TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- For 44 years we knew her as Maria on "Sesame Street."
Actress and author Sonia Manzano is continuing to reach out children with her new book "Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx." She will be appearing in two panels at the Tucson Festival of Books.
Manzano was one of the first leading Latina women on TV.
"I watched a lot of television as a kid, and never saw any Latinos," Manzano said. "Or never really any people of color in those days."
Manzano's memoir details her journey to "Sesame Street." She says she dealt with a very tumultuous home life, domestic violence, and often felt invisible.
"I grew up in an era where you never answered a kids question," Manzano said. "You were supposed to learn by osmosis."
"The lives of children really fascinates me, their wellbeing," Manzano said. "I'm always very interested in their wellbeing."
Manzano will speaking at the Student Union at 11:30 a.m., and at the Pima County Library stage at 2:30.