Anna Lapera for Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice **IN-PERSON**

Loyalty is very excited to welcome Anna Lapera to celebrate Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice! This event will take place at Loyalty Silver Spring (923 Gist Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910). **This event is free to attend, but registration is required** You can purchase the book from Loyalty below or in-person during the event! Please email  with any questions. There will be a short reading, presentation, Q&A, and even a writing activity! Please find the prompt here: 

Mani's abuelita is always telling her to find her "quetzal voice". Legend in Guatemala has it that during the Spanish invasion, the quetzal bird stopped singing and will only sing again when Guatemala is free. But what does that even mean for 12yo Mani? And can she tap into her quetzal voice in time to stand up to the bullying and sexual harassment going on at her own school?

In this workshop for teens and tweens, author Anna Lapera will lead us through a craft and writing activity centered around finding the strength to use your voice in difficult situations.


For fans of Donna Barba Higuera's Lupe Wong Won't Dance and Aida Salazar's The Moon Within, comes Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice – a contemporary middle grade novel full of spunk and activist heart. 

Life sucks when you're twelve. You're not a little kid, but you're also not an adult, and all the grown-ups in your life talk about your body the minute it starts getting a shape. And what sucks even more than being a Chinese-Filipino-American-Guatemalan who can't speak any ancestral language well? When almost every other girl in school has already gotten her period except for you and your two besties. 

Manuela “Mani” Semilla wants two things: To get her period, and to thwart her mom's plan of taking her to Guatemala on her thirteenth birthday. If her mom's always going on about how dangerous it is in Guatemala, and how much she sacrificed to come to this country, then why should Mani even want to visit?

But one day, up in the attic, she finds secret letters between her mom and her Tía Beatriz, who, according to family lore, died in a bus crash before Mani was born. But the letters reveal a different story. Why did her family really leave Guatemala? What will Mani learn about herself along the way? And how can the letters help her to stand up against the culture of harassment at her own school?


Anna Lapera teaches middle school by day and writes stories about girls stepping into their power in the early hours of the morning. She is a member of Las Musas, a 2022 Macondista and Kweli Journal mentee, and has received support from Tin House, Kweli and SCBWI. When she’s not writing, you can find her visiting trails and coffee shops in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she lives with her family. Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice is her debut novel, and she’s currently working on a historical fiction young adult novel set during Guatemala’s civil war, as well as a short story collection for the grown folks. You can find her online at



Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during this event. 

Event date: 
Sunday, April 28, 2024 - 1:00pm
Event address: 
923 Gist Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Mani Semilla Finds Her Quetzal Voice By Anna Lapera Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646143719
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Levine Querido - March 5th, 2024

Event Location: 
RSVP Form: