SAN ANTONIO – Marcia Argueta Mickelson has a busy life. She’s a wife, mom of three, elementary school teacher and an award-winning author. And on May 21, she will represent the Alamo City during the 10th annual San Antonio Book Festival.
The festival features 70 authors, who will share their newly published books at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art’s event. There will be panel discussions, book sales and signings.
Argueta-Mickelson said she’s excited to discuss her latest book, “Where I Belong.”
“It’s about a young woman who is a senior in high school. Her name is Milagros Vargas- she likes to go by ‘Millie.’ Her family came to the United States as undocumented immigrants,” Argueta-Mickelson said of her book.
In the book, Millie, who lives in Corpus Christi, struggles to find her place in her family and the rest of the world.
“Her mother works for a wealthy family. Mr Wheeler, he is running to be senator in Texas. And one evening, when he’s talking about how he wants to help immigrants, he uses Millie and her family as an example,” Argueta-Mickelson said. “So, he kind of puts her in the spotlight, which is the last place she ever wanted to be. But at the same time, she’s receiving online threats and being harassed on social media…she has to make a choice.”
Millie’s story is semi-autobiographical. Argueta-Mickelson’s parents are also Guatemalan. They, too, were undocumented immigrants when they arrived in the U.S.
“I kind of did feel like I didn’t quite belong here, but I never lived in Guatemala, so I ever felt like I really belong there either,” Argueta-Mickelson said.
Like Millie, Argueta-Mickelson found her way. She’s an elementary school teacher in the North Side ISD and an accomplished author. “Where I Belong,” her fifth book, is a recipient of the Pura Belpre Award. It’s given to Latino or Latina writers whose work celebrates Latino experiences in youth literature.
“As a teacher, I just want to spend most of my time creating and doing things for young people because I just feel like…they are our future…there’s so much that we can teach them or…so many messages that are important for them to learn,” Argueta-Mickelson said.
She says “Where I Belong” took her 10 years to write. She hopes the story inspires young people to stay motivated and follow their dreams.
For more information on the 10th annual San Antonio Book Festival, click here.