Kids' Books to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

Salazar, Aida

Jovita didn't want to cook and clean like her sisters, and she especially didn't want to wear the skirts her abuela gave her. She wanted to race her brothers and climb the tallest mesquite trees in Rancho Palos Blancos, ride horses, and wear pants! When her father and brothers joined the Cristeros War to fight for the right to practice religion, she wanted to help. She wasn't allowed to fight, but that didn't stop her from observing how her father strategized and familiarizing herself with the terrain. When tragedy struck, she did the only thing that felt right to her -- cut her hair, donned a pair of pants, and continued the fight, commanding a battalion who followed her without question. Jovita Wore Pants is the story of a trailblazing revolutionary who fought for her freedom, told by her great niece, bestselling author Aida Salazar, and illustrated by Molly Mendoza.

Alessandri, Alexandra

To save their father's life, a brother and sister must journey across a land full of magical beings from Colombian folklore and find the most powerful and dangerous of them all--the Madremonte.

Balcárcel, Rebecca

Eleven-year-old injured soccer player Luz has a hard enough time reframing her identity as a computer programmer, but when her Guatemalan half-sister moves in, she learns what it truly means to start over. Includes author's note.

Cisneros, Ernesto

Best friends Isaac and Marco face various challenges in sixth grade, such as Isaac getting better grades, Marco winning a spot on the basketball team, and both seeing their efforts make a change in their respective family lives. They hope their friendship and support for one another will be enough to help them from falling short.

Cuevas, Adrianna

A contemporary fantasy from Adrianna Cuevas―author of the Pura Belpré Honor Book The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez―about a Cuban American boy who's sent to work on a ranch as punishment for a school prank gone wrong, where's he's confronted with a mystery as inexplicable as it is familiar and discovers that uncovering secrets will lead to learning hard truths about himself, told with Adrianna's signature self-deprecating humor.

De León, Aya

Fourteen-year-old Andrea Hernandez-Baldoquin hails from a family of spies working for the factory, an international organization dedicated to protecting people of color. Andrea has dreamed about getting her first solo mission, but she never imagined that she would have to straighten her hair and go undercover as a white girl to befriend the estranged son of a dangerous white supremacist. In order to gain the boy's trust, Andrea finds herself doing a deep dive into the world of comic books and fantasy gaming, all while trying to keep her true identity a secret from her targets adorable Latino best friend. Can Andrea keep her head, her geek cred, and her code-switching on track to trap a terrorist?

Denise, Anika

From the author of MONSTER TRUCK and STARRING CARMEN comes a gorgeous and lyrical story about Pura Belpré, a Puerto Rican librarian who changed the world.

Díaz, Junot

When she has to draw a picture of where she immigrated from, Lola asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland.

Dobbs, Alda P.

Based on a true story, the tale of one girl's perilous journey to cross the U.S. border and lead her family to safety during the Mexican Revolution.

Engle, Margarita

Looks at the life and accomplishments of Teresa Carreño, one of the most famous pianist who, by age nine, performed for President Abraham Lincoln at the White House.

Fajardo, Kat

Sue just wants to spend the summer reading and making comics at sleepaway camp with her friends, but instead she gets stuck going to Honduras to visit relatives with her parents and two sisters. They live way out in the country, which means no texting, no cable, and no Internet! The trip takes a turn for the worse when Sue's mother announces that they'll be having a surprise quinceąera for Sue, which is the last thing she wants. She can't imagine wearing a big, floofy, colorful dress! What is Sue going to do? And how will she survive all this "quality" time with her rambunctious family?

Gonzalez, Christina Diaz

Can five overlooked kids make one big difference? There's George: the brain Sara: the loner Dayara: the tough kid Nico: the rich kid And Miguel: the athlete And they're stuck together when they're forced to complete their school's community service hours. Although they're sure they have nothing in common with one another, some people see them as all the same... just five Spanish-speaking kids. Then they meet someone who truly needs their help, and they must decide whether they are each willing to expose their own secrets to help... or if remaining invisible is the only way to survive middle school.

