Three Questions With Tracy López

We love hearing about when authors were children and getting a glimpse into the memories that shaped their work today. Tracy López, co-author of PJ Publishing's recently released middle grade book, Detour Ahead, gives us a sneak peek of her defining early moments in her answers to the three questions.

A drawing of a city

What is your favorite book of all time?

I don't know if I could ever pick one favorite book… I'm 43 years old, and at heart I am still the girl who pushes past coats to touch the back of wardrobes/closets hoping to find myself in Narnia, and dreams of running away to live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So, two books that I will forever love are The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.

What's a picture book the world needs right now?

Sugar in Milk written by Thrity Umrigar, and illustrated by Khoa Le. It's a breathtakingly beautiful story of kindness, hospitality, and welcoming refugees.

Favorite memory from childhood?

I'm fortunate to have many good childhood memories. Some of my favorite memories are the times my maternal grandfather took me and my two sisters up to the grocery store with him on Christmas Day. He was the manager and the store was closed for the holiday, but he always went to go check on things. While he did whatever managers do, my sisters and I were allowed to run around the empty aisles, play hide-and-seek, make-believe we were cashiers, and eat the free cookies they kept for kids in the bakery.

About Tracy López

Tracy López is a novelist and poet, born and raised in Maryland just outside Washington, DC. When she isn't writing, she loves to read, create art, and bake pan dulce. She now lives in the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia with her husband, sons, and a silly hound dog. Detour Ahead, co-authored with Pamela Ehrenberg, is her first children's book. You can find her online at, or on Twitter and Instagram as @tracydelopez.

More about Detour Ahead

Detour Ahead is a story co-written by Pamela Ehrenberg and Tracy López. In alternating chapters of prose and verse, Gilah prepares for her upcoming bat mitzvah, while her new friend Guillermo enters a poetry contest. The compelling dual point-of-view brings readers into the minds of Gilah, who is neurodiverse and attends a special needs school, and Salvadoran American Guillermo, who is finding his voice through poetry. For more, read Detour Ahead's Kirkus Starred Review.