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New York, Texas children's book lists recognize UHV faculty member

Feb. 11, 2014 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 10, 2014 at 8:11 p.m.

Diana Lopez, a University of Houston-Victoria assistant professor, makes a presentation in front of a group of students at Mary Hoge Middle School in Weslaco about her latest book, "Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel."

A University of Houston-Victoria professor's book has been added to two children's book lists.

For the first time, Diana Lopez, University of Houston-Victoria assistant professor and director of the university's creative writing program, has a book on the Lone Star Reading List. Lopez also appears for a second time on the New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.

Released in June, "Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel" is the third book Lopez has written for a middle school audience.

It's the summer before eighth grade, and Erica "Chia" Montenegro is feeling so many things that she needs a mood ring to keep track of her emotions. She's happy when she hangs out with her best friends. She's jealous that her genius little sister skipped two grades. And she's passionate about the crushes on her Boyfriend Wish List. And when Erica's mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, she is worried and doesn't know what she can do to help.

A committee of Texas Library Association members selected 20 books geared toward a middle school audience for the 2014 Lone Star Reading List. The list, which first came out in 1990, is frequently used by school librarians when considering what books to add to their collections.

"You don't have to be a Texas author to make the list, but I think it's a little more special to be from Texas because then you have a chance to visit schools and share your work," Lopez said.

The New York Public Library list is made up of 100 children's books published in 2013. A group of 19 librarians put together the list. Lopez's first young adult book, "Confetti Girl," made the 2009 list.

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