About Karla Valenti

I am the author of the bestselling and highly-acclaimed middle grade novel, LOTERIA, as well as numerous picture books, chapter books, and other middle grade novels.

My storytelling is seeded in Mexican culture and lore, and often deals in explorations of philosophical and identity-based themes (inspiring the mind) while also taking readers on riveting magical realist adventures (inspiring the heart).

I currently live in the Chicagoland area with my husband, three kids, and hundreds of books.

Agent is Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Resources for Writers

Thanks for stopping by! I have a lot of great stuff on my site. Use the Menu above or check out the links below to find what you’re looking for:


LoteríaMagical realism adventure set in Oaxaca City, Mexico featuring Life and Death playing a high-stakes game of Lotería, while a girl’s life hangs in the balance. This book also delves into themes of fate vs free will. Great for ELA curriculum in 4-7 grade. Includes in-depth educator resources.

Hispanic Stars – Selena Gomez – Illustrated biography of this iconic Latine hero. Written in collaboration with Claudia Romo Edelman as part of the Hispanic Stars biography series, featuring groundbreaking Hispanic and Latinx heroes who have made remarkable contributions to American culture and have been undeniable forces in shaping its future. Also available in Spanish.

Esperanza Caramelo – Beautifully illustrated picture book set in a bakery one quiet Christmas eve when the Nochebuena moonlight shines  upon a long-forgotten sugar figure. Esperanza opens her eyes and soon begins to fill the bakery with a very special kind of magic. Also available in Spanish. Includes art activities and educational guides.

Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence –  Fictional biography inspired by the life of Marie Curie. Combining elements of super hero storytelling, this book portrays Marie Curie as the hero she truly was, flexing her power of persistence to overcome much opposition in her personal and professional life (aptly represented her evil nemesis, Mr. Opposition). A great way to introduce young readers to this remarkable scientist and help children identify and develop their own skills of persistence. Resources include 40-page experiment guide and activity kit.

Alan Turing and the Power of Curiosity – Fictional biography inspired by the life of Alan Turing. In this Super Science Hero book, Alan uses his power of curiosity to face off against his nemesis, the elusive Miss Enigma, and in the process solve important questions of his time (laying the groundwork for artificial intelligence). A great way to introduce young readers to this remarkable scientist and also explore SEL (helping children identify and develop their own skills of persistence). Resources include 40-page experiment guide and activity kit.

Writing Course

I offer a Master Course on Picture Book Writing and Editing. The course is an intensive, self-guided workshops designed to guide you through eight core principles. Each session includes extensive written materials and worksheets to help you become a better writer.

The eight core principles are:

  1. Theme
  2. Story Structure (Plot-driven stories)
  3. Story Structure (Character-driven stories)
  4. World-building
  5. Character-building (Part 1: POV, Voice, Stakes, Agency)
  6. Character-building (Part 2: MRUs, Lies/Wants/Needs, Character Suffering)
  7. Showing vs. Telling
  8. Three Act Structures

School Visits and More

  1. I love doing school visits and offer an engaging and educational presentation that last 45 minutes (including time for Q&A).
  2. Want to read the first chapter of Loteria? Sign up for my newsletter.
  3. Want some sneak peeks at upcoming work or behind-the-scenes insights on what it’s like to be an author? Sign up for my newsletter.
  4. Want to learn more? Check out these interviews, webinars, awards, and generally fun events.