The Boy Made of Lightning

I voted yesterday and it never fails; whenever I’m about to press “Cast Ballot” I feel this sense of power. I feel a sense that in this democracy, I do matter. And when turnout is expected to be low, damn right, I feel a lot more powerful.

When I’m voting, various things go through my mind. Like all those who fought on battlegrounds, and especially in the streets, for my right to vote. Along with my parents who instilled in me a love for voting, one name that comes to mind is voting rights activist, the late Willie Velasquez, founder of the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project.

Velasquez is the subject of a children’s book based on his life and times, expected to be published on September 16, 2012. The interactive children’s book is by a collaboration of authors and artists led by novelist and journalist Barbara Renaud Gonzalez.

The boy made of lightning will be about 25 pages long.  It will include sound, photos, video, original music and local voices. A two-page glossary with links.

As our State Board of Education attempts to minimize the contributions of Latinos, it is becoming more and more important that we create a body of evidence that we existed in the making of Texas and America and that children everywhere be taught reality, rather than some fantasy. And Willie Velasquez’s life is one that should be taught as an example of what one can accomplish and how “one boy sets out to change the world.”


One day something happened that Willie would never forget.

It had rained again.  That morning, Willie decided he would discover what caused the flooding once and for all.

“Vamonos!”  He told Rudy.  “Adventure!”

The night before, the drums in his head wouldn’t stop.

Why?Where?What?When?   Why?Why?Why?

He just had to know where the flooding began.

His mother let him go.  Once Willie started on something there was no stopping him.  They took some tacos and a rope just in case they found something interesting to bring home.

Excerpt from The boy made of lightning@2012

Of course, the development of this E-book for Ipad doesn’t happen as easily without your support. Visit the website and make a small contribution toward making this book a reality.