It all started in a small barbershop in southern California. Rueben Martinez put a few books out so his customers had something to keep them occupied. He never dreamed it would turn into a new career and a national profile promoting literacy.
Today, he is trying to get young people to develop that same voracious appetite for reading that has always guided him. Setting up shop in poor Latino neighborhoods outside Los Angeles, he’s takes his message to schoolyards and into neighborhood homes. Now he’s being recognized with a MacArthur “genius grant.”
Rueben Martinez, MacArthur Award winner and owner of Libreria Martinez Books and Art Gallery in Santa Ana, California.