9 Best Books For Hispanic Heritage Month Update 05/2022

National Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts on September 15 and ends on October 15, is a great time to focus on Latinx literature. These books can be used all year to talk about the Latinx experience. Our favorite books for kids in elementary and middle school are picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels. You can learn about things like immigration, discrimination and important people in Latinx history from them. One for teachers and another one for families are in each of the books below, and they both have two discussion guides.

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré (Ages 4-8)

When Pura Belpré came to the United States in 1921, she brought with her the folktales from her home in Puerto Rico. She found a new job as a bilingual assistant at the New York Public Library. She turned her popular retellings into books and spread story seeds all over the country. As Pura’s stories and legacy are passed down through the generations, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape. This is a picture book biography of a storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian who loved bilingual books. There is also a Spanish-language edition called “Sembrando historias: Pura Belpré: biblicaria y narradora de cuentos,” which you can buy. To get the discussion guides, click on the link.

Alma and How She Got Her Name (Ages 4-8)

It’s Alma Sofia and Esperanza. José Pura Candela doesn’t like how many names she has because she thinks they are too many. Everything changes when she learns where each one came from. This is what she learns about Pura. Pura was her great-aunt, and she thought that ancestors always looked out for us to keep us safe. José was her grandfather, an artist who had a lot of kids. She thinks about him a lot. Her other names that have been passed down from her parents and grandparents also become important. It turns out Alma will tell a story about her own name at some point. To get the discussion guides, click on the link.

Dreamers (Ages 4-8)

Beautiful pictures show a mother and child who learn about many new things, some good and some bad. In the book, there is a personal essay written by the author about how she and her two-month old son moved from Mexico to Texas. Soadors, which is written in Spanish, is also available. To get the discussion guides, click on the link.

Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx (Ages 4-8)

It was in 2009 that Sonia Sotomayor was elected to the Supreme Court. She is the Court’s first Latina Justice. This is how it works: It’s a bilingual book that talks about Sotomayor’s early years in the Bronx. Her childhood was simple and filled with love. She became the person she wanted to be because of her determination, bravery, and desire to do the right thing. To get the discussion guides, click on the link.

Mango, Abuela and Me (Ages 5-8)

First, when Abuela moves in with Mia and her family, they can’t talk to each other. Each person needs to learn the other’s language to be able to talk to each other. People learn English and Spanish while they cook together. Mia teaches her grandmother some English and she learns some Spanish. In the pet store one day, Mia sees a parrot in the window. She comes up with a great idea: the bird can help them all communicate better. To get the discussion guides, click on the link.

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation (Ages 6-10)

Sylvia Mendez, a young girl, tries to register at her new school, but she is turned away. She and her siblings are told that they should go to the Mexican school, not the one in the United States. Sylvia doesn’t know what to do. She is from the United States. It makes no sense for her and the other Mexican kids to go to a separate school. Narrated by a young girl, this is the true story of the Mendez family and how they won a court case that led to California schools being mixed. To get the discussion guides, click on the link.

How Tia Lola Came to Stay (Ages 9-12)

His parents split up, so he moves with his mom and little sister to Vermont with his mom and a friend of the family. Miguel is a child of immigrants and a Latino, and he has to deal with two different ways of life. So his aunt from the Dominican Republic comes to help take care of them. Miguel’s life gets more interesting when she’s around. To get the discussion guides, click on the link.

Gaby, Lost and Found (Ages 8-12)

Gaby Ramirez Howard’s mother was sent back to Honduras recently. Gaby finds comfort in the animals she cares for at the animal shelter where she works. To help cats and dogs find their “forever home,” she writes ads for them. Because Gaby is so in love with Feather, she wants to help her find a new home. Finch and Gaby are both having trouble finding places that make them feel at home, so Gaby and Finch get along well. To get the discussion guides, click on the link.

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight (Ages 12 and up)

People who live in Mexico and want to work in the US have to cross the border. He works as a restaurant busboy, but he doesn’t get paid very well. He only gets paid half of what he should be paid, which isn’t much. The boss might report Juan for not having the correct papers. Juan decides to stand up for himself and his coworkers to make their salaries and working conditions better. Undocumented immigrant workers tell the story in this comic book about how they have to deal with problems at work every day, but they still work and help make the world a better place. To get the discussion guides, click on the link.

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