Eight years old Brazilian author is invited by the UN to talk about his books

Autor brasileño de ocho años es invitado por la ONU para hablar sobre sus libros

At the age of eight João Paulo Guerra Barrera drew the attention of the UN (United Nations) due to the content of his last two bilingual books: “In the World of the Moon and the Planets” (No Mundo da Lua e dos Planetas) (2016) and “Living in Space” (Morando no Espaço) (2018). Both publications bring a children’s narrative on sustainability and care for the planet, themes that are part of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development of the UN and the universe of João.

The second book of the author was published by Trilha Educacional Editora, which is part of the Brazilian Publishers, a project to foster exports of Brazilian editorial content through a partnership between Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).

The meeting with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, took place in New York on July 11th. João spoke about sustainability tips and caring for the planet that are part of the story of his books. The author received a pin with the 17 colors representing each of the objectives of the organization’s Agenda 2030 action plan, such as Responsible Consumption and Production, Responsible Cities and Communities, Global Climate Change, Land Life, Water Life, among others.

“Why UN website doesn’t have Portuguese?”

After the invitation to visit the UN headquarters in New York and talk to Jayathma, João visited the organization’s website and realized that it did not have a Portuguese version. With this in mind, the child decided to write a letter by hand asking for Portuguese to be included as an official UN language and delivered it during the meeting.

Currently, the organization has six official languages: Arab, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. Portuguese is the 4th most spoken language in the world, with 261 million speakers in nine countries: Brazil, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Principe and Timor-Leste.


“In the World of the Moon and the Planets” tells the story of three children – Mike, Maria and Toreno – who make a trip to the Moon on a rocket made of recycled material. The publication inspired João to create an electronic game with the story, which gave him the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest award in the Literary Merit category for the author. About six thousand students participated in the contest.

After the trip to the Moon, Mike, Maria and Toreno decide to visit the planets again in the second book “Living in Space”. “Everything I wrote came out of my head. I like the space and of taking care of the planet. When I was four, Santa Claus gave me a telescope and I used to keep looking at the sky. Once, I think I saw Mars with my own eyes”, said João.

According to Margarida Guerra Barrera, mother of the young writer, the idea of writing was born of his will of making a movie. “He once told me that he wanted to make a movie and I explained that the stories come before the movies. With that, he decided to write the first book, we realized that the story was well built and we decided to publish. The book was launched at the São Paulo International Book Fair in 2016. At this year’s edition, João participates in the Book Fair at the “Living in Space” stand.

João’s third book “Adventures in Space” is programmed for launching in the second half of 2018. The theme is so important to the young writer that he already knows what he wants to put in the next publication. “Did you know that Neptune and Uranus loose diamonds when it’s too hot there? I think that there are many diamonds there. I think I will put this in my fourth book. Now I’m going to play, okay?”, he said.

About Brazilian Publishers

Created in 2008, Brazilian Publishers is a project to foster exports of Brazilian editorial content promoted by the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). The purpose is to promote Brazil’s publishing industry in the global market in a targeted and articulated manner, contributing to the professionalization of publishing houses.