Nicholasa Mohr was born in 1935 in New York, New York, after her
parents immigrated from Puerto Rico. Her father died when she was eight
years old, leaving her mother with seven children. In order to escape
the poverty that surrounded her, Mohr used her fantastic imagination to
express her feelings. Her artistic talents helped earn her much praise
in school and gave her the confidence which led to her success as an
After graduating from high school in 1953 she went to the Arts
Student's League, an art school located in New York. Here she discovered
the works of Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco which inspired her to
study Hispanic art and travel to Mexico City. After a year she returned
to the United States and attended the New School for Social Research.
Then in 1959 she went to Brooklyn Museum of Art School. Throughout her
studies Mohr was drawn to this type of art work because of its powerful
message about social change.
began to express herself using bold letters and symbols in her paintings.
She attempted to tell stories through these works. Eventually she
switched from painting to short stories. It took a few tries for a
publisher to offer her a contract, but when he did, she started writing
her first book, Nilda
. Many of Mohr's books are about characters
growing up in Hispanic neighborhoods in New York City, much like herself.
Today, Mohr has written thirteen books, primarily aimed towards young
adults, and has won numerous awards for her writing. She currently
resides in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, where she continues to
write. Her latest book, Untitled Nicholasa Mohr, was just
released in February of 1998 and is available in a local bookstore near