Alda P. Dobbs is the author of the novel Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna. She was born in a small town in northern Mexico but moved to San Antonio, Texas and raised on the Southside as a child. Alda studied physics and worked as an engineer before pursuing her love of storytelling. She’s as passionate about connecting children to their past, their communities, different cultures and nature as she is about writing. Alda lives with her husband and two children outside Houston, Texas.
When Alda Dobbs was a young girl, her great-grandmother, Juanita Martinez, told her stories of the Mexican Revolution. When Juanita was 9 years old, she fled the fighting and destruction of the revolution, and the danger of the Federales, and crossed the harsh desert by foot to reach the border town of Piedras Negras, along with her father, two younger siblings, and two cousins. At the border, their entry into the US was denied along with thousands of other refugees. Finally, with the Federales bearing down, the gates opened and Janita and her family were allowed entry.
Alda never forgot that story, and while contemplating writing an article about it, she embarked on a research journey, reading through dozens of books on the Mexican Revolution and US-Mexican migration. She sorted through four major Texas newspapers beginning with the year 1910, and finally after months of searching she found an article that told the same story as her grandmother. The event occurred in the early afternoon of October 6, 1913, and it was exactly as her great-grandmother told it. It was then that she decided to write a novel inspired by her great-grandmother's story.
Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna (On-Sale September 14) is a tale of one family’s perilous journey to cross the U.S. border during the Mexican Revolution that is every bit as relevant and heartbreaking today. It is 1913. Petra Luna's mother has died, and her father has been dragged away by soldiers. She vowed to her father that she would care for the family - her grandmother, little sister, and baby brother.
They flee north, through the harsh desert, attempting to find safe harbor. And each night, exhausted, Petra thinks about her dreams, especially her long- held desire to learn to read and write, something her abuelita calls barefoot dreams - which are ‘not meant to go far.’ Petra refuses to let go of that dream. And through war, hunger, and danger, she stops at nothing to keep her family safe.
Come and celebrate the release of Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna by attending the launch at The Twig Book Shop on Saturday, September 18th from 6:30pm - 8:30pm.