Latino Literature

My bookshelf contains literature surrounding Latino culture.

Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors - Roseanne Thong, John Parra

Thong, R. (2014). Green is a chile pepper: A book of colors. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books LLC. 


Children discover all the bright colors in their Hispanic American neighborhood. 


Roseanne has traveled to many Spanish-speaking countries and taught English in many places: California, Guatemala, Vietnam and Hong Kong. She studied journalism in college. She currently live in California. 


*Best Books Award, Chicago Public Library, 2014
*100 Titles List, New York Public Library, 2014
*Best Multicultural Books list, CSMCL, 2014
*Latino Literacy Now's 2014 International Latino Book Awards in two categories: Best Latino Focused Children's Picture Book in English and Best Educational Children's Picture Book in English


Pre k-K

Rhyming picture book

By Jorge Argueta - Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem (Bilingual Cooking (Tra Blg) (2015-04-01) [Hardcover] - Jorge Argueta

Argueta, J. (2015). Salsa. Berkley, CA: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press. 


This bilingual rhyming poem shows a young boy and his sister gathering the ingredients to make salsa and grinding them up in a molcajete, just like their ancestors used to do, singing and dancing all the while.


Jorge Tetl Argueta is a celebrated Salvadoran poet and writer whose bi-lingual children’s books have received numerous awards. His poetry has appeared in anthologies and textbooks. He won the America’s Book Award, among other awards for his first collection of poems for children, A Movie in My Pillow. He was the Gold Medal Award winner in the 2005 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) for Moony Luna/Luna, Lunita Lunera. His other works for children include Xochitl and the Flowers, 2003 America’s Award Commended Title, Trees are Hanging from the SkyZipitioTalking with Mother EarthThe Little Hen in the City and The Fiesta of the Tortillas.


Pre K-2

Bilingual Cooking Poem

The Smoking Mirror - David  Bowles

Bowels, D. (2015). The smoking mirror. Australia: IFWG Publishing. 


Carol and Johnny Garza are 12-year-old twins whose lives in a small Texas town are forever changed by their mother's unexplained disappearance. Shipped off to relatives in Mexico by their grieving father, the twins soon learn that their mother is anagual, a shapeshifter, and that they have inherited her powers. In order to rescue her, they will have to descend into the Aztec underworld and face the dangers that await them.


David Bowles was born to residents of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in 1970. Raised in an ethnically diverse family with Latino roots, he was hooked on dark folktales at an early age by his grandmother Marie Garza, the family storyteller. David Bowles resides in the Río Grande Valley of south Texas with his wife and children. His collection of Mesoamerican verse FLOWER, SONG, DANCE: AZTEC AND MAYAN POETRY won the 2014 Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation. Bowles is author of several other books, including BORDER LORE, SHATTERING AND BRICOLAGE, MEXICAN BESTIARY, and THE SEED.


2016 Pura Belpré Honor Book Award

4th-7th grade


Amelia's Road - Linda Jacobs Altman, Enrique O. Sanchez

Altman, L. (1995). Amelia's road. New York, NY: Lee & Low Books. 


Amelia hates roads because she can never stay in one place. She is the daughter of a migrant family and yearns for a stable life. 


Linda Jacobs Altman writes many books for children.  She has written anything from biographies, to novels, to non-fiction.  Many of her books talk about many difficult issues that are taking place throughout the world.  Linda also does a great job of discussing historic events and how they still relate to people today.  Today she lives in California with her husband and son and continues to write.


Lee & Low Award Winner


1st-3rd grade

Realistic Fiction


Mama Goose: A Latino Nursery Treasury by Ada, Alma Flor, Campoy, F. Isabel (2006) Paperback - Alma Flor,  Campoy,  F. Isabel Ada

Ada, A., Campoy, I. (2004). Mama goose: A Latino nursery treasure. New York, NY: Disney-Hyperion; Bilingual edition.


This a collection of diverse Latino Folklore including nursery rhymes, riddles, sayings, and songs. 


