Texas Tech University

René Saldaña, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Curriculum and Instruction

Email: rene.saldana@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-283-7080 (cell)

Office: Education 325

Dr. René Saldaña, Jr., is the author of several books for children and young adults, among them The Jumping TreeThe Whole Sky Full of Stars, the bilingual Mickey Rangel mystery series, and the bilingual picture book Dale, Dale, DaleUna fiesta de números/Hit It, Hit It, Hit ItA Fiesta of Numbers. He is an associate professor who teaches in the Language, Diversity, and Literacy Studies. He currently also serves as the Program Coordinator for the LDLS program. His research looks at the use of culturally relevant literature in the largely underrepresented classrooms as a way to improve children's reading abilities. He is also conducting research on children’s literacy success through the use of the weeklong, uninterrupted read-aloud model, a model he and a colleague, Dr. Ana Torres, have developed.

Rene Saldana


  • Ph.D. in English and Creative Writing, Georgia State University
  • M.A. in English, Clemson University
  • B.A. in English, Bob Jones University

Areas of Expertise

  • Culturally Relevant Literature
  • Creative Writing for the Classroom Teacher
  • The Weeklong Uninterrupted Read-Aloud
  • Children’s and YA Literature

Selected Publications

A Mystery Bigger than Big: A Mickey Rangel Mystery. Houston TX: Arte Público/Piñata Books, 2016.

Heartbeat of the Soul of the World: Stories. Donna TX: Juventud Press, 2015.

A Good Long Way. Houston TX: Arte  Público P/Piñata Books, 2010.

The Jumping Tree. New York: Random House/Delacorte, 2001.

“Why Not Hugs and Tugs Instead of Thugs? People of Color Interacting Positively in Picture Books.” Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature. (In-Press).

“Forgive Me My Bluntness: I’m a Writer of Color and I’m Right Here In Front of You: I’m the One Sitting Alone at the Table.” http://latinosinkidlit.com/2014/09/08/forgive-me-my-bluntness-im-a-writer-of-color-and-im-right-here-in-front-of-you-im-the-one-sitting-alone-at-the-table/comment-page-1/#comment-2076. September 08, 2014.

“Mexican American YA Lit: Literature with a Capital ‘L.’” The ALAN Review: 39.2. Winter 2012.

“The Case of the Missing Mexican American Detective Stories: Mystery Solved?” The ALAN Review: 39.1. Fall 2011.

“Mestizaje: Forging Identity Through Hybridity.” A chapter in Young Adult Literature and Adolescent Identity Across Cultures and Classrooms: Contexts for the Literary Lives of Teens, edited by Janet Alsup. Routledge. 2010.