Alba Walking in the Shadows. By Denis O'Leary. 978-1977532084. 6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper. 310 pages $23.95

Ladino Hispanic Memoir book, Hispanic literature book, Latino literature book, Mexican Mixteco American biography

A newborn baby is found dead in a California strawberry field. The tragedy brings dismay in the community and surprisingly a phone call from the Sheriff’s Department to a sixth-grade school teacher asking for help to decipher the mystery of such inexplicable demise. Based on a true story, the school teacher, author Denis O’Leary, tells how he dived into the search for the perpetrator and the meaning of what caused the newborn to be left to die in the mud. He narrates the riveting story of Alba Walking in the Shadows as well as the response and inner workings of the Mixteco indigenous community in the United States. With the help of an elder Unitarian Minister, a homeless journalist, and a group of retired Catholic Nuns, O’Leary navigates through issues of social taboos and legal justice in the case of Alba, and later of a second Mixteco mother charged with the death of her infant son. The rollercoaster events, relationships, and legal system maneuvers unfolded to surprising conclusions in the California Central Coast. Prejudices, perceptions, truths, and lies all come together in the events that followed the Mixteco women charged in the killing of their babies; lives lost, one freed, and future lives saved. 


Denis O’Leary is an elementary school teacher in Oxnard, California. His teaching career of 28 years has paralleled his advocacy for Latino students and their families. Having studied in Chile, South America, and taught migrant students, Denis became an advocate and spokesperson for many in the Latino community. Denis took leadership roles in organizations such as the California Association for Bilingual Education, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the United Farm Workers. In 2003, he became a School Board Trustee of the Oxnard School District, which serves 18,000 elementary school students. Denis has worked to better represent Latino families in their efforts to improve the lives of their next generation. Today, Denis O’Leary often receives calls for help from organizations, law enforcement and foreign governments to assist in issues of education and human rights.