300+ Hispanic Children’s & YA Books

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Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing! Observed annually from September 15 to October 15, it celebrates the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

To mark the occasion, we have put together this extensive list of Hispanic Children’s & YA books for all ages!


300+ Hispanic Children’s & YA Books






Babies & Toddlers


Fiesta Babies
by Carmen Tafolla

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: Fiesta Babies

The Fiesta Babies dance, march on parade and sing along to mariachi songs in this spirited celebration of fiestas. Luckily for the parents, the babies don’t mind a siesta either! Simple rhymes with Spanish words sprinkled throughout complement the coulourful illustrations. I particularly like the fact that the featured Hispanic children have varying skin tones, from light to dark. A lovely way of teaching little ones that diversity comes in all sorts of shades, even within the same ethnicity. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers

Related: Top 10 Multicultural Bedtime Stories for Babies & Toddlers


Besos for Baby
by Jen Arena

 Besos for Baby

Everyone has kisses for Baby, from Mami and Papi to perro and gato! You won’t be able to resist showering your little one with kisses whilst reading Besos for Baby. Simple bilingual text and beautiful bold illustrations make for a delightful read. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 12 Multicultural Picture Books about Love


Arrorro, Mi Niño
by Lulu Dulacre

Arrorro, Mi Nino

Arrorro, Mi Niño is a bilingual collection of traditional nursery rhymes and lullabies from fourteen Spanish-speaking countries. Soft watercolour illustrations depict loving family interactions and bring the gentle baby games and sweet lullabies to life. Includes melodies. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 11 Multicultural Lullabies


Quinito, Day and Night
by Ina Cumpiano

 Quinito, Day and Night

Quinito, Day & Night: Quinito, dia y noche follows a little boy from morning to night as he runs fast or slow, swings high and low, is quiet at nap-time and loud at playtime. The book introduces the youngest readers to the concept of opposites, both in English and Spanish. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers


Sweet Dreams/Dulces Suenos // Let’s Eat!/A Comer!
by Pat Mora

 Sweet Dreams Hispanic Multicultural Children’s Books – Babies & Toddlers: Let's Eat

“Shh, shh, the rabbits are sleeping.” As Abuelita tucks her bouncy grandchildren into bed, she reminds them of the many small animals that also go to sleep at night. Sweet Dreams/Dulces Suenos with its simple cartoon-style illustrations and its repetetive text is a soothing good-night read for the little ones. Let’s Eat!/A Comer! features a close-knit family enjoying a variety of foods at dinner time. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers


Lupe Lupita, Where Are You?
by Gladys Rosa Mendoza

Hispanic Children's & YA Books Lupe Lupita

Follow little Lupe Lupita from playtime to bedtime, as she explores the meaning of up, down, near, far, and other common prepositions. Lupe Lupita, Where Are You? introduces little ones to the concept of space orientation with simple text and bright, attention-grabbing illustrations. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers


Brick by Brick
by Heidi Woodward Sheffield

Luis’ Papi is a bricklayer, and he works hard every day. Papi climbs scaffolds, makes mortar, and shovels sand. Luis climbs on the playground and molds clay into tiny bricks to make buildings, just like Papi. Together, they dream big about their future. One Saturday, Papi surprises Luis with something special he’s built for their family. With striking mixed-media illustrations, Brick By Brick is a sweet book about the bond between a father and his son. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 55 Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers


The Life of/La Vida De Celia
by Patty Rodriguez

 Celia

The latest in the Lil’ Libros series, The Life of/La Vida De Celia is a bilingual first concept book about Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa. With her powerful voice and eccentric style, Celia Cruz is one of the most popular singers in the world. The sweet colourful illustrations will appeal to any baby or toddler. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers

More in the Lil’ Libros series: The Life of /La Vida De Selena // Counting With/Contando Con Frida // Guadalupe: First Words/Primeras Palabras // La Catrina: Emotions/Emociones // Zapata: Colors/Colores


Day of the Dead: A Count and Find Primer
by Greg Paprocki

Day of the Dead

Introduce your toddler to Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos with this colourful counting primer! Day of the Dead is an engaging board book that features popular Day of the Dead activities and objects, from1 Comparsa (a carnival-like celebration) to 6 Pan de muertos (“bread of the dead”), and more. And there are even more hidden objects to seek within the illustrations, listed at the back of the book. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 19 Day of the Dead Children’s Books


La Catrina: Emotions – Emociones
by Patty Rodriguez

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Based on well-known symbols of Dia De los Muertos (Day of the Dead), bilingual La Catrina teaches little ones to recognize feelings like emocionado (excited), triste (sad), and confiado (confident). ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 21 Multicultural Children’s Books About Feelings


