Book Resources

Hispanic Heritage Book List

Use these fantastic books to help introduce your students to Hispanic and Spanish heritage and cultures.

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

The recommendations are grouped by Grades Prek–2, Grades 3–5, and Grades 6–8.

Books for Grades PreK–2

My Mexico
by Tony Johnston
Discover the sounds, colors, and scents of Mexico brought to life in this picture book with 18 poems in both English and Spanish.

Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English
by Alma Flor Ada
Celebrate the Mexican harvest through 27 poems in both English and Spanish that give voice to Hispanic agricultural workers and their lives.

Nacho and Lolita
by Pam Munoz Ryan
Will Nacho, a pitacoche bird, and Lolita, a swallow, end up together in spite of their differences in this enchanting love story?

Salsa Stories
by Lulu Delacre
When Carmen Teresa receives a new journal, she fills it with her family’s stories from all over Latin America and creates a recipe book to share with everyone.

Yagua Days
by Cruz Martel
Discover with Adan how a rainy day can be a reason to celebrate!

Books for Grades 3–5

Calling the Doves/El Encanto De Las Palomas
by Juan Felipe Herrera
A boy’s inspirational tale of growing up as a migrant farm worker in a loving Latino family.

The Day It Snowed Tortillas: A Classic from the American Southwest
by Joe Hayes
A master story-teller relates ten Spanish folktales full of magic and fun that have been told since the Spanish first came to the New World.

How Tia Lola Came to Stay
by Julia Alvarez
Nine-year-old Miguel attempts to adjust to his new life, including his quirky aunt, after moving from New York City to Vermont in the wake of his parents' divorce.

My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz
by Monica Brown
A first-person narrative of the Cuban-born salsa singer’s story told through pictures.

Latino Read-Aloud Stories: Best Loved Collections from Latino Cultures
by Maite Suarez Rivas
A collection of time-honored tales from the Latino storytelling tradition, including everything from legends and fables to riddles and biographies.

Call Me Maria
by Judith Oritz Cofer
Maria struggles to adapt to her new life in the barrio of New York after leaving behind her mother and her life in Puerto Rico.

The Most Beautiful Place in the World
by Ann Cameron
Abandoned by his mother, young Juan goes to live with his grandmother where he struggles to find a way to attend school while shining shoes.

Family Pictures
by Carmen Lomas Garza
Experience the everyday life of a girl growing up in a traditional Mexican-American community through stories and pictures.

Hope: The Story of Caesar Chavez
by Kathleen Krull
This biography of the great civil rights leader, with tales from his boyhood, is centered on the dramatic story of his 340-mile march to protest the working conditions of migrant farm workers in California.

Any Small Goodness (A Novel of The Barrio)
by Tony Johnston
Arturo and his family have just moved to barrio of East Los Angeles and find that warmth, humor and humanity can be found even in the most hostile of places.

Books for Grades 6–8

The Corn Grows Ripe
by Dorothy Rhoads
Tigre, a twelve-year-old Mayan boy living in a modern-day village in Yucatâan, must learn to be a man when his father is injured.

Cuba 15
by Nancy Osa
Growing up in Chicago, fifteen-year old Violet Paz doesn’t know much about her Cuban heritage until she reluctantly prepares for her quincea-ero – her coming of age ceremony.

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Caesar Chavez
by Kathleen Krull
This biography of the great civil rights leader, with tales from his boyhood, is centered on the dramatic story of his 340-mile march to protest the working conditions of migrant farm workers in California.

Downtown Boy
by Juan Felipe Herrera.
This free-verse novel chronicles a year in the life of Jaunito, a Chicano boy growing up in the 1950s, who struggles to stay out of trouble as his family moves around California.

Firefly Summer
by Pura Belpre
Rosario can’t understand why the adults treat her cousin Leticia like a princess until the two become very good friends and she finds out that Leticia is ill.

In the Shade of the Nispero Tree
by Carmen T. Bernier Grand
The story of Teresa, a young girl growing up in the 1960s, who discovers racism and prejudice in class-conscious Puerto Rico.

The Tree is Older Than You Are
by Naomi Shihab Nye
A bilingual anthology of ancient and contemporary stories and poems from all regions of Mexico by 64 writers and artists.

Esperanza Rising
by Pam Munoz Ryan
This historical novel follows Esperanza who, with her mother, was forced to leave her life of luxury in Mexico to become a migrant worker in California on the eve of the Great Depression.

Becoming Naomi Leon
by Pam Munoz Ryan.
When Naomi’s estranged mother comes to reclaim her, she runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and brother in search of her father.

The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child
by Francisco Jimenez
Follow our young narrator, the child of migrant workers, who struggles as his family moves from farm to farm and dreams of an education and a permanent home.

  • Subjects:
    Social Studies, Literature, Communities and Ways of Life, Hispanic and Latin American, Historic Figures, Hispanic Heritage Month, Teacher Tips and Strategies