The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome, Monica Brown!

Monica Brown on Sharuko: El arqueólogo peruano Julio C. Tello/Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

In this post, we welcome Monica Brown, the author of over 20 acclaimed picture books, including the Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor-winning Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match, as well as the Lola Levine and Sarai chapter-book series. You can hear her speak about the inspiration for her new title, Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello, and try her fun “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!


Author Monica Brown and the cover of her book Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

Sharuko: El arqueólogo peruano Julio C. Tello/Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

  • Written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri
  • Published by Lee & Low Books
  • Release date: June 23, 2020

Growing up in the late 1800s, Julio Tello, an Indigenous boy, explored the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Nothing scared Julio, not even the ancient human skulls he found. His boyhood nickname was Sharuko, which means “brave” in Quechua, the language of the Native people of Peru. Over his lifetime, Julio Tello made many revolutionary discoveries at archaeological sites around Peru. He fostered pride in his country’s Indigenous ancestry, making him a hero to all Peruvians. Because of Sharuko, people around the world today know of Peru’s long history and its living cultural legacy.

Interior image showing archeologist Julio C. Tello as a young boy, from Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello.
Interior image showing scenes from ancient Peruvian history from Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

Explore Sharuko: El arqueólogo peruano Julio C. Tello/Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

Listen to Monica Brown talking with TeachingBooks about creating Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.


Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Monica Brown.

Imagination Activity with Monica Brown

Julio C. Tello discovered the beautiful textiles of the Paracas people. A textile is a fabric created by weaving. A pattern is a repeated design. The Paracas textiles included faces, figures, and animals. Create a textile pattern representing your family and history. What do the colors and images represent?


Finish This Sentence . . . with Monica Brown

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Monica Brown’s responses.

“A surprising thing that helps me work is . . .”

A surprising thing that helps me work is going on walks!  When I get tired of looking at the same computer screen, I will usually print out a draft of what I’m working on and read it through one more time. Then, I’ll go on a walk and just think about it, surrounded by trees and nature. Sometimes, I ask my husband to come with me, and we talk about the project. All “work” doesn’t have to take place at a desk or alone!

“I hope my book will . . .”

I hope my book will encourage kids to discover and explore their own heritage and not be afraid of challenges! Be brave, like Sharuko.


More connections to Monica Brown and Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

Text and images are courtesy of Monica Brown, Elisa Chavarri, and Lee & Low Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.

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