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Raul Ramos y Sanchez

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Controversial Novel "America Libre" Wins Books Into Movies Award

Debut novel by Raul Ramos y Sanchez wins a First Place prize in the inaugural Books Into Movies Awards sponsored by Latino Literacy Now founded by actor Edward James Olmos.

Los Angeles, CA, October 15, 2010 --( The controversial debut novel America Libre by Raul Ramos y Sanchez has won a First Place prize in the first-ever Books Into Movies Awards sponsored by Latino Literacy Now founded by actor Edward James Olmos.

“The Books Into Movies Awards are designed to help change the way Hollywood views Latinos,” stated Olmos during the awards ceremony held October 9, 2009 during the two-day Los Angeles Latino Book and Family Festival at the California State University, Los Angeles campus. “This is probably the most challenging and the most rewarding moment in the history of our book festival,” said Olmos.

Launched this year, the winners of the Books Into Movies Awards were selected by a panel of judges from the movie industry. The winning books in eight categories will be presented by Latino Literacy Now to Hollywood studios, producers and agencies as stories with compelling potential for film adaptation that provide fresh perspectives on the Latino experience but will still have appeal to all audiences.

America Libre, the First Place winner in the Action & Adventure category, has served as a lightning rod for supporters and critics of immigration reform. The cautionary tale by Cuban-born Raul Ramos y Sanchez envisions a future U.S. where a mainstream backlash against illegal immigration spawns supremacist violence against Hispanics, leading to an ethnic conflict on U.S. soil. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen similar conditions create ethnic clashes across the world. The Chechens in Russia, the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Basques in Spain, and of course the Balkans, are just a few examples,” said author Raul Ramos y Sanchez.

The judges “really favored” America Libre, according to Olmos. Reading from the judge’s notes during the presentation, Olmos quoted, “I really liked this book and definitely think it should be a movie with many interesting characters and conflicts. It is very thought provoking and in many ways educational. The author’s devotion to his readers and his work exceeds any I’ve seen.”

The main goals of the Books Into Movies Awards are to provide Latino youth with author role models in the highly-visible world of motion pictures and to create a more authentic perspective of the Latino experience, helping to dispel the negative Latino stereotypes that often plague Hollywood productions.

Other winners in the Books Into Movies Awards were: Hungry Woman In Paris by Josefina Lopez, The Heartbreak Pill by Anjanette Delgado, The Case Runner by Carlos Cisneros, There’s A Coqui In My Shoe by Marissa de Jesus Paolicelli, Across A Hundred Mountains by Reyna Grande, Meant To Be by Rutino Lara, and Day Of The Dead by Mary J. Andrade.

About Latino Literacy Now
Latino Literacy Now is a 501(c)3 program that operates the Latino Book and Family Festival in Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. The organization is founded upon increasing reading, education and financial literacy among Latinos as well as empowering authors in multiple mediums.

America Libre
By Raul Ramos y Sanchez
Grand Central Publishing –
Trade Paperback – July 27, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780446507752
ISBN: 044650775X

For more information contact:
Sally van Haitsma
van Haitsma Literary
204 N. El Camino Real, E-431
Encinitas, CA 92024

Contact Information
van Haitsma Literary Agency
Sally van Haitsma

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