Latino Literature

My bookshelf contains literature surrounding Latino culture.

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers - Sarah E. Warren, Robert Casilla

Warren, E. (2012). Dolores Huerta: A hero to migrant workers. Berlin, Germany: Two Lions Publishing. 


Dolores is a teacher, a mother, and a friend. She wants to know why her students are too hungry to listen, why they don't have shoes to wear to school. Dolores is a warrior, an organizer, and a peacemaker. When she finds out that the farm workers in her community are poorly paid and working under dangerous conditions, she stands up for their rights.


Author Sarah Warren is an early childhood educator and has served the young children in her community for more than ten years. Sarah received a Legacy Award from the YWCA of Minneapolis Children's Center for her work supporting their mission: Eliminating racism/Empowering women. In 2007 she was honored as a "Cultural Caregiver" by the Minnesota Women's Consortium. Sarah holds a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lesley University. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


A Jane Addam's Children's Book Award Honor Book for Younger Children


2nd-5th grade


Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation - Duncan Tonatiuh

Tonatiuh, D. (2014). Separate is never equal: Sylvia's Mendez and her family's fight for desegregation. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams. 


Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court.


His book DIEGO RIVERA: His World and Ours, published in 2011 by Abrams Books for Young Readers is the winner of the 2012 Pura Belpré illustration award for a work that best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children's books. Duncan was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende. He graduated from Parsons The New School for Design and from Eugene Lang College in New York City in 2008. His work is inspired by Ancient Mexican art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex.


2015 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book

2015 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

2nd-5th grade

Informational nonfiction

Floating on Mama's Song/Flotando En La Cancion de Mama - Laura Lacamara, Yuyi Morales

Lacamara, L. (2010). Floating on Mama's song. New York, NY: Katherine Tegen Books; Bilingual Edition.


Anita's mama loves to sing. She sings such beautiful, happy songs that something magical happens: Everyone who hears her music floats high above the ground. When the towns people get upset, Anita seeks a cure. 


Cuban-born Laura Lacámara is the award-winning author and illustrator of Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia (Piñata Books), a bilingual picture book about a clever girl who transforms her unruly hair into a vibrant garden. Laura is a popular presenter at schools, book festivals, and conferences, and she is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Laura lives in Southern California with her husband, their daughter, and a lovable mutt. 


PreK-3rd grades


Shake It, Morena!: And Other Folklore from Puerto Rico - Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Lulu Delacre

Bernier-Grand, C. (2002). Shake it, morena. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press. 


From the opening "Waking Up Song" to the final bedtime tune, "The Song of El Coqui," this collection features games, counting rhymes, and riddles as well as familiar children's songs from the author's native Puerto Rico. Taken from classrooms and playgrounds, each selection is accompanied by a brief footnote that explains cultural background.


Carmen T. Bernier-Grand is a national award winning author of eleven books for children and young adults. She teaches writing at the Whidbey Island MFA, a program of Northwest Literary Arts, at Writers in the Schools, a program of Oregon Literary Arts, and at Wordstock. She was born in Puerto Rico, but currently lives in Oregon. 


K-3rd grades

Bilingual Puerto Rican Folklore

Rene Has Two Last Names / Rene tiene dos apellidos - Rene Colato Lainez, Fabiola Graullera Ramirez

Lainez, R. (2009). Rene has two last names. Houston, TX: Arte Publico Pr; Bilingual Edition.


René, a new student from El Salvador, doesn't understand why his second last name is missing from his desk's name label. Adding it results in a name so long that his classmates make fun of it by comparing it to that of a dinosaur. He creates a family tree and shows his classmates the importance of both of his last names. 


René Colato Laínez is a Salvadoran award winning author of many bilingual/ multicultural children's books. He has  a master's degree from  Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for  Children & Young  Adults, and is a bilingual teacher at Fernangeles Elementary.


  • Honorable Mention: Best Bilingual Children's Book- International Latino Book Awards
  • 2010 Skipping Stones Honor Award
  • 2010-2011 Tejas Star Book Award List


K-3rd grade

Realistic Fiction

On the Pampas - María Cristina Brusca

Bruscas, M. (1993). On the pampas. New York, NY: Owlet. 


Brusca, a city child from Buenos Aires, recounts a summer spent at her grandparents' estancia on the Argentine pampas. Although she has visited before, this time she participates more fully in the daily life of the gauchos.


Maria Cristina Brusca is a published author, illustrator, and a translator of children's books. Some of the published credits of Maria Cristina Brusca include Three Friends/Tres Amigos: A Counting Book/Un Cuento Para Contar, On the Pampas, When Jaguars Ate the Moon: And Other Stories About Animals and Plants of the Americas, and My Mama's Little Ranch on the Pampas. She currently lives in New York. 


Parents' Choice Picture Book Award

2nd-4th grade


Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash: Marisol McDonald y La Fiesta Sin Igual - Monica Brown

Brown, M. (2013). Marisol McDonald and the clash bash. New York, NY: Lee and Low Books; Bilingual Edition. 



Marisol is turning eight, and it's time to plan a birthday party that will be fabulous, marvelous, and divine. She also hopes that Abuelita, who lives far away in Peru, will be able to come to the celebration.


Monica's books are inspired by her Peruvian-American heritage and desire to share Latino/a stories with children. She a is a Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, specializing in U.S. Latino Literature and Multicultural Literature. She has won numerous awards for her work. 


Junior Library Guild Selection

International Latino Book Award
Latino Literacy Now

Monarch Award Master List
Illinois School Library Media Association


K-3rd grade

Realistic Fiction

Friends from the Other Side/Amigos del otro lado - Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Harriet Rohmer, David Schecter

Anzaldua, G. (1997). Friends from the other side. New York, NY: Children's Book Press.