Gonzalez, Xelena

Finding circles everywhere, a grandfather and his granddaughter meditate on the cycles of life and nature.

González, Xelena

Three girls follow their grandmother into her garden, where they examine her collection of rocks, crystals, shells, and meteorites and learn about the marvels they reveal.

Hernandez, Carlos Alberto Pablo

In order to heal after his mother's death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things--and people--from other universes.

Higuera, Donna Barba

A girl named Petra Pena, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children - among them Petra and her family - have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet - and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard - or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

Katona, Alexandra

Warm memories wash over a first-generation Latinx American girl as she experiences a typical Sunday night dinner at her Abuelita's house. As Alejandra thinks about all the good times her family has had there, she decides that she wants to be brave and try speaking Spanish with Abuelita so that they can deepen their bond.

Kyle, Tracey, author.

Pepe, who is Mexican American, enjoys participating in a festival celebrating his heritage and that of his family and friends, who are from Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and many other countries. Includes author's note about Hispanic American History month and the difference between the terms Hispanic and Latino.

López, Diana, author.

Fifth grader Luna Ramos has a great many cousins, mostly on her father's side, but one of them, Claudia, is a source of constant annoyance; their current feud begins when Luna is punished for locking Claudia in the restroom at another cousin's quinceanera, but when there's a bullying situation at school, Luna realizes that, despite their disagreements, cousins have to stand up for each other.

Lopez, George

Uprooted from his home in Los Angeles and sent to live with his cantankerous grandparents in New Mexico, twelve-year-old Jorge struggles with loneliness until he meets a new friend who happens to be a chupacabra.

Ortega, Claribel A.

Marlene loves three things: art, her cool tía Ruby and hanging out with her best friend Camilla. But according to her mother, Paola, the only thing she needs to focus on is school and growing up. That means straightening her hair every weekend so she can have "presentable," "good" hair. But Marlene hates being in the salon and doesn't understand why her curls are not considered pretty by those around her. With a few hiccups, a dash of embarrassment, and the much-needed help of Camilla and Tía Ruby--she slowly starts a journey to learn to appreciate and proudly wear her curly hair.

Ortega, Mirelle

Growing up on a pineapple farm in Mexico, a young girl discovers the magic in everyday transformations that take place around her.

Otheguy, Emma

Sofía Acosta, a fifth grader trying to fit into her ballet-obsessed Cuban American family and her affluent suburban New York community, learns to speak up for herself and others when she mistakenly reveals a visiting dancer's plan to defect to the United States.

Parra, John, author, illustrator.

Today Juanito is accompanying his father who is in the landscaping business, and he takes his sketchbook along to draw anything that catches his eye, and gets to help his father plan an entire garden--and then help plant it. Includes an autobiographical note.

Pérez, Celia C.

Before she decides whether to accept her stepfather's proposal of adoption, twelve-year-old Adela Ramírez reaches out to her estranged biological father--who is in the midst of a career comeback as a luchador--and the eccentric extended family of wrestlers she has never met, bringing Adela closer to understanding the expansive definition of family.

Ramos, NoNieqa

Beauty, who is of Taino Indian, African, and Boricua heritage, was taught to be strong and proud, but hatred toward people who look like her bruises her heart until her community opens her eyes to the truth.

Reynoso-Morris, Alyssa

A young girl learns the cultural significance of plantains while cooking alongside her abuela.

Rodriguez, Cindy L.

Beto won't wear a guayabera to the wedding. Nope! Nunca! Not going to happen! Beto tries his best to rid himself of the traditional Mexican wedding shirt his Mami gave him. He even gets help from his dog Lupe, but the shirt ends up back on his bed each time with notes from Mami, who becomes increasingly frustrated with Beto. Mami insists that Beto attend the wedding, and wear the shirt, because--after all--it's her wedding! Beto has to accept the fact that Mami is getting remarried and that she wants him to wear the shirt, which is part of his heritage.