Buen Shabat, Shabbat Shalom
by Sarah Aroeste

“It’s Friday night, bueno, great! Let’s get ready to celebrate! With a Ladino/Judaeo-Spanish word introduced on each page, Buen Shabat, Shabbat Shalom is a joyful board book that follows a young Sephardic Jewish family as they prepare to celebrate Shabbat. ~ Hispanic – Babies & Toddlers

Related: 24 Diverse Jewish Books for Children & Teenagers






Preschool


Me Gusta
by Angela Dominguez

“Me gusta your smile, tu sonrisa, / and your hugs, tus abrazos. / Me gusta when we explore this spectacular world, el mundo, /
and gaze at all the stars, las estrellas. / 
But most of all, me gusta that no matter where we are, I feel at home, en casa, when I’m with you.” Me Gusta is an encouraging bilingual picture book that celebrates Latinx families by highlighting moments of connection and delight and feelings of safety and home, even through challenges and difficult times. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2022


¡Vamos! Let’s Cross The Bridge
by Raúl the Third

People are always crossing the bridge for work, to visit family, or for play. Some going this way; others going that way; on foot and on bicycles, in cars and trucks. Little Lobo and his dog Bernabé drive their new truck carrying party supplies over the bridge with their pals El Toro and La Oink Oink. Everyoneveryone gets stuck and eventually comes together for an epic party on the bridge between two different countries. Vibrantly illustrated ¡Vamos! Let’s Cross The Bridge is a joyful story about coming together and celebrating community. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

More in the series: ¡Vamos! Let’s Go To The Market // ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat


Where Are You From?
by Yamile Saied Mendez

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

“Where are you from?” is the question one little girl constantly gets asked. Unsure about how to reply, she turns to her loving abuelo for help. He doesn’t give her the response she expects but an even better one. With luminous illustrations and lyrical text, Where Are You From? is a powerful picture book about identity, belonging and self-acceptance. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!
by Donna Barba Higuera

Ramón is a little boy who can’t sleep. He is nervous for his first day at a new school. And El Cucuy is the monster who lives in Ramón’s cactus pot. He can’t sleep, either. It turns out that he is scared, too! Rooted in Mexican folklore, El Cucuy is scared, Too! is a gentle story that explores the worries that can accompany moving to a new place and beginning a new journey—and reveals how comfort and strength can be found through even the most unlikely friendships. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


Quinito’s Neighborhood/El Vecindario de Quinito
by Ina Cumpiano

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: Quinito's neighborhood

Not only does this book introduce children to the concept of community, it does it in a way that challenges gender stereotypes, too. Bilingual Quinito’s Neighborhood takes children on a tour through a young boy’s vibrant neighbourhood introducing them to some of the members of his tight-knit community (many of whom are family members). Quinito’s mom is a carpenter, his dad is a nurse, his grandmother drives a big truck, and his aunt paints murals to brighten up the streets. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Power of Community


Liliana’s Grandmothers
by Leyla Torres

 Liliana's Grandmothers

Liliana’s Grandmothers are very different: Mima lives up the street and likes yoga exercises and crossword puzzles; Mama Gabina lives in South America and enjoys gardening and dancing around the house. But they have one thing in common: They both love their granddaughter dearly. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


Federico and the Wolf
by Rebecca J. Gomez

With his red hoodie on and his bicycle basket full of food, Federico is ready to visit Abuelo. But on the way, he meets a hungry wolf. And now his grandfather bears a striking resemblance to el lobo. Fortunately, Federico is quick and clever—and just happens to be carrying a spicy surprise! Federico drives the wolf away, and he and Abuelo celebrate with a special salsa (recipe included). With lively rhyme and colourful artwork, Federico and the Wolf is a funny Mexican-American take on Little Red Riding Hood that kids will love. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale
by Karen Katz

Based on her own experience of adopting her daughter from Guatemala, the author describes an adoptive family’s beginnings, from the joyful anticipation to the child being born and joining the family. Over The Moon is a beautifully illustrated book that doesn’t always describe adoption realistically, for example the baby being pictured as born alone on a hillside or the fact that the baby is always happy and smiling. For little ones, however, this is still an appropriate first book about adoption as it reassures them of the love of their adoptive parents. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 28 Multicultural Children’s Books about Adoption


Abuelita and I Make Flan
by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom

