Sing It Like Celia Book Launch by Mónica Mancillas in conversation with Emily Barth Isler

Book Launch with Mónica Mancillas for Sing it Like Celia on Saturday, April 6th at 1 pm. In conversation with Emily Barth Isler. Once Upon A Time Bookstore, 2207 Honolulu Ave., Montrose, CA 91020. Best for ages 9+.

Salsa into a new story!

We have such a treat for those in attendance!!!! Be sure to nab your seat before the event starts at 1 pm.

Local author Mónica Mancillas is launching her debut middle grade novel, Sing It Like Celia, with Once Upon A Time! This story will tug on your heartstrings as you get into the music and hear the fun beat. For the event, Mónica will share a little bit about her book and inspiration in conversation with author Emily Barth Isler, answer questions from the audience, and then sign books. Best for readers ages 9+. 

There will also be a salsa performance from dance instructors Alex Sol and Inna Ievtieieva! 

Masks are recommended for our events. If you can't make it to the event, you can order signed books in advance below.

Order Signed Books

Pre-orders of the book will receive a specially designed bookmark, exclusive access to a salsa playlist curated by the author, and a signed hardcover first-edition copy of the book.

About Sing It Like Celia:

Sing it Like Celia book cover. A young light skinned girl with long straight brown hair and bangs holding a microphone and wearing a tie-dye t-shirt against a purple dusk sky over a forest.

Perfect for fans of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise and Merci Suárez Changes GearsSing It Like Celia is a revelatory story about a Mexican American girl who finds her voice and herself with the help of her role model and icon, Celia Cruz.

Twelve-year-old Salva Sanchez has always been a fan of Celia Cruz, also known as "the queen of salsa." Her love of Celia stems from her mother, who leaves Salva without explanation one awful day. Now Salva is stuck with her investigative journalist father in an RV campground. In the middle of nowhere

As Salva acclimates to her new environment and desperately tries to figure out why her mother left, she befriends a posse of campground kids who have started a band. When the kids discover that Salva has an amazing singing voice, they convince her to join their group. Soon, Salva learns how to find her voice--and herself--with the help of her newfound friends, her dad, and the one and only Celia Cruz.

About Mónica Mancillas:

Mónica Mancillas author photo. A light-skinned Mexican-American woman with long wavy brown hair wearing a black blouse.

Mónica Mancillas (she/her/hers) based Sing It Like Celia, her debut middle-grade novel, on her own childhood experiences and those of her beloved sister, who shares her love of music and will someday take the world by storm. Mónica received her BA in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley before pursuing a decade-long career in the recording industry. She currently teaches piano in Burbank, California, where she resides with her husband and daughter. Her previous work includes Mariana and Her Familia, The Worry Balloon, and How to Speak in Spanglish. Find out more about Mónica at

Photo credit: Cathryn Farnsworth

About Emily Barth Isler:

Emily Barth Isler author photo. A white woman with shoulder-length, straight, brown hair wearing a white blouse.

Emily Barth Isler is an author of essays and children's books, including the middle grade novel AfterMath and the forthcoming picture book Always Enough Love. Emily writes regularly about sustainability, organic/eco-friendly skincare, and healthy beauty products for magazines and blogs. Her next book, The Color of Sound, features a character who, like Emily, has synesthesia. She has a BA in Film Studies from Wesleyan University and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two children.

Photo provided by publisher


Saturday, April 6, 2024 - 1:00pm
Event address: 
Once Upon A Time Bookstore
2207 Honolulu Ave.
Montrose, CA 91020
SKU: 9780593659304a
Add name. Ex: Jane or Humphrey Family

This debut middle grade story by Mancillas sparkles with 12-year old Salva Sanchez’ realistic feelings of abandonment, anxiety and “new-kid”ness as her mom has abruptly left her and she lives at a campground with her divorced dad. Full of musical references and actual band practice dynamics, Sing It Like Celia will grab your heart and cha-cha-cha into your soul. Outstanding!

 (Juvenile realistic fiction, ages 9+) — Find more Staff Picks by Maureen

Other books available by Mónica:

SKU: 9780593521809a
Add name. Ex: Jane or Humphrey Family

SKU: 9781250852939a
Add name. Ex: Jane or Humphrey Family

SKU: 9780062962461a
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SKU: 9781728487779a
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