On October 16, 2016 nationally acclaimed Bolivian author Gaby Vallejo presented her newest publication: Chiquita, La Vida no es Fácil, which she dedicated to SIT alum Leah Davis, who had impacted her greatly in Fall 2010 when she wrote her SIT children’s book about the experience of an Afro-Bolivian protagonist.
When reading her book aloud to an audience of Bolivian children, Leah was moved to tears by the emotion of her first book reading and could not make it to the end of her story. Gaby Vallejo stepped in and completed the reading for her. After this shared experience, Gaby decided to dedicate her most recent book to Leah. That moment contributed to Leah’s book transcending the Kids’ Books Bolivia project, and becoming part of the larger circle of children’s literature in Bolivia and Latin America, having also been recognized by distinguished author and academic, Liliana de la Quintana de Ovando, on October 7, 2016, at the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) South American Conference. Liliana presented her research portraying the spectrum of African-American children’s literature in Latin America, and included Until the Mirror Smiled Back at Me, by Leah Davis (SIT Bolivia Fall 2010).