Abuelita and I Make Flan

Anita is making flan for Abuelo’s birthday, but when she accidentally breaks Abuelita’s treasured flan serving plate from Cuba, she struggles with what to do. Anita knows it’s right to tell the truth, but what if Abuelita gets upset? Worried that she has already ruined the day, Anita tries to be the best helper.  After cooking the flan, they need a serving dish! Anita comes up with a wonderful solution. Complete with a glossary of Spanish terms and a traditional recipe for flan, Abuelita and I Make Flan is a delicious celebration of food, culture, and family. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built
by Angela Burke Kunkel

In the city of Bogata, little José dreams of Saturdays– the day he gets to visit Paradise, the library. Another José is a garbage collector who scans the sidewalks as he drives, searching household trash for hidden treasure . . . books! Ever since he found his first book, Anna Karenina, he’s been collecting books for his home library. And on Saturdays, kids like little José run to the steps of Paradise to discover a world filled with wonder. Based on the life of José Alberto Gutiérrez, Digging For Words is an inspiring celebration of perseverance, community, and the power of books. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 15 Multicultural Children’s Books Celebrating Books & Reading



 

 

 

 


Fiesta! // Siesta // Bravo!
by Ginger Foglesong Guy

Fiesta!  Siesta Bravo!

A group of multiethnic children make their way around a village gathering items for a party. Fiesta is a refreshing counting book that teaches in English and Spanish. Siesta focuses on colours, following a sister and brother as they pack their blue backpack with all sorts of colourful things for an adventure. The same sibling pair goes on an exciting treasure hunt in Bravo! The colourful illustrations complement the simple text of these delightful little books. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


How Far Do You Love Me?
by Lulu Delacre

 How Far Do You Love Me?

How Far Do You Love Me? is an “I love you” book with a twist. With every expression of love, readers visit different locations of natural beauty around the world. The stunningly beautiful illustrations complement the poetic text of this wonderful, warm book. A real gem! ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: Multicultural Picture Books about Love


Hooray, a Piñata!
by Elisa Kleven

 Hooray, a pinata!

Little Clara is faced with a dilemma: She wants to keep Lucky, her dog piñata, as a pet. But if she does, she won’t have a piñata at her birthday party! Clara’s friend comes to the rescue with a wonderful solution. Hooray A Piñata! is an upbeat story about the power of imagination that comes to live with the colourful collage artwork. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Pablo’s Tree
by Pat Mora

Pablo's Tree

On the day Pablo was adopted, grandfather Lito planted a tree for him. Each year on Pablo’s birthday, Lito decorates the tree with different items – streamers, balloons, paper lanterns, tiny birdcages. This year it is chimes. Pablo and Lito sit together and listen to the music the wind makes as it blows through the tree. Pablo’s Tree is a moving story about the warm relationship between a grandfather and grandson. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 28 Multicultural Children’s Books about Adoption


Dreams
by Ezra Jack Keats

 Dreams

Dreams is a classic by author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats. Late at night, little Roberto sees a dog terrorizing his friend’s cat. He accidentally knocks a paper mouse he made in school off the window sill. Down it falls, casting a bigger and bigger shadow on the wall, until it scares away the dog. “Sometimes real life is even more surprising than dreams.” ~ Hispanic – Preschool

More books by Ezra Jack Keats: Author Spotlight: Ezra Jack Keats


My Grandma/Mi Abuelita
by Ginger Foglesong Guy

My Grandma

My Grandma/Mi Abuelita follows a family on their trip above the clouds and across the sea to visit their beloved grandma/abuelita. Simple text and charming watercolour illustrations draw the reader gently along the family’s journey from their urban neighborhood to the rural, tropical surroundings at grandma’s home. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


Big Sisters Are the Best
by Fran Manushkin

Big Sisters Are The Best

A little girl tells the reader all about life with her new sibling, explaining the differences between her and the baby and how she helps her parents. The book also addresses the more difficult feelings caused by not having the parents’ undivided attention anymore, and emphasizes that their love for her hasn’t changed. Big Sisters Are the Best is a sweet and reassuring book, lovingly illustrated with cute and colourful pictures. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 20 Multicultural Picture Books about new siblings


Gracias / Thanks
by Pat Mora

Gracias/Thanks

A young biracial boy recounts some of the simple everyday things he is thankful for, like his comfy old pyjamas, bees not stinging and the sun waking him up in the morning. With poetic text and vivid acrylic illustrations bilingual Gracias Thanks  encourages young children to think about all the things they are grateful for. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families


Green Is a Chile Pepper // Round Is a Tortilla
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Green Is A Chile Pepper Round Is A Tortilla

The children in Green is a Chile Pepper discover a world of colours all around them, from red spices and swirling skirts to yellow tortillas and sweet corn cake. Round is a Tortilla explores the world of shapes, from rectangular ice-cream carts to triangular slices of watermelon and quesadillas With rich, boisterous folk-art illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, these lively picture books will be a hit with your preschooler! ~ Hispanic – Preschool


