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14 #Kidlit and #YA Books for National Hispanic Heritage Month

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September is a month packed with so many important events, remembrances and National observations.

One important one here is Jump Into A Book is National Hispanic Heritage Month.

From September 15 to October 15, these 30 days are a prime opportunity to honor and celebrate Latino and Hispanic cultures, heritages, and contributions in America.

Latino books for kids


Arturo and the Navidad Birds: It’s time for Arturo and his Central American grandmother, Abue Rosa, to decorate their Christmas tree. Abue Rosa shares with him the family history of each ornament as it is hung. But what happens when Arturo plays with—and breaks—a glass bird? Young readers will find out in this touching, bilingual picture book. Arturo is an International Latina Book Award Winner: Second Place for Bilingual Children’s Fiction Picture Book.


Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada

Latino books for kidsTen-year-old Margie has spent her entire life trying to fit in—to pass as an American—despite the fact that her parents were born in Mexico. Then, her Mexican cousin Lupe comes to live with them, and her plan goes awry. At first, she resents Lupe for her foreign ways and for monopolizing her parents’ attention; later, she comes to love Lupe as a sister and appreciate the Mexican part of her heritage. Margie begins to master Spanish, enjoys celebrating Navidad, and participates in a Cinco de Mayo folklorico dance at school. Ada, the author of many multicultural titles, including Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection (2006), and Zubizarreta write knowingly of the difficulties of a life lived in two cultures. A subplot involving Lupe’s father (who came to America illegally and later abandoned his family) is also well handled, as is the inclusion of a Ruben Dario poem, “To Margarita.”

Love Amalia by Alma Flor Ada

Amalia’s best friend, Martha, is moving away, and Amalia is feeling sad and angry. And yet, even when life seems unfair, the loving, wise words of Amalia’s abuelita have a way of making everything a little bit brighter. Amalia finds great comfort in times shared with her grandmother: cooking, listening to stories and music, learning, and looking through her treasured box of family cards. But when another loss racks Amalia’s life, nothing makes sense anymore. In her sorrow, will Amalia realize just how special she is, even when the ones she loves are no longer near?


My Name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada

Latina books for kidsMaría Isabel, a Hispanic child growing up in the U.S., begins having problems in her new classroom when her teacher changes her name to Mary. This compelling portrait of an experience common to many language minority children inspires discussions on self-identity and biculturalism. “Captures the authentic flavor of Latino culture in this warm, yet never sentimental, story: an entire family genealogy is encapsulated in a Latino name, as well as special connections between its bearer and the relatives for whom she was named. Presented in realistic terms, María Isabel’s struggles will ring true to many children in the US.


Tales Our Abuelitas Told by F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada


Twelve sto­ries from var­ied roots of His­panic cul­ture come together in a col­or­ful col­lec­tion that includes talk­ing ants, magic bag­pipes, danc­ing goats, and fly­ing horses. In some cases the tales empha­size a moral, such as look­ing for the good in any bad sit­u­a­tion as in “Catlina the Fox.” In oth­ers, the story illus­trates the impor­tance of friends, as in the case of “The Bird of One Thou­sand Colors.”


Abuela’s Weave by Omar S. Castaneda 

Hispanic books for kidsEsperanza’s Abuela, her grandmother, is unmatched in her skill in weaving traditional Mayan tapestries. She has shared her gift with her granddaughter, and now they plan to sell their goods at the market. However, the birthmark on Abuela’s face may scare customers away. So Esperanza must cope with the city streets and find buyers alone.

This touching story of personal growth and family pride is illustrated with authentic Guatemalan scenery that gives life to the country’s radiant landscape and bustling city streets. This book can be purchased via publisher Lee & Low’s website or on Amazon.


La Familia Cool by Dania Santana

‘La Familia Cool: El tesoro más valioso / The most valuable treasure’ is the first bilingual picture book by Dania Santana, and talks about celebrating diversity, Hispanic books for kidsfamily values and identity within a Latino family.

The book tells the story of two cousins, who refuse to go to school to the surprise of their moms. Excited by the promise of seeing a family treasure, the kids agree to go to school. Later, they are thrilled to go on the journey of the most valuable treasure and your children will be too!

The Most Valuable treasure is a sweet story to read aloud for kids 6 to 9 years old. It is a great tool in the classroom to talk about heritage, cultural diversity, fitting in, preventing bullying and much more.  This book is available on the author’s website or on Amazon.

