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September 17, 2018

10 Books to Kick Off Hispanic Heritage Month and Share All Year Long!

By Juan Gonzalez
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    There is no better way to celebrate culture than with books! National Hispanic Heritage Month is a yearly celebration that takes place from September 15 to October 15. During this celebration, we observe the contributions of Hispanic and Latin American cultures and individuals, and the independence of many Latin American countries.

    I have curated a list of 10 books that will help you kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month and can also be used throughout the entire school year! This list features books from Latino authors and artists that include beautiful stories of Latin American life.

    1. The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh

    The story! The illustrations! This book is a must-read. The Princess and the Warrior is an Aztec legend that tells a poignant and tragic love story. I don’t want to spoil anything from this fantastic tale that gives insight to the formation of the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes in Mexico!

     

    2. The Fiesta Dress: A Quinceañera Tale by Caren McNelly McCormack, illustrated by Martha Avilés

    Join a young girl named Lolo as her family prepares for her sister’s quinceañera! Everything is going as planned until a runaway dog brings some chaos into their day. Quinceañeras are HUGE in Latino cultures and this book does a perfect job of sharing this piece of culture with readers. There are also some Spanish words within the story that are great stopping points to model using context clues to determine the meaning of a word!

     

    3. Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol: The Haunted House Next Door by Andres Miedoso, illustrated by Victor Rivas

    Meet Andres Miedoso (miedoso translates into English as fearful), a new kid in town who is scared of everything and is possibly living inside of a haunted house. Lucky for him, his new friend Desmond Cole is a fearless 8-year-old who runs his own ghost patrol. This is a charming series opener that will have readers laughing and intrigued with the mystery of the haunted house. A perfect early chapter book to share in the month of October or as an introduction to the mystery genre.

     

    4. 'Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by Sara Palacios

    If you discuss holiday celebrations around the world during the month of December, this book is perfect for showing readers a piece of Latin American cultures. From tamales, to songs, and festive decorations, this book will leave you wanting to find ways to bring Nochebuena into your own traditions!

     

    5. Let's Eat! by Ana Zamorano, illustrated by Julie Vivas

    This English/Spanish picture book tells the story of a family who struggles to have a midafternoon meal together each day. In the end, they remember that thoughtfully prepared meals are exactly what bring everyone together to share stories.

     

    6. I Am Roberto Clemente by Jim Gigliotti

    The I Am series is always a hit with fans of the nonfiction genre! This edition teaches readers of Clemente’s exceptional baseball skills and generous humanitarian efforts. These books are great for taking excerpts to help readers navigate through a biography and get them hooked, so they'll want to continue reading the book.

     

    7. Fourth-Grade Fuss by Johanna Hurwitz, illustrated by Andy Hammond

    Oh no, testing! Julio Sanchez and his best friend Lucas are trying everything in the book to bring luck that will help them pass the dreaded state test! This is an entertaining chapter book that is perfect to share with readers who need a reminder that they’re not alone when it comes to text anxiety.

     

    8. Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

    This story from author Yuyi Morales is possibly my favorite book of 2018. Readers will experience the journey of Morales becoming an immigrant as she travels from Mexico to the United States. Through her trials and tribulations, she discovers the public library and life changes forever. The story and artwork will leave all readers speechless!

     

    9. Abuela by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Elisa Kleven

    This is a whimsical story about a girl named Rosalba and her adventures she has with her abuela in New York City. They walk, ride buses, and sometimes even fly! This story is beautiful representation of the bond between a grandmother and grandchild. The book also includes a glossary for readers to understand the Spanish words sprinkled within the story.

     

    10. Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Edel Rodriguez

    I love a great literary nonfiction book! The story of the first Latina to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, is nothing short of inspiring. This picture book tells her life story and shares with readers the importance of working hard, loving your family, and following your dreams. Plus, this book is written in both English and Spanish!

     

    There is no better way to celebrate culture than with books! National Hispanic Heritage Month is a yearly celebration that takes place from September 15 to October 15. During this celebration, we observe the contributions of Hispanic and Latin American cultures and individuals, and the independence of many Latin American countries.

    I have curated a list of 10 books that will help you kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month and can also be used throughout the entire school year! This list features books from Latino authors and artists that include beautiful stories of Latin American life.

    1. The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes by Duncan Tonatiuh

    The story! The illustrations! This book is a must-read. The Princess and the Warrior is an Aztec legend that tells a poignant and tragic love story. I don’t want to spoil anything from this fantastic tale that gives insight to the formation of the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes in Mexico!

     

    2. The Fiesta Dress: A Quinceañera Tale by Caren McNelly McCormack, illustrated by Martha Avilés

    Join a young girl named Lolo as her family prepares for her sister’s quinceañera! Everything is going as planned until a runaway dog brings some chaos into their day. Quinceañeras are HUGE in Latino cultures and this book does a perfect job of sharing this piece of culture with readers. There are also some Spanish words within the story that are great stopping points to model using context clues to determine the meaning of a word!

     

    3. Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol: The Haunted House Next Door by Andres Miedoso, illustrated by Victor Rivas

    Meet Andres Miedoso (miedoso translates into English as fearful), a new kid in town who is scared of everything and is possibly living inside of a haunted house. Lucky for him, his new friend Desmond Cole is a fearless 8-year-old who runs his own ghost patrol. This is a charming series opener that will have readers laughing and intrigued with the mystery of the haunted house. A perfect early chapter book to share in the month of October or as an introduction to the mystery genre.

     

    4. 'Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by Sara Palacios

    If you discuss holiday celebrations around the world during the month of December, this book is perfect for showing readers a piece of Latin American cultures. From tamales, to songs, and festive decorations, this book will leave you wanting to find ways to bring Nochebuena into your own traditions!

     

    5. Let's Eat! by Ana Zamorano, illustrated by Julie Vivas

    This English/Spanish picture book tells the story of a family who struggles to have a midafternoon meal together each day. In the end, they remember that thoughtfully prepared meals are exactly what bring everyone together to share stories.

     

    6. I Am Roberto Clemente by Jim Gigliotti

    The I Am series is always a hit with fans of the nonfiction genre! This edition teaches readers of Clemente’s exceptional baseball skills and generous humanitarian efforts. These books are great for taking excerpts to help readers navigate through a biography and get them hooked, so they'll want to continue reading the book.

     

    7. Fourth-Grade Fuss by Johanna Hurwitz, illustrated by Andy Hammond

    Oh no, testing! Julio Sanchez and his best friend Lucas are trying everything in the book to bring luck that will help them pass the dreaded state test! This is an entertaining chapter book that is perfect to share with readers who need a reminder that they’re not alone when it comes to text anxiety.

     

    8. Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

    This story from author Yuyi Morales is possibly my favorite book of 2018. Readers will experience the journey of Morales becoming an immigrant as she travels from Mexico to the United States. Through her trials and tribulations, she discovers the public library and life changes forever. The story and artwork will leave all readers speechless!

     

    9. Abuela by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Elisa Kleven

    This is a whimsical story about a girl named Rosalba and her adventures she has with her abuela in New York City. They walk, ride buses, and sometimes even fly! This story is beautiful representation of the bond between a grandmother and grandchild. The book also includes a glossary for readers to understand the Spanish words sprinkled within the story.

     

    10. Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Edel Rodriguez

    I love a great literary nonfiction book! The story of the first Latina to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, is nothing short of inspiring. This picture book tells her life story and shares with readers the importance of working hard, loving your family, and following your dreams. Plus, this book is written in both English and Spanish!

     

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