Writer and Speaker
Rod Martinez writes books geared toward middle school-aged children and young adults. He grew up reading Marvel comics and watching the Twilight Zone TV show.
Challenged by his son to write a story about him and his friends, “like the Goonies, but in Tampa,” his first novel, The Juniors, was published in 2011.
Rod is the recipient of the 2017 Jerry Spinelli Scholarship and the 2018 Professional Development for Artists Grant in Tampa and several BIPOC literary scholarships. He speaks at schools, conferences, and libraries promoting the love of the written word.
Grandma Luther King - While riding on a city bus with his African American grandmother, a young boy is intrigued by a building he sees outside the window. She shares an important story about her past he never expected to hear.
In that very building, during a civil rights protest long ago, many Black students organized a sit-in that changed how Black folk could eat in certain restaurants.
And his grandmother was one of those heroes.