One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

“One is a rainbow. / One is a cake. / One is a piñata that’s ready to break!”  In this lively companion to the Pura Belpré–honored Green Is a Chile Pepper, children experience a fiesta of numbers all around them, from one piñata to two maracas, six salsas and more. With vibrant illustrations and rhyming text, One is a Piñata is a fun counting book that little readers will love. ~ Hispanic – Preschool



 

 

 

 


Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border
by Mitali Perkins

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Just before Christmas, Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico. For the few minutes they have together at the fence, they exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven’t seen in years. When Juan’s gift is too big to fit through the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea. Between Us And Abuela is a heartwarming story about family and love. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


Life Without Nico
by Andrea Maturana

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

When Maia’s best friend moves away, she feels empty, bored, and alone. Slowly, things begin to get better: She makes a new friend, and discovers a new passion. When Nico returns, Maia worries that there will no longer be room for him but she soon learns that there is always enough space in your heart for friends. Life Without Nico is a moving picture book that sensitively explores a child’s feelings around friendship and loss. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Abuela
by Arthur Dorros

Abuela

Judging by the amount of books about Abuelas out there, Grandmothers must play a very important role in Hispanic families! While riding on a bus with her Abuela, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City. The melodic text and the exuberant mixed-media illustrations perfectly capture the jazzy energy of this imaginary trip. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


The Night of Las Posadas
by Tomie dePaola

The Night of Las Posadas

Every year the procession of Las Posadas goes from door to door seeking shelter on Christmas Eve. But this year everything goes wrong: Sister Angie, who is in charge of the celebration, has to stay home with the flu, and Lupe and Roberto, who are to play Mary and Joseph, get caught in a snowstorm. Mysteriously, a man and a woman arrive in time to take their place in the procession and disappear at the end before they can be thanked. The Night of Las Posadas is a magical story of a Christmas miracle, complemented by luminous paintings. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Nativity Story


Chavela and the Magic Bubble
by Monica Brown

Chavela and the Magica Bubble

Littlle Chavela loves chewing gum – and blowing bubbles! On a day out with her abuelita (the grandmother theme again!), she finds a mysterious kind of gum and blows a giant bubble that lifts her up into the air and carries her on a magical journey. Luscious, candy-coloured paintings illustrate this fantastical story with an ecological twist. The afterword of Chavela and the Magic Bubble provides information on natural chewing gum, the rainforest, and sustainable farming, as well as music to a traditional Latin American folksong. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story
by Antonio Sacre

Nina usually spends Christmas in snowy New England with her mother, but this year she is visiting her Cuban father and grandmother in Miami. She is not sure what to make of a hot and humid Christmas, until she learns about Cuban Christmas traditions, the cooking, the dancing, the music, and the gathering of relatives and neighbours. Sprinkled with Spanish words, La Noche Buena is a wonderful introduction to Cuban Christmas traditions. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books about Christmas


Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
by Isabel Campoy

Maybe Something Beautiful

Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful tells the inspiring story of how art transformed a community. In her dismal neigbourhood, little Mira offers some joy by handing out pictures she’s painted and painting a bright sun on grey walls. When a muralist takes notice of Mira’s work, they start a community project together to make the grey walls in their neighbourhood beautiful works of art. Neighbours of all ages, races and walks of life join in, and turn the project into a joyful celebration that brings the community closer together. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Power of Community


The Night Worker
by Kate Banks

The Night Worker

Every night, Papa tucks Alex in before he puts on his hard hat and goes to his work as an engineer on a construction site. “Take me with you,” Alex says every night, and “not tonight,” responds Papa every night. But then one night Papa surprises him with a hard hat. Alex gets to be a night worker at the construction site, where the excavators rumble and the cement mixers hum. The Night Worker is a unique bedtime story all children will love, especially those fascinated by big machines. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


My Abuelita
by Tony Johnston

My Abuelita

Another one about grandmas! Abuelita’s hair is the colour of salt. Her face is as crinkled as a dried chile. She booms out words as wild as blossoms blooming. Her grandson knows he has the most amazing grandmother ever – with a very important job: Abuelita is a storyteller. Sprinkled with Spanish and infused with love, My Abuelita is a glorious celebration of family, imagination, and the power of story, stunningly illustrated by Yuyi Morales. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


Niño Wrestles The World
by Yuyi Morales

Nino Wrestles The World Rudas Horrendous Hermanitas

Pretend lucha libre competitor Niño wrestles with imaginary monsters and other adversaries, most of all his younger sisters. Niño Wrestles The World and Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas are two fun stories about imagination, play, and annoying siblings, brought to life by Morales’ dynamic cartoon-style illustrations. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 10 Laugh-Out-Loud Funny Multicultural Picture Books