F. Isabel Campoy is a poet, playwright, songwriter, and storyteller. She has written numerous children's books, both in English and Spanish, on the art and culture of the Hispanic world. She was born in Spain and currently lives in California.


Alma Flor Ada (born January 3, 1938 in Camagüey, Cuba) is an award-winning Cuban-American author of children’s books, poetry, and novels. A Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco, Dr. Ada is recognized for her work promoting bilingual and multicultural education in the United States.


Ages 2-5 


How Tia Lola Learned to Teach - Julia Alvarez

Alvarez, J. (2011) How Tía Lola learned to teach: The Tía Lola series. New York, NY: Yearling.


Tía Lola has been invited to teach Spanish at her niece and nephew’s elementary school. Miguel wants nothing to do with the arrangement. On the other hand, Miguel’s little sister, Juanita, can’t wait to introduce her colorfully dressed aunt with her migrating beauty mark to all her friends at school—that is, if she can stop getting distracted long enough to remember to do so. Before long, Tía Lola is organizing a Spanish treasure hunt and a Carnaval fiesta at school. 


Julia Alvarez has bridged the Americas many times. Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic, she is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist, author of world-renowned books in each of the genres, including How the García Girls Lost their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, and Something to Declare. She lives on a farmstead outside Middlebury, Vermont, with her husband Bill Eichner.


Grades 3-7

Realistic Fiction

My Tata's Remedies / Los remedios de mi Tata - Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford, Antonio Castro L.

Rivera-Ashford, R. (2015) My Tata's remedies. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press.


Aaron has asked his grandfather Tata to teach him about the healing remedies he uses to heal his neighbors. Tata shows him how to use herbs, teas, and plants to help each one. 


Born to a pioneering Jewish family, grew up in Nogales, Arizona, on the U.S. - Mexico border. Roni's great-grandparents came to the U.S. as immigrants from across the ocean: France, Poland, Romania and Russia. Her stories come from her childhood days growing up in the Sonoran Desert, in a bilingual, multicultural world, where she still lives and writes.

Roni has spoken Spanish and English from birth and sometimes dreams in Spanish, too. She was a bilingual pre-school and elementary teacher and translator/interpreter for nearly 30 years. She also taught Pima College Extension night courses, earned her Librarian's Endorsement at the University of Arizona.



Bilingual realistic fiction

Grades 1-6

Pepita Talks Twice / Pepita habla dos veces - Ofelia Dumas Lachtman, Alex Pardo DeLange

Lachtman, O. (1995) Pepita Talks Twice. Piñata Books, Houston, TX: An Imprint of Arte Público Press; Bilingual Edition. 


Pepita decides she's not going to speak Spanish because so many people ask her to translate for them and she doesn't like it, but she realizes how important speaking Spanish is when she needs to call her dog. 


Ofelia Dumas Lachtman was born in California, but her parents were from Mexico. As a child, the author learned to speak English and Spanish at the same time.

When she was only twelve, Ofelia Dumas Lachtman's first work was published. It was a poem included in a book of children's poetry. Later, she worked in the medical field. She also directed an association for young people. Today she writes for children, for young adults, and for adults.


Skipping Stones Honor Award 1996


Realistic Fiction


Me Llamo Gabriela/my Name Is Gabriela: La Vida de Gabriela Mistral / The Life of Gabriela Mistral - Monica Brown, John Parra

Brown, M. (2005) My name is Gabriela. Cooper Square Publishing Llc; China: Bilingual edition. 



A young Chilean girl, Gabriela Mistral, learns to read and write. She writes of her travels around the world and eventually wins the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature. 


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 writes and publishes scholarly work with a Latino/a focus, including Gang Nation: Delinquent Citizenship in Puerto Rican and Chicano and Chicana Literature; and numerous articles and chapters on Latino/a literature and cultural studies. She was the recipient of the prestigious Rockefeller Fellowship on Chicano Cultural Literacies from the Center for Chicano Studies at the University of California. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Flagstaff, Arizona.


Pre-K-3rd grade





Currently reading

How Tia Lola Learned to Teach
Julia Alvarez