Reading Rockets recommends the following books by Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride
Two well known women sneak away from the White House for an aerial adventure in this handsomely illustrated story based on real people. Though fictionalized, readers will appreciate the common interests and similar personality traits of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and aviatrix Amelia Earhart.
Becoming Naomi León
Naomi and her younger brother Owen have lived with their grandmother in a small trailer for many years, ever since they were abandoned by their mother. When Mom Terri Lynn suddenly returns, does she really have the kids' best interests at heart?
Instead of celebrating her 13th birthday in her prosperous Mexican home as she expected, Esperanza must adjust to the murder of her father, the loss of her house and wealth, and her new life as a farm worker in California. This readable coming-of-age novel is based on the life of the author's grandmother.
Hello Ocean / Hola Mar
A child narrates her visit to the ocean, inviting readers to explore it with her. She experiences the sea with all of her senses through realistic illustrations and lyrical language in this gently rhyming tale.
Mice and Beans
As Rosa Maria prepares for the family celebration of her granddaughter’s birthday, she gets unexpected help from the mice who live in the house. Spanish words are integrated into the joyful text and reflected in the energetic, vibrant illustrations.
Mud Is Cake
Celebrate imaginative play with the mellow rhymes and soft illustrations of this engaging festival of fun. When you just use your imagination, stuffed animals come to life, mud becomes cake, and juice is tea with a fairy queen.
Visit some of the most special places in California, from the big (San Francisco) to the small (San Juan Capistrano) and everything in between! Vibrant and whimsical illustrations from Rafael López create a vivid impression of how a child might remember California's unforgettable natural and man-made wonders.
Charlotte Parkhurst could do almost anything with horses. Once out of the orphanage, Charlotte masquerades successfully as a man named Charley, and in spite of huge obstacles is able to drive a stagecoach and work with horses. Based on a real person, Charley also became the first woman to cast her vote in the state of California.
This imaginative account of poet Pablo Neruda's childhood in Chile combines biography, poetry, literary fiction, and magical realism.
The Flag We Love
Read this book aloud to young readers to teach them about the United States flag, its history, and meaning. The short verse, historical tidbits, and realistic illustrations result in a brief, moving, and patriotic look at this American symbol.
When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson
Marian Anderson was an extraordinary contralto whose talent was celebrated in Europe long before she was recognized in her native United States. Anderson's focus, musical talent, and the difficult times in which she lived are captured in a dramatic picture book biography.
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