Ryan, Pam Muñoz

On the eve of her Quinceañera, Princess Solimar discovers that it will take more than magic to save her kingdom and prevent the destruction of the Monarch butterfly.

Torres, Jennifer

Eight-year-old Catalina Castañeda uses Tía Abuela's sewing kit to turn ordinary clothing into a magical disguise, enabling her to uncover a thief at the local library.

Books in Spanish/Libros en español

Acevedo, Desirée

Vega y sus lápices de colores eran inseparables. Juntos creaban los dibujos más impresionantes que luego colgaban en el mejor museo del mundo: la nevera de casa. Sus pinturas contenían todos los colores que os podáis imaginar: rojo, amarillo, azul, dorado... En el colegio, Vega estaba sumergida en una de sus nuevas creaciones cuando su amigo Álex se acercó a ella y, mirando la caja de colores que tenía Vega, le preguntó: ¿Me dejas el color carne? ¿El color carne? Vega y Álex se preguntaron por qué en la caja de lápices de colores hay uno que se llama así. Con curiosidad y creatividad explorarán la diversidad de tonos de piel de personas que forman parte de su día a día y descubrirán que el "color carne" puede tener mil tonalidades y no solo una.

Brown, Monica

The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and she is also renowned for her works celebrating the female form. Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets--two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn--and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal. 

El Hematocrítico

Roberto es un niño de quinto de Primaria con la habilidad de pegar unos balonazos increíbles, y por eso, precisamente, es por lo que le han castigado sin fútbol en el recreo el resto de la semana. Ya pensaba que iba a pasar unos descansos aburridísmos, cuando fue invitado a formar parte de un grupo de niños tan especiales como él. Su historia será una de las sorprendentes... Leyendas del Recreo.

Engle, Margarita

De niña, a Teresa Carreño le encantaba dejar que sus manos bailaran a lo largo de las hermosas teclas del piano. Si se sentía triste, la música le levantaba el ánimo y, cuando estaba feliz, el piano la ayudaba a compartir esa alegría. Pronto comenzó a escribir sus propias canciones y a tocar en grandes catedrales. Entonces, una revolución en Venezuela hizo que su familia tuviera que huir a Estados Unidos. Teresa se sentía sola en este sitio desconocido en el que muy poca de la gente a quien conocía hablaba español. Y lo peor es que también había una guerra en su nuevo hogar: la Guerra Civil. Aun así, Teresa siguió tocando y pronto adquirió fama de ser la talentosa niña del piano que podía tocar cualquier cosa, desde una canción folclórica hasta una sonata. Era tan famosa, de hecho, ¡que el presidente Abraham Lincoln quiso que fuera a tocar a la Casa Blanca! Sin embargo, con el país dividido por la guerra, ¿podría la música de Teresa traer consuelo a quienes más lo necesitaban?

Fajardo, Kat

Sue solo quiere pasar el verano leyendo y haciendo cómics en el campamento con sus amigos, pero en lugar de eso se embarca con sus padres y sus dos hermanas en un viaje a Honduras a visitar a la familia, que vive en medio del campo, ¡así que no podrá mandar mensajes y no tendrá cable ni internet! Las cosas empeoran cuando la mamá de Sue anuncia que le harán una quinceañera sorpresa a la chica, aunque esto es lo último que ella desearía. ¡No se imagina vistiendo un vestido enorme, abultado y colorido! ¿Qué podrá hacer? ¿Cómo sobrevivirá todo este tiempo con sus revoltosos familiares?

González, Saraí

When Sarai's best friend suddenly moves away, Sarai has to navigate school- and the unfriendly girls in the cafeteria--all by herself. Then new girl Christina moves to town and the teacher volunteers Sarai to show her around. But Sarai thinks Christina is not at all like her-- she never wants to play at recess, she's always got her head in a notebook, and she's so shy! But when Christina writes Sarai a spoken-word poem for her to recite at the class talent show, Sarai learns that sometimes winning teams are made from unlikely pairs!

