Books by Theme

Family Stories: Hispanic Heritage

Abuela

Abuela

By: Arthur Dorros
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Rosalba imagines flying over New York City with her much loved abuela. The young girl uses a lovely mix of English and Spanish to describe their journey, moving from the busy streets of Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty. Brightly colored illustrations detail what Rosalba and her grandmother glimpse as they fly, and the rich tales of Abuela's memories.

Abuelita Full of Life

Abuelita Full of Life

By: Amy Costalas
Illustrated by: Martha Aviles
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Product Description: Jose is not sure what to expect when his grandmother from Mexico moves in…except that he will certainly have to change his ways. What he discovers is that he doesn't mind one bit. Abuelita is full of surprises — and full of life!

Barrio: José's Neighborhood / Barrio: El barrio de José

Barrio: José's Neighborhood / Barrio: El barrio de José

By: George Ancona
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

José lives in a diverse neighborhood where he's just as likely to hear Spanish, English, or Chinese. The appealing photographs in this book document José's life at home, at school, and on the streets of his colorful barrio in San Francisco, a city that is a dynamic mosaic of different cultures. Available in a Spanish.

Dreamers

Dreamers

By: Yuyi Morales
Genre: Biography
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Lyrical prose (in Spanish and English) and vivid mixed media illustrations describe one woman’s journey to a new country, the difficulties, and the power of libraries to transform: “We are stories. We are two languages. We are lucha…We are hope.” In a concluding piece, the author/illustrator describes her story and provides a list of the influential books she read during this period of her life. The gorgeous book is also available in a Spanish edition, Soñadores.

Earth Daughter: Alicia of Acoma Pueblo

Earth Daughter: Alicia of Acoma Pueblo

By: George Ancona
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Alicia, a member of the Ácoma Pueblo in New Mexico, learns the art of pottery from her parents in this photo essay from George Ancona. Follow Alicia throughout the entire process of making pottery, from shale collecting in the canyon to the formation and decoration of pots.

Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

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.

Family Pictures

Family Pictures

By: Carmen Garza
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The artist recalls growing up in south Texas in this celebration of family and cultural traditions presented in vivid paintings and short prose in Spanish and English. Garza's pride in her Mexican-American heritage is evident and celebrated in this handsome book.

Going Home

Going Home

By: Eve Bunting
Illustrated by: David Diaz
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Mama and Papa are excited to take a break from working in the fields and go home, but Carlos and his sisters are not sure how they feel about traveling to Mexico. Soon after arriving, however, they meet their loving extended family, and the children begin to understand what it meant for their parents to leave home in order to offer the family a better future. David Diaz's stunning illustrations layered on top of photos of Mexican folk art bring Eve Bunting's beautiful story to life.

Good-bye, Havana! Hola, New York!

Good-bye, Havana! Hola, New York!

By: Edie Colon
Illustrated by: Raul Colon
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The narrator describes her family's immigration from Cuba to New York City based on her own family's story and illustrated by her husband for a striking memoir.

I Love Saturdays y domingos

I Love Saturdays y domingos

By: Alma Flor Ada
Illustrated by: Elvia Savidier
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A girl visits both sets of grandparents on weekends. On Saturdays, she speaks English with Grandpa and Grandma, while on Sundays, los domingos, she speaks Spanish with Abeulito and Abeulita. The format provides a glimpse at the subtle differences between cultures and highlights their similarities, one of which is each set of grandparents' love for their granddaughter. Spanish words are interspersed in the fluid text.

Mango, Abuela, and Me

Mango, Abuela, and Me

By: Meg Medina
Illustrated by: Angela Domínguez
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Mia must share her room with Abuela but she and her grandmother can’t even speak the same language! How they grow comfortable with each other and learn to communicate – even without language – is affectionately conveyed through Mia’s narration and gentle, warm illustrations.

Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Merci Suárez Changes Gears

By: Meg Medina
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Merci Suarez lives with her parents and older brother and her grandparents, Abuela and Lolo. She’s a hardworking, good kid who cares about her family and her community. How she navigates the changes that she and her family confront is both touching and plausible. Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal.

My Abuelita

My Abuelita

By: Tony Johnston
Illustrated by: Yuyi Morales
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

"Abuelita's hair is the color of salt. Her face is as crinkled as a dried chile. She booms out words as wild as blossoms blooming. She stuffs her carcacha — her jalopy — with all the things she needs: a plumed snake, a castle, a skeleton, and more. Her grandson knows he has the most amazing grandmother ever — with a very important job. What does Abuelita do? Readers will enjoying guessing in this story sprinkled with Spanish and infused with love." — Amazon Review

No More Spanish!

No More Spanish!

By: Marisa Montes, Joe Cepeda
Illustrated by: Joe Cepeda
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The irrepressible Gabi is tired of speaking two languages and feels like she's messing up both. But what can she do if she is only allowed to speak Spanish at home? Gabi comes up with a solution that will make readers chuckle and recognize some of their own thinking in Gabi's reasoning.

Pablo's Tree

Pablo's Tree

By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Cecily Lang
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Pablo can't wait to visit his abeulito for his birthday. His grandfather decorates Pablo's special tree, planted when he was adopted. Pablo's special tree and its surprises are presented in rich illustrations and gentle text.

Playing Lotería

Playing Lotería

By: René Colato Laínez
Illustrated by: Jill Arena
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Together a little boy and his grandma discover a world of language through la lotería, a Mexican game similar to Bingo, and realize that loved ones have special ways of understanding each other.

The Heart of Mi Familia

The Heart of Mi Familia

By: Carrie Lara
Illustrated by: Christine Battuz
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In the young narrator’s home, “two worlds become one.” Her family is “a mix of dos cultures…”, one Spanish speaking, the other English. Together the family joyfully prepares to celebrate a birthday. Colorful, child-like illustrations and a straightforward narration present a bicultural family.

The Rainbow Tulip

The Rainbow Tulip

By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Elizabeth Sayles
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stella and her brothers speak Spanish at home but English at school. Being different is both scary and exciting. Stella learns this when she prepares for the school's celebration of May Day. She finds a way to honor her Mexican background by wearing a special skirt that is both alike yet different from the other girls'. Stella, like many children, can take pride in being part of two cultures. (In English sprinkled with Spanish).

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Bookshop.org and Amazon.com help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

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