This article is over 11 years old

Arte Publico

Classical 91.7-Arte Público Author of the Month: Nicholasa Mohr

Nicholasa Mohr has been selected as this month’s Classical 91.7/Arte Público Press Author of the Month. In the next installment of a series of monthly features, Classical 91.7’s Eric Ladau spoke with Ms. Mohr.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

Named an “Outstanding Book of the Year” by The New York Times and one of the “Best Books of the Year” by the American Library Association in 1973 when it was first published, Nicholasa Mohr’s classic novel, Nilda, about life as an immigrant in New York City offers a poignant look at one young girl’s experiences. Issues of race, religion and machismo are movingly depicted in this groundbreaking coming-of-age novel that was one of the first by a Latina author to be hailed by the mainstream media.

Nilda book coverIt’s the summer of 1941, and all ten-year-old Nilda wants to do is enjoy the cool water from an open fire hydrant with her friends. But policemen lash out at the Puerto Rican residents, ending their fun. The cops’ animosity is played out over and over again in Nilda’s life as she is repeatedly treated with contempt by adults in positions of authority: teachers, nurses and social workers.  At home, though, Nilda is surrounded by a loving but eccentric family that—while experiencing financial hardship, the onset of World War II and the death of loves ones—supports and encourages her artistic abilities.

This new edition contains a preface by the author and a foreword by children’s literature expert and author Alma Flor Ada.

Nicholasa Mohr is the author of numerous acclaimed, award-winning books for children, young adults and adults. She has won several awards for her writing, including an Honorary Doctorate from the State University of New York at Albany. She lives in El Barrio where she was born, and continues to write books for all ages.

Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors.  Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Books published under the imprint are designed to serve as a bridge from the home culture to that of the school, as well as to support family literacy and elementary school education. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity.  For more information, please visit