HOUSTON, TX March 2018—Diana J. Noble’s historical debut novel for young adults, Evangelina Takes Flight, is the recipient of several awards: the 2018 Tejas Foco YA Fiction Award given by the National Association for Chicana/o Studies, the 2017 June Franklin Naylor Award for the Best Book for Children on Texas History from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and it was a runner-up for the Texas Institute of Letters’ 2018 H-E-B Award for Best Young Adult Book.

The Tejas Foco Fiction Awards recognize outstanding works of fiction or young adult fiction that best represent a significant topic related to Mexican-American experience in Texas. The National Association for Chicana/o Studies (NACCS) is the academic organization that serves academic programs, departments and research centers that focus on issues pertaining to Mexican Americans, Chicana/os, and Latina/os.

The June Franklin Naylor Award for the Best Book for Children on Texas History is given annually to the author/illustrator of the most distinguished book for children, grades K-6, that accurately portrays the history of Texas, whether fiction or nonfiction. Founded in 1891, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas is the oldest patriotic women’s organization in Texas and one of the oldest in the nation. Its mission is to perpetuate the memory and spirit of those who achieved and maintained the independence of Texas. The awards ceremony will be held during the Annual Conference of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, May 18, 2018.

The Texas Institute of Letters is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to stimulate interest in Texas letters and to recognize distinctive literary achievement. Each year the organization awards more than $20,000 to recognize outstanding literary works in several categories including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s books, and translations. Eligibility for the awards requires that entrants be born in Texas or have lived in Texas for at least two consecutive years.

This moving novel introduces teens to the tumultuous times of the Mexican Revolution and the experiences of immigrants, especially Mexican Americans, as they adjust to a new way of life.

A Junior Library Guild selection, Evangelina Takes Flight has received rave reviews:

  • “Written in Evangelina’s conscientious voice and containing parallels to some of today’s current events, this hopeful, yet sometimes heartbreaking, novel is a fast and important read.”—Booklist
  • “Using the first person with Spanish sprinkled throughout, Noble propels the novel with vivid imagery and lovely prose, successfully guiding readers behind an immigrant family’s lens. Loosely based on Noble’s own grandmother’s story, this debut hits awfully close to home in the current anti-immigrant political climate.”—Kirkus Reviews
  • “Honest in its exploration of xenophobia, and timely in its empathetic portrayal of a refugee family, Evangelina Takes Flight is a vibrant and appealing historical novel.”—Foreword Reviews

Diana J. Noble is a native of Laredo, Texas, and currently lives with her family in Seattle, Washington. Her debut novel for young adults is based in part on the life of her paternal grandmother.