Gonzalez, Xelena

Abuelo y nieta meditan sobre jardines y semillas, sobre círculos visibles e invisibles, mientras participan y crean tradiciones familiares en esta hermosa exploración de los ciclos de la vida y naturaleza. La versión en inglés ganó el premio Pura Belpre Honor por Illustración en el 2018.

Mañas, Pedro

Rosko ha cometido un terrible error: por medio de un hechizo, ha convertido a las Princesas Dragón en unas princesas como las de los cuentos: cursis, aburridas... y un poquito tontas. ¿Cómo logrará solucionarlo?

Montes, Bárbara

The very same day Amanda Black turns thirteen, she receives a mysterious letter that will change her life. And in such a way. After living in squalor, she and her aunt Paula now move to a colossal and labyrinthine manor that has been in the Black family for generations. On top of that, Amanda's body begins to manifest unsuspected abilities, and she learns she must take over a gripping, secret, and dangerous family legacy, for which she must immediately begin her training. Will Amanda live up to what is expected of her? To what her parents and every other Black before them fought to immortalize and protect?

Salazar, Aida

La vida de Celi Rivera es un torbellino de preguntas... por los cambios en su cuerpo, por sentirse atraída por un chico por primera vez y por la exploración que hace su mejor amiga de lo que significa ser género fluido. Pero, sobre todo, por la insistencia de su madre en hacerle una ceremonia lunar cuando le llegue su primer periodo. Se trata de un ancestral ritual mexica que Mima y su comunidad han rescatado, pero Celi se promete a sí misma que NO participará en él. ¿Encontrará dentro de sí la fortaleza necesaria para defender quién quiere ser?

Sandoval, Jaime Alfonso

Due to a terrible mix-up, Dino Duarte is sent to Camp Amors, a mandatory militarized area for scumbags and sleaze balls, a place to re-educate rebellious children, and where two strange directors, Doris and Vera, are in charge. Everything is horrible and mysterious in that camp. There are disappearances, a strange creature that surrounds the cabin, a secret hatch under the pool, and the phones don't work; none of them have a working line. What is that place? What are the two directors' intensions with the campers? Dino, along with his friends Rina and Edi, will discover a chilling secret inside Camp Fear. In that place, nothing is as it seems.

Santamaría, Jara

Cuenta la leyenda que, en el valle del Baztán, los dioses y las criaturas del día y de la noche convivían en armonía. Pero Gaueko, el temible dios de la noche, empezó a atemorizar a los humanos con su séquito de lobos y la diosa de la tierra. Mari, engendró la Luna y el Sol para protegerlos de la oscuridad. Sin embargo, las ansias de poder de Gaueko le llevaron a tramar un plan para raptar al Sol y así instaurar su reinado de las sombras. Presa de la ira, Mari dividió el mundo en dos y ya nada ni nadie pudo cruzar esa frontera. Teo, Emma y Ada no se gustan nada, pero son primos y las circunstancias han querido que pasen el verano juntos en el caserío navarro de su abuela. Cuando uno de ellos desaparece y los demás salen en su búsqueda, descubren un universo de brujos y dioses, de gigantes irascibles y bellas mujeres con garras de ave rapaz en el que el temible dios Gaueko ha impuesto la oscuridad.

Vourvoulias, Sabrina

Nuestra América resalta las historias inspiradoras de treinta latinas y latinos a lo largo de la historia y sus muchas contribuciones al carácter cultural, social y político de los Estados Unidos.

Zela, Richard

Hoy es el Día de los Muertos, una de las fiestas favoritas de Norita. Pero esta vez no: alguien mordió a su abuelo y la convirtió en una muerta viviente con apetitos muy curiosos. En medio de una ciudad en medio de un apocalipsis zombie, Norita y su abuelo aprovechan las circunstancias para emprender un viaje al cementerio con la ayuda de un carrito de tamales, esperando ver por última vez a sus seres queridos, quienes han vuelto de nuevo. ... ¿a la vida?

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.

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