 

 

 

 


Santiago Stays
by Angela Dominguez

Santiago Stays

Santiago Stays. He does not budge when offered a walk, a treat or even a hamburger. Nothing can lure this stubborn French bulldog away from his post, much to the disappointment of the little boy trying to engage him. When the boy’s frustration bubbles over into a yell, it wakes his baby sister and the reader realizes whom it was that Santiago was guarding all along. The mixed-media illustrations add to the effortless charm of this humorous story. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Gilberto and the Wind
by Marie Hall Ets

Gilberto and the Wind

The wind calls little Gilberto to come out and play. Written in 1978, Gilberto and the Wind with its sweet text and simple drawings has become a classic that continues to appeal to preschool children. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


What Can You Do with a Paleta?
by Carmen Tafolla

What Can You Do With A Paleta?

There’s so much to do with a paleta – the traditional Mexican popsicle sold from the wagon with the tinkly bell that brings children running from every direction! Create a masterpiece, make tough choices (strawberry or coconut?), or cool off on a warm summer’s day. Vibrant acrylic paintings and lyrical text make bilingual What Can You Do with a Paleta? a fun read. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


A Birthday Basket for Tia
by Pat Mora

 A Birthday Basket for Tia

Little Cecilia puts together a birthday basket for her beloved great aunt, containing items that represent activities they both like to share. A Birthday Basket for Tia is a sweet story about a very special relationship, accentuated by the warm cut-paper illustrations. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Papa and Me
by Arthur Dorros

Papa and Me

“When I’m with my papá, / I can fly like an eagle, an águila, / I can climb alto, high, in a tree.” A young boy and his papa speak both Spanish and English, but most importantly, they speak is the language of love. With bilingual text and lush, energetic paintings, Papá and Me portrays the loving bond between a father and a son. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 70+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers


The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred
by Samantha R. Vamos

The Cazuela That The Farm Maiden Stirred

This is a fun story of how the farm maiden and all the farm animals worked together to make a traditional rice pudding. The Cazuela That The Farm Maiden Stirred is a vibrant picture book that cleverly incorporates Spanish words, perfectly complemented by Rafael Lopez exuberant illustrations. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem
by Jorge Argueta

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: Salsa

“I am ready with four tomatoes./ They are bongos and kettledrums./ The onion is a maraca./ Cloves of garlic are trumpets,/ and the cilantro is the orchestra conductor/ with his shaggy, green hair.” Two young siblings prepare a traditional salsa, singing and dancing all the while and imagining the ingredients as parts of an orchestra. With gorgeous Mixtec-inspired illustrations in earthy tones, Salsa is a fun cooking poem for preschoolers. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 26 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children aged 0 to 10


Elena’s Serenade
by Campbell Geeslin

Elena's Serenade

Little Elena wants to be a glassblower, just like her papa. But he tells her that girls can’t be glassblowers. Determined to follow her dream, Elena sets off on a fantastic journey to Monterrey, home of the greatest glassblowers. Stunningly illustrated and filled with magic realism Elena’s Serenade is an empowering story for little girls. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls


My Mexico
by Tony Johnston

 My Mexico

“Little Gourds / drying on the vine / shaking like maracas / tlaka, tlaka, tlaka / keeping time to the whine / of wind / in Oaxaca.” With rhythmic poems and engaging illustrations, bilingual My Mexico captures the warmth of Mexican villages with their colourful houses, the scent of roses and chillies, and the sound of corn shaking in the wind. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 26 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children aged 0 to 10


Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter
by Mark Gonzalez

Yo Soy Muslim

“Dear little one, /…know you are wondrous. / A child of crescent moons, / a builder of mosques, / a descendant of brilliance,/ an ancestor in training.” Written as a poetic letter from a father to his daughter accompanied by magical and vibrant illustrations, Yo Soy Muslim is a touching celebration of diversity and social harmony. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 21 Children’s Books about Ramadan and Eid



 

 

 

 


Doña Flor
by Pat Mora

Dona Flor

Giant Doña Flor is popular in her tiny village in the American Southwest. She lets the children use her flowers as trumpets, her leftover tortillas as rafts, and she loves reading to them. When there is a terrifying roar just outside the village one day, Flor and her animal friends set off to find the creature, only to discover a very small reason for the big noise. Doña Flor is a humorous tall tale about a giant lady with an even bigger heart, beautifully illustrated with Raul Colón’s signature warm mix of watercolour washes, etching, and litho