Las Estrellas De los Reyes Magos by Tere Rodriguez-Nora

Hispanic books for kidsIt was a beautiful night. The sky was clear and full of stars. Benjamin could distinguish three in particular that twinkled more than the others.

With the help of his grandfather, Benjamin discovers the magical story behind these stars and the tradition of the Day of the Three Kings.

This title was selected as a finalist in the 18th Annual International Latino Book Awards in the category “Best Latino Focused Children’s Picture Book – Spanish.”


Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina by Carmen Bernier-Grand

Alicia Alonso’s artistic achievements are remarkable, considering that she became partially blind and lost her peripheral vision at age nineteen. From Hispanic books for kidschildhood, she exhibited a passion for dancing, studying first in Cuba and later in New York City, where she became an overnight sensation in Giselle and was promoted to principal dancer in Ballet Theater. Returning to Cuba in 1948, she founded her own company, which eventually folded due to lack of funding. In 1959 the Cuban government gave her enough money to establish a new dance school,

Ballet Nacional de Cuba, which Alonso directs to this day.

In elegant free verse and stunning artwork rendered in watercolor, colored pencils, and lithograph pencils on watercolor paper, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and Raúl Colón capture the seminal events in Alonso’s life. The back matter includes a biography, Alonso’s ballets, choreography, and awards, a glossary, sources, notes, and websites.


Esperanza Rising by Pam Muoz Ryan

Hispanic YA booksEsperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers.

Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.



Gracias /Thanks by Pat Mora

There are so many things to be thankful for.

For one young boy, it’s

flying ladybugs,

splashing ocean waves,

a best friend,

Dad’s thick chocolate syrup,

and much more.

Straight from the heart of a child flows this lighthearted bilingual celebration of family, friendship, and fun. Come and share the joy, and think about all the things for which you can say, “¡Gracias! Thanks!”


How Tia Lola Ended Up Starting Over by Julia Alvarez

hispanic books for kidsWelcome to Tía Lola’s bed and breakfast! With the help of her niece and nephew and the three Sword Sisters, Tía Lola is opening the doors of Colonel Charlebois’ grand old Vermont house to visitors from all over. But Tía Lola and the children soon realize that running a B & B isn’t as easy they had initially thought—especially when it appears that someone is out to sabotage them! Will Tía Lola and the kids discover who’s behind the plot to make their B & B fail? And will Tía Lola’s family and friends be able to plan her a surprise birthday party in her own B & B without her finding out?



The Surrender Tree-Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle

Who could have guessed that after all these years,hispanic books for kids
the boy I called Lieutenant Death
when we were both children
would still be out here, in the forest,
chasing me, now,
hunting me, haunting me . . .

It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free. People have been rounded up in concentration camps with too little food and too much illness.
Rosa is a nurse, but with a price on her head for helping the rebels, she dares not go to the camps. Instead, she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her. Black, white, Cuban, Spanish—Rosa does her best for everyone. Yet who can heal a country so torn apart by war?


The Wild by Margarita Engle

hispanic books for kidsFefa struggles with words. She has word blindness or dyslexia, and the doctor says she will never read or write. Every time she tries, the letters jumble and spill off the page, leaping away like bullfrogs. How will she ever understand them?

But her mother has an idea. She gives Fefa a blank book filled with clean white pages. “Think of it as a garden,” she says.

Soon Fefa starts to sprinkle words across the pages of her wild book. She lets her words sprout like seedlings, shaky at first, then growing stronger and surer with each new day. And when her family is threatened, it is what Fefa has learned from her wild book that saves them.



14 #Kidlit and #YA Books for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Something To Do | Why is Hispanic Heritage Month important?

Within Hispanic Heritage Month’s classroom section they’ve brought together helpful resources for learning about Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic and Latino culture! This section includes articles, links, videos, activities and much more to help readers, parents and teachers learn about this important celebration.

Hispanic Heritage Month classroom toolls

For a list of classroom ideas click here!

Make your own woven basket like in Abuela’s Weave by Omar S. Castaneda 

Use construction paper or other materials to make a weave of your own!


1 thought on “14 #Kidlit and #YA Books for National Hispanic Heritage Month

  1. Hooray for Jump Into a Book. Always, always finding treasures here to support the success of readers and writers. Upbeat spirit thrives. Thank you.

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