Hi! I’m Cindy L. Rodriguez, the author of the YA novel When Reason Breaks, (Bloomsbury 2015) and the essay “I’m a Survivor” from the anthology Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles (Simon Pulse 2018). I have also written the text for Volleyball Ace (2020), Drill Team Determination (2021), and Gymnastics Payback (2021), which are all part of the Jake Maddox series published by Capstone/Stone Arch Books. Before becoming a teacher in 2000, I was an award-winning reporter for The Hartford Courant and researcher for The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team. I have degrees from UConn and Central Connecticut State University and two teaching certifications. I am a U.S.-born Latina of Puerto Rican and Brazilian descent and a founder of Latinxs in Kid Lit, which has been celebrating children’s literature by/for/about Latinxs since 2013. I have presented at numerous local, state, and national literary festivals and conferences about reading, teaching, and children’s literature. I am currently a middle school reading specialist in Connecticut, where I live with my family. I’m a big fan of the three Cs: coffee, chocolate, and coconut.
I was born in Chicago and lived there for the first 12 years of my life. My family then moved to Connecticut, where I attended Bethel High School and graduated in 1988 from Crosby High School in Waterbury. In 1993, I graduated from UConn with a degree in journalism and English. In 2007, I completed my master’s degree in English at CCSU.
While at UConn, I worked long days at The Daily Campus, the student-run newspaper. There, I met some of my best friends and fell in love with journalism. After graduating from UConn, I worked as a reporter at The Hartford Courant for a total of five years and as a researcher for The Boston Globe for two years.
In 2000, I took a leap of faith and left journalism to become a teacher. After completing the state’s Alternate Route to Certification, I was hired to teach 8th grade language arts at Portland (CT) Middle School. After three years, I left Portland and took a one-year leave from teaching to work on my master’s degree full-time.
After my year of graduate work, I returned to teaching. I was hired by the West Hartford school district to teach 7th grade language arts at King Philip Middle School.
Six years later, and after earning a second certification through another alternate route program run by Albertus Magnus College, I moved to Hall High School to be the reading teacher/specialist. I have since moved back to middle school (Sedgwick) as a literacy specialist.
I am also a founder of Latinxs in Kid Lit, which has been celebrating children’s literature by/for/about Latinxs since 2013. I have presented at numerous local, state, and national literary festivals and conferences about reading, teaching, and children’s literature.
When Reason Breaks is my first novel. I also have an essay titled “I’m a Survivor” in the anthology Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles (Simon Pulse 2018). My essay about depression in the Latinx community was noted as a stand-out in the anthology’s Kirkus review. Most recently, I wrote the text for Volleyball Ace, Drill Team Determination, and Gymnastics Payback, all part of the Jake Maddox series published by Capstone/Stone Arch Books. In 2022, The Doomed Search for the Lost City of Z, a graphic novel from Capstone, will be released, along with my picture book debut from Cardinal Rule Press.