LOS ANGELES (KION) Courageous Camila tells the story of a Latina who's learning to tap into her inner warrior. Camila lives in a multicultural city where she's surrounded by exciting activities. She decided to pick-up martial arts, but like any new adventure, it comes with feelings. This book is meant to encourage young children to take the leap and try new things, conquering the fears along the way.
Co-writer Giselle Carrillo is an East LA native who discovered her love for sports in her mid-20’s when she found the courage to learn how to surf, skate and even fight in jiu-jitsu. Her personal story inspired the book’s narrative of a young girl's journey.
"Often I'm the only girl or girl of color. And so [the publisher] kind of came to me with the idea," Carrillos said. "But I had dreamt about writing a book forever because growing up, I read a lot, but there was never really a book with a little girl that reflected who I was or what I was curious about.”
According to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, in 2019-2020 of all D1 female athletes, only 5.6% were Hispanic/Latina, 2.2% Asian, 0.04% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.04% American Indian or Alaskan Native.
She started a Kickstarter fundraiser to raise money to publish the book with the help of co-author Naibe Reynoso who also founded Con Todo Press in 2018. Reynoso’s first book was “Be Bold, Be Brave” highlighting Latina historical figures that made an impact in the U.S.
The children’s book publishing company is based in Los Angeles and wants to bridge the gap between communities of color and media. Not only do they offer free coloring pages and activities on their website, but Reynoso is coaching authors to help them navigate the process of publishing their own book.