Preitita befriends a young boy and his mother who have crossed the border illegally. The boy and his mother live in fear of the border patrol. 


Anzaldua was an American scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, and queer theory. She loosely based her best-known book, Borderlands, on her life growing up on the Mexican-Texas border and incorporated her lifelong feelings of social and cultural marginalization into her work.


1st-5th grades

Bilingual realistic fiction

Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story by DePaola, Tomie (2004) Paperback - Tomie DePaola

Paola, T. (2002). Adelita: A Mexican cinderella story. New York, NY: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 


Following her father's sudden death, Adelita is left to suffer the abuse of her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. Adelita's kindly nanny/housekeeper takes on the role of fairy godmother, making certain that the girl has something to wear to the party thrown by a local wealthy family to honor their son, Javier.


He's been published for over 40 years and has written and/or illustrated nearly 250 books, including Strega Nona, 26 Fairmount Avenue, The Art Lesson, and Christmas Remembered. Over 15 million copies of his books have sold worldwide. He has won numerous awards for his writing. Tomie dePaola lives in New London, New Hampshire, with his Airedale terrier, Brontë, and works in a renovated 200-year-old barn.


NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Book Award



Bilingual Folklore



Fernando's Gift /El Regalo de Fernando - Douglas Keister

Keister, D. (1995). Fernando's Gift. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Book. 


Deep in the rain forest of Costa Rica, a boy named Fernando lives with his family in the tin-roofed house that his father has built. Like his father and grandfather before him, Fernando has come to treasure the wonders of the lush tropical land that his family calls home. But when he and his friend, Camina, look for her favorite climbing tree and find it cut down, Fernando learns that not everyone has respect for his beautiful forest.


Photographer-writer Douglas Keister, has authored and co-authored thirty-six critically acclaimed books. He also writes and illustrates magazine articles and contributes photographs and essays to dozens of magazines, newspapers, books, calendars, posters and greeting cards worldwide.


PreK-2nd grade

Bilingual Personal Narrative


Infinity Ring Book 4: Curse of the Ancients - De La Pena,  Matt, Matt de la Pena

Pena, M. (2013). Infinity ring book 4: Curse of the ancients. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. 


The fourth Infinity Ring episode sends time-traveling youths Sera, Dak, and Riq first back to the early days of the Mayan civilization and then forward 800 years to witness the fiery destruction of its native culture by the Spaniards. Carrying out their mission to save an ancient codex entails narrow squeaks aplenty and clashes with the archenemy, Time Wardens.


Matt de la Peña is the New York Times bestselling, Newbery Medal winning author of six young adult novels. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific, where he attended school on a full athletic scholarship for basketball. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his family. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country.


3rd-7th grade


Siesta Board Book (Board Book) - Ginger Foglesong Gibson, René King Moreno

Guy, G. (2009). Siesta. New York, NY: Greenwillow Books. 


Two children gather items around the house to have a nap. 


Ginger grew up in a large, noisy, happy family of readers. We lived in interesting places like Mexico, Switzerland, Arizona, Costa Rica and Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Soon after, she moved to Seattle and started teaching first grade. She was inspired by her students’ love of a good story and began writing her own.


PreK-2nd grade

Realistic Fiction


My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood - Rosemary Wells, Peter Ferguson, Secundino Fernandez

Wells, R. and Fernandez, S. (2010). My Havana: Memories of Cuban boyhood. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.


This book tells how a boy and his family are forced out of Cuba to Spain, back to Cuba, and finally in New York. The boy loves the architecture of Cuba and makes a replica. 


is an American writer and illustrator of children's books. She is well known for the Max and Ruby series, which follows the everyday adventures of sibling bunnies, curious three-year-old Max and bossy seven-year-old Ruby.


Dino Fernandez moved from Havana, Cuba, to the United States with his family in 1959. He lives in New York and works as an architect.


2nd-5th grade

Historical Fiction


Out of the Dump: Writings and Photographs by Children from Guatemala - Kristine L. Franklin, Nancy McGirr

Franklin, K. and McGirr, N. (1996). Out of the dump: Writings and photographs by children from Guatemala. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers.


In 1991, photographer Nancy McGirr decided to start a project in which the youngsters would photograph their own world with the profits used to allow the children to attend school. This book includes essays and poems written by the children. 


KRISTINE L. FRANKLIN is the author of several novels for young readers, including Eclipse. Nerd No More, Dove Song, and the best-selling Lone Wolf, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.


3nd-5th grade

Collection of essays and poems



My Mexico / Mexico Mio - Tony Johnston

Johnston, T. (1999). My Mexico. USA: Puffin Books. 


This is a book of descriptive poems about the streets of Mexico. 


Tony Johnston grew up in San Marino California. After graduating from Stanford University, where she earned a B.A. degree in history and an M.A. in education, she stayed in California to teach elementary school.After writing stories for her fourth-grade students, and following a fellow teacher’s suggestion, she decided to try to have them published.


Ages 2-5

Informational Bilingual Poetry and Rhymes


The Streets are Free - Kurusa, Monika Doppert

Kurusa, (1995). The streets are free. Canada: Annick Press. 


A group of children living in the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela, fight for their right to have a playground. 


Born in Caracas, Venezuela, and spent the first years of his life in Caracas, the U.S. and Costa Rica. Shee studied anthropology at McGill University in Montreal and then developed her career in the field of libraries and books for children. She currently lives in Caracas. 


Grades 1st-4th

Realistic Fiction


Currently reading

How Tia Lola Learned to Teach
Julia Alvarez