This marks the fifth year of the International Book Discussion between the Oxford School of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico and St. Matthew’s Episcopal School of Edinburg. The Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley have once again partnered to bring the Festival of International Books & Arts (FESTIBA) to our community.


Thanks to the South Texas Literacy Coalition, educators and the participating students received a free book to read and discuss throughout the months of January and February. The STLC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing literacy throughout the South Texas region.


Students from Oxford School in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon will also be participating in this year’s group discussion that includes fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students.


This year’s chosen title is “Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel”– A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller by Xavier Garza. The students will conduct a series of online book discussions directed by their teachers. These online discussions will culminate on Thursday, March 3, when the participating school children and educators meet face-to-face at the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library.


Library staff and educators involved have planned fun and educational activities pertaining to the book including a Skype interview with the author in an effort to maximize the children’s literary and cultural exchange experience.


FESTIBA’s theme this year is “Nuestras Raices / Our Roots.” Letty Leija, Director of the Library and Cultural Arts says it fits perfectly with the International Book Discussion as these students on both sides of the border are brought together by the most fundamental subject– the love of reading.


FESTIBA is a seven day event that kicks off on February 29th and runs through March 6th , 2016 at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg with the Community Festival being on March 4th at the Edinburg City Hall Courtyard.