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I Pledge Allegiance

By: Pat Mora and Libby Martinez
illustrated by: Patrice Barton
Imprint: Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780307931818
2014-04-22 - $16.99

Libby's great aunt, Lobo, is from Mexico, but the United States has been her home for many years, and she wants to become a U.S. citizen. At the end of the week, Lobo will say the Pledge of Allegiance at a special ceremony. Libby is also learning the Pledge this week, at school—at the end of the week, she will stand up in front of everyone and lead the class in the Pledge. Libby and Lobo practice together—asking questions and sharing stories and memories—until they both stand tall and proud, with their hands over their hearts.

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Guest Post: I Pledge Allegiance
April 05, 2014

Guest Post: I Pledge Allegiance

By Pat Mora & Libby Martinez


PM: I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE is our first co-writing adventure. Did you feel we worked as equals, or did the fact that I asked you to refer to me as Your Ladyship prove an obstacle?

LM: I think the question may give readers the false impression that I am only required to refer to you as Your Ladyship when we are writing together…when, in fact, I am actually required to refer to you in this manner at all times and during all seasons, with each utterance always preceded and followed by a brief curtsy. Is this the correct forum to mention the strict tea and scone rules as well?

PM: Thirty years ago this year, I held my first book in my hands. How did you feel when you held your first copy of I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE?

LM: It was a surreal moment, in the best sense. To feel the glossy cover, to hear the book literally crack open for the first time, to see both of our names together, to see Lobo’s name in the pages and feel her warmth radiating from the exquisite illustrations…it is a moment I will never forget.

PM: You and our aunt (your great-aunt) whom we called Lobo are the central characters in the book. We dedicated the book to this amazingly loving lady. What is a favorite Lobo memory?

LM: Two of my favorite Lobo memories are sitting in our den playing Go Fish and Crazy Eights for hours together, and going to Luby’s cafeteria on Friday for lunch…we both loved coconut cream pie.


 Award-winning PAT MORA’s books include Tomás and the Library Lady and Doña Flor. She is an honorary member of the ALA, the highest honor the association bestows on non-librarian members. Click for more information on Pat

LIBBY MARTINEZ has worked in the Texas political arena, has served as the Director of School and Community Partnerships at the Philadelphia Zoo, and is the founder of a strategy consulting practice. She lives with her husband in Colorado Springs. Click for more information on Libby.