top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Levine Querido: Bringing Underrepresented Voices to Print

By Natalie Klinkenberg, Francesca Harnett, Chloë Marshall and Alice Fusai


Before Levine Querido (LQ) was founded in April 2019, founder Arthur A. Levine already had quite the name for himself in the publishing industry. He had been Editor in Chief at Knopf Books for Young Readers before becoming the Publisher and President of the eponymous Scholastic imprint, Arthur A. Levine. There, Levine worked for twenty-three years and was responsible for many award-winning and bestselling titles from authors like Markus Zusak, Daniella Carmi and Jaclyn Moriarty. His mission from the beginning of his career was to bring a high quality and diverse selection of “The Best of The World’s Literature for Young People,” and this is the very mission that brought Levine Querido to life.


 LQ’s team mission is to “give voice to a uniquely talented, exceptionally diverse group of authors and artists, to develop a real love of reading in young readers and offer a sense of their rightful place in the world.” (Levine Querdo) LQ aims to publish both artwork and writing from creators of historically marginalised backgrounds including POCs, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the Latinx community and more. As of 2023, 30% of the LQ’s list were Latinx creators from all over the world: Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the US. Their commitment to publishing underrepresented voices isn’t easy in today’s world of book bans and censorship in schools. Despite that, LQ’s team is still committed to their mission to help bring to life stories full of emotion and value about people’s challenges, love, families and triumphs.


Beyond their championing of Spanish reading texts, LQ is also well known for showcasing LGBTQIA+ stories, which have recently become the target of growing book bans across the U.S. As such, a group of authors banded together under the banner “Friends of Levine Querido” and raised almost $110,000 to support the publisher. One middle school favourite is The One Who Loves You the Most by Medina, which follows twelve-year-old Gabriela as they find their place in the world, struggling with their identity both in the body they were born in and within the all-white family that adopted them. The publisher offers a variety of LGBQTIA+ titles in each age category, from early-age picture books such as Jeanette Bradley’s Something Great and Young Adult novels like Sacha Lamb’s When the Angels Left the Old Country.


LQ is also well known for its wide selection of picture books that span all ages. Cat Min’s The Little Toymaker is beloved across generations, subverting the traditional idea of Father Christmas as a toymaker for children, and instead following the unique tale of a young boy who makes toys for children’s grandparents. Exploring joy, loss and empathy, The Little Toymaker reminds readers that it’s never too late to enjoy a good game and a bit of magic. Some of LQ’s other notable picture books include The First Day of May by Henrique Coser Moreira, Joyful Song by Lesléa Newman and Susan Gal, and Shy Willow by Cat Min.


In 2022, LQ launched their Spanish-language imprint, Ediciones Levine Querido, responding both to the demands of the market and to the team’s own expertise. With half of the staff being native Spanish speakers and identifying as Latinx, LQ is well-placed and highly motivated to respond to the ever-increasing demand for Spanish-language literature in the U.S, a demand which far outstrips current availability – especially in the southern states. It’s particularly encouraging to see such a receptive and reflective attitude on the interior level of a publishing house, as well as on the exterior, market-facing level. Irene Vázquez, Assistant Editor and Publicist, has underlined that LQ will be vigilant in choosing appropriate translators for each text, who are able to capture crucial linguistic nuances which reflect the diversity and cultural specificity of the Spanish language across the world. Ediciones LQ have published eleven titles to date, ranging from picture books to middle-grade and Young Adult, many of which are translations from their U.S.-based Latinx authors. Further than the diversification of the readership of LQ’s authors, the translation of these works can be invaluable on a personal level, as they are made accessible to the families of U.S.-based Latinx authors who may not always speak or read English.  Additionally, they can be used as educational resources in schools with English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms.


Some notable titles from Ediciones LQ include:


La formación de Yolanda la bruja (The Making of Yolanda La Bruja) by Lorraine Avila, translated by Mechi Annaís Estévez Cruz: A tale of spiritual coming-of-age in the face of latent violence which threatens to destroy a fragile yet powerful adolescence.

La Última Cuentista (The Last Cuentista) by Donna Barba Higuera, translated by Aurora Humará: A science-fiction tale about the necessity of storytelling when little else is left from the past.

Lo Que Le Contó El Jaguar (What the Jaguar Told Her) by Alexandra V. Méndez, translated by Ariadna Molinari: A story of cultural homecoming as solace amidst a present moment in turmoil.


With its focus on marginalised communities, and books spanning from fiction to picture books, Levine Querido definitely stands in that land of small but mighty independent publishing realities that do much more than produce text – they have a direct impact on the development of a certain readers’ taste, and even more importantly, on the spreading of fundamental ideas of diversity.


Being so, it is always important to support the work done by those who try to go against the main current. So, make sure not to miss the new releases by Levine Querido and follow their main social media pages.




bottom of page