palestine Tag

Kidlit 4 Ceasefire

Ok, theres this fundraiser happening for Palestine, Congo, and Sudan. I have donated a virtual school visit or a signed book set. Please support the fundraiser by checking out all the items offered and people donating their time. You can get critiques, you can ask individuals anything you want about publishing, you can get school visits, and you can get a gang of books!!!!

The general link to see everything is HERE. And you can bid on mine HERE.

Dig this? Check out Books for Palestine

Open letter to SCWBI + their response

So a week agao I saw Danielle Davis, Sarah Proudman, Hatem Aly, Omar Abed, and M.O. Yuksei draft a powerful letter calling out the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCWBI) for their silence on thousands of Palestinian children being killed by the Israeli and US govt. You can read and sign that letter here: LINK

And this was the Scwbi response. You can read the entire response here.

My thoughts: They are a pro Israeli institution but don’t want to say it plainly. They voice support for other countries but ignore Palestine. I feel like they have been problematic for a long time too. I have a hunch and feeling that the only reason they have included more opportunities and grants for Black folks or people of color is because the people demanded it from the industry. If you’re a former member like me or a current member, let me know what you think right now. What’s your take? Doesnt matter if you agree or disagree with me. I know the talk I see from fellow authors isn’t one of praise. This stance though is wack. It relates to book bans for me too. Why? There are lies groups like them, mainstream US media, and other forces are trying to protect. The truth? Still putting my finger on what that is.

This is a post I wrote about my visit to their conference back in 2010 or 2011. Some things about them were very positive. But I couldnt shake the feeling that Bipoc were ignored or an afterthought back then and I still feel it today. It feels like the few Bipoc, Queer, Muslim creators who are highlighted are not enough and that they are comfortable with the stats where they are. Could they improve? Maybe, but if I have to explain the meaning of genoicde to you in the context of Palestine right now and you still don’t get it, I think you don’t want to see it. I feel like we should build something in their place for those in the kidlit world who do support a ceasefire and who value Bipoc communites from the beginning, not as an afterthought.

To all kid lit organizations, agencies, publishers, etc . Don’t be a quiet org afraid to learn. Speak up and speak out. Talk to children about the Nakba, about ethnic studies, critical race theory, gender, sexuality, politics, etc at a level they can understand. Stop bitching about making white Jewish, white, heterosexual, or conservative families feel discomfort. We all need to know each others actual lived experiences and histories from as many sides as possible or “never again” will be visited upon so many more. Whether your kids are comfortable or not, there are hella kids who are experiencing racism, genocidal governments, anti trans hate, and so many other things already, now.

To get a broader context of who is in the kid lit industry from publishers, editors, and agents check out this survey by Lee & Low Books. Animation needs a survey like this too. Thank goodness for the Geena Davis Institute studying how girls and women are portrayed in film. I know I’m not perfect or the moral authority on anything but I’m glad to see Scbwi called out. I’m glad I’m seeing more kidlit folks speaking out, and I believe we all have more to learn and we all must be brave.

Dig this? Check out this post about the Road to Apartheid or see the trailer for Israelism

Hip Hop Fans-I have a question for you

Fellow hip hop fans, what blog, radio show, video, or journalist outlet that regularly talks about hip hop culture would you like to see address what is happening in Palestine, The Sudan, Congo? I mean, there are hip hop artists making songs about this shit!

Shout to Hard Knock Radio who I’ve heard speak on it , who else? #hiphopculture #hiphopmusic #hiphopjournalism I’ve seen The Breakfast club have on Marc Lamont Hill who is outspoken in his support for Palestinian rights. But I’ve also seen them have on a pro-israeli speaker. At this point, with a budget in the literal millions to market and shape public opinion from US controlled outlets to super bowl ads-we’ve heard enough disnformation from Israel. Not nearly enough Palestinian voices. What about Sudanese or Congo MC’s? We havent heard much highlighting of them either.

Some blogs to consider, some of which who’ve touched on it, but many who have not: Complex, Hip Hop DX, Thizzler, WaxPoetics, Rap Radar, Drink Champs, Okay Player, World Star, Hot 97, Dead End Hip Hop, 247 Hip hop, who else? I’m talking about radio, blogs, Podcasts, Influencer pages, etc.

My Point: Hip hop fans could argue that cats dont know enough about what is happening to speak on it. You could argue that the industry has squeezed activism or political threat out of hip hop. But, for those who see what is happening with these wars, climate change, gentrification, etc I think we owe it to uplift. Highlight knowledge, game, news, critical thought, and hip hop artists who are speaking on it whether they’re 16 or 56 so at least newer generations can be aware of what is happening. I mean, we who are from inner cities and places of income inequality are the ones who birthed this culture. Are artists scared of speaking out? Are there none left who will speak up?

Dig this? Check out Hard Knock Radio on KPFA (my local station) or Marc Lamont Hill’s YouTube Channel.

Photos from the Texas Book Fest 2023

I had a great time at the Texas Book Festival this past November. BIG shout out to my publisher Lee & low, Reading Rockets, and the Book Festival for having me. I have done many local events such as library readings, class visits, co-producing a book fair, vending at book fairs, etc but have never been to such a huge book fair and met so many folks in the business. I met people I’ve admired for a ong time and some new folks who are awesome storytellers!!

Reading Rockets: School visit w/ McBee Elementary

Here I am talking to a gang of mostly Latino students at the school about “Fresh Juice/ Jugo Fresco” in Spanish. This might be the biggest audience I read to in 2023, second only to a reading I did w/ Maestra Jill Guerra for our book “We Are Yoga”. My reading was rough because of technival difficulties but the kids and the school still rocked with me thankfully.

After the reading I was able to hand each and every student (probably over 100) a copy of my book in Spanish or English. This was made possible because of Reading Rockets, the school, and my publisher. These types of events are important because we brought the stories to the students. More below….

This writer and Cubana Adriana Cuevas who talked about her career and her latest book “The Ghosts of Rancho Espanto”.

This is bro Andy J Pizza who I knew as a podcaster from the show “Creative Pep Talk” and he was sharing his book “Invisible Things”.

Authors Brunch: At a TBF board member’s home

Ok, I wish I had taken more photos. I was too blown away by the home of this board member who hosted us. I got to meet some people who I’ve admired for years and met some new folks; authors, organizers of the event, and more. Particularly I remember meeting Michelle Hernandez who is an organizer for the Texas Book Festival, Becky Gomez who is an educator and artist who also volunteers at the fest. Authors? Man I saw old friends like Michael Genhart from the Bay and Shadra Strickland from Baltimore. But also I met Vashite Harrison, Don Tate, Derrick Barnes, David Bowles, and Minh Le. I also met some new folks like Emma The Otheguy, Pedro Martin, Christina Soontornvat, Ana Siqueira, Jamar Perry, Anne Wynter, Cathery, Mohit, and moreeeeee.

Foto from Michelle Hernandez

Black Pearl Books – Black Owned bookstore in Austin, TX

The owners of Black Pearl Books reached out to me and several Black authors in an effort to give us a space to convene and just to build community. I didn’t know about the store before, but I do now and I’m so glad I went because I got to chop it up with Jerome Pumphrey, Anne Winter, and Vashite Harrison. I also got to walk around this beautiful story which did an excellent job of celebrating Black authors. If you’re ever in Austin, go support them!


Big shout out to Cathery Yeh and her husband who drove me around from hotel to reading to brunch and around the city. They are a family from Cali who were based in Austin now. Cathery also took most of the photos of me reading for Reading Rockets.

They wanted to see a mural I had painted with the Trust Your Struggle Collective back in 2008. The mural has been damaged but the historic business it was painted for, the Victory Grill is still standing!

Here are some photos from the mural, around my hotel, and around the downtown area.

Texas Book Festival

I started my reading that day with a dedication to brother Damion Hunter (Megah Brown) , who was my friend and my barber. He passed away in 2023 suddenly and left behind a wife and family. I met Damion through recommendation around 2013 or 2014 and he cut my hair and that of my son’s for many years. Our families hung out together beyond the barbershop and I like so many were deeply saddened by his passing. So I wore a tshirt with the name of his barbershop that day intentionally. When I first self published Furqan’s First Flat Top in 2016 I asked my good friend Eli to do a book trailer sharing the book and me getting a flat top. The brother cutting my hair in this video was Damion. Rest in peace.

This was me reading during my session. There were not a lot of folks there as I am still relatively brand new to the kids book world outside of the Bay, but it was fun. Claudia Guadalupe Martinez took these photos of me 🙂

Ok dig this, I got to listen to a master class in picture book reading, performing, and improvising. Ive been reading to students for over a decade just to get here but it was really awesome listening to how these authors, illustrators, and storytellers did it.

From Top to bottom, left to right: Roda Ahmed & Charnaie Gordon reading Etta Extraordinaire, Juana Medina – Elina Rides, Panel w/ Celia Perez and Aida Salazar, Ana Siqueira-La Supercapa de Abuela, Shadra Strickland- Jump In, Emma Otheguy-Too Many Tia’s, Minh Le-Real to Me, Anne Wynter-Nell Plants a Tree, Vashtie Harrison- BIG, Don Tate-Jerry Changed the Game, Magdalena Mora & Claudia Guadalupe Martinez-Still Dreaming, Nikkolas Smith-The Artivist

This was dope moment. This is me with Don Tate. Thee Don Tate!! Don is an OG who has been working as an illustrator and author since the early 2000’s I believe. I remember seeing Ron’s Big Mission, It Jes Happened, and so many others and being inspired. Don was kind enough to take a photo with me and I felt honored!

Protest for Palestine

On the last day of the Book Fair there was a protest and march scheduled to be held at the state capitol, which coincidentally was a block away from the fair. There was zero mention of Palestine or the protest by the fair which I was unfortunately not surprised by. Nonetheless I had to be there. I have been going to and attending protests my entire life. That isnt a cool point, or a brag. It is a sad reality that the struggle for freedom, ciivil and human rights here in the US and abroad continues. This person wearing a cowboy hat as he rocked a keffiyeh and held a palestinian flag caught my eye. Had no idea there were Palestinian cowboys but I was happy to see it.

I took these photos as I arrived and at first there were 1000, then 5k, then 10k. By the time I watched footage of it later that day there was at least 50k people in Austin Texas protesting/marching. See footage of that here.

Saw this family and had to snap a photo of them:)

This!!!! I loved seeing this sign because although there was a HUGE Palestinian and Arab population there, tons of Latinos, Black folks, White, and Asian people where there in solidarity. After the march, I headed back to the Bay.

I want to give a shout out to Shaughnessy Miller and Jenny Choy at Lee & Low Books, Michelle Hernandez and all the staff at the Texas Book Festival, Cathery and her husband for the rides, all the volunteers who gave me and other authors rides, Jeannie Moody at McBee Elementary, the board member who hosted us for lunch, etc. That’s it folks, I hope you enjoyed these photos.

Dig this? Check out these photos from my trip to Columbus Ohio for the SOL Con.

Inspiration Board 44

Hey fam, I hope you’re well. Whew with life this past year and moving, war, family health, inspiration has gone down the tube. I mean, I still read, listen, watch, feel, and experience but I have felt exhausted and uninspired to keep it real. I still create because I’ve been doing this for a long ass time, but sometimes it needs to be said that you don’t feel it. Anyway, for the past 6 months or so these are some things that fed or made me feeeeeeel.

Starting from top to bottom, left to right:

  1. The Purpose of Power – book by Alicia Garza. Reallly great read and reminder that the fight is long ahead (Organizing/Activism)

2. Texas Book Festival – 1st time visiting this historic book fest in Austin,TX. Shout out to Lee & Low, Reading Rockets, and the Fest (event)

3. The Spirit of the Palestinian People! – With over 75 years of colonialization they still stand and it is both painful and inspiring to have to witness time and time again. Thank you to the everyday people and the Palestinian organizers! (Resistance)

4. Dr. Marc Lamont Hill– Marc has been doing a lot of work to question society from multiple viewpoints and I’m thankful (Journalism)

5. Bisan Wizard– I’m in awe of this young journalist who has been sharing news in Arabic and English, risking her life to show us what US, European, and Israeli wont; what is happening is genocide (Journalist)

6. Jewish Voice for Peace– BIG shout out to my Jewish fam in the US acting up and showing out to show solidarity and prove that questioning Zionism does NOT equal antisemitism. They have lifted the veil for many Jews, Christians, Muslims, and atheists alike. (activists)

7. Olivia Dean – Love this singer songwriters music. Check her out! (music)

8. LaRussell and Tietta – This duo’s work to put their name, art, and biz savvy has been inspiring to watch. From Vallejo Ca (Business/Art)

9. Maurice Carney – I loved learning about what is happening in the Congo from Maurice of “Friends of the Congo” (Activism)

10. Frizzy – Graphic novel about hair, self acceptance and mentorship (Graphic Novel)

11. Sara Trellez– There’s something lifee giving and undesribable about this dance routine Sara gives. I could see and recognize the years of work, talent, research, and history she put into this (Dance)

12. Lowkey – This MC from the UK came to me through my boy Pele. I’m so happy I found Lowkey because his skills and wit inspired me. So smart and so relentless! (Hip Hop)

13.  Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers? – Shout out to Angela Dalton who showed me this book. Contrary to what adults may think, these are exactly the kinds of questions I think kids can and should grapple with. Policing has got to go (Kid Lit)

14. Motaz Azaiza– Brother Motaz is an incredibly talented and brave photographer who once again is showing us in English and Arabic what the regime of Israel is doing to the people of Palestine. Genocide. (Photography)

15. Amanda Seales– I’ve watched Amanda go through being an MC, a singer, a poet, actor, and now social media activist who has challenged and critiqued not only Israel but many other things. And she’s not just talking, listen-you’ll see in addition to living shes also studied! (Social Media)

16. Artie and the Wolk Moon– Great GN about a young Black girl who learns she is part werewolf!! Perfect for older elementary students and middle grade readers (Graphic Novel)

Did you miss the previous inspiration board? Here it is, plus a few more

Inspiration board 43

Inspiration board 42

What’s this? This inspiration board is one of the ways I stay inspired and sane through all of life’s trials, and tribulations, work, etc. I’ve been making inspiration boards full of films, books, music, events, people, artists, movements, and more for over a decade. Do you have an inspiration board? Please share in the comments. Who am I? My name is Rob Liu-Trujillo and I’m an artist working in kid lit, public art, and other disciplines. Go to my website, or follow me on IG or YouTube. You can also cop my first art book here.

Donating bks for Palestine!


What up fam, so if you follow my blog, my social media, etc you know that I am very pro Palestine and have made artwork voicing that support as a way to let my folks know and encourage other artists who agree to share. With this past few months attacks on Palestine by Israel’s Zionist govt and their continued policies more people are waking up and finding out the conflict is not really a conflict but an apartheid system and a genocide of the Palestinian people. 
So, the homie put out a call and I answered along with many others in the kidlit world. I put up a book bundle and a 1 on 1 chat about kids book illustration. So, please go to the their page and bid on some of these books, art, book swag, etc. And there are professional services there for folks who are actively trying to get into the kidlit world like manuscript critiques for multiple forms of kids books. Thanks in advance for your support. And for supporting Palestinian kids and families, and the people!
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