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“The Fall of Innocence,” the most recent young adult novel by Jenny Torres Sanchez ’00, has been awarded a Kirkus Star. Books that receive a Star from Kirkus Review are then eligible for one of the richest literary awards in the world, the Kirkus Prize. 2018 finalists will be announced on September 25 and the winners of each category (Fiction, Nonfiction and Young Readers’ Literature) will be announced October 25.

Sanchez graduated from the UCF College of Arts and Humanities with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and launched her writing career while teaching high school English.

“When I was a student at UCF I thought I had to be very independent, but UCF is a place that fosters teamwork and communication with the professors,” Sanchez says of her time at UCF. “Professor Kevin Meehan’s course on Ethnic Literature opened my eyes in a way that other literature had not at the point in my life.”

Since becoming a full-time author, she has published four novels: “The Downside of Being Charlie” (2012), “Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia” (2013), “Because of the Sun” (2017) and “The Fall of Innocence” (2018). In 2017, “Because of the Sun” won the Gold Medal Florida Book Award for Young Adult Literature.

Her advice to UCF students and aspiring writers? “Know that you belong there. Follow that passion. I am glad what I studied was literature because that opened the door to so many things. I couldn’t see where I would end up at the time but I followed that passion.”

Sanchez will be publishing two more novels in the near future, “Untitled” and “By the Water.”

 

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