocations … and meld of moods and influences that was—and is—la salsa." As a result, Mary Elam concluded in School Library Journal, "this artistic tribute, sprinkled with Spanish words, also educates with short descriptions" of Cruz's signature dances and singing style.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 2007, Jennifer Mattson, review of Oye, Celia!: A Song for Celia Cruz, p. 61.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2007, review of Oye, Celia!

School Library Journal, March, 2007, Mary Elam, review of Oye, Celia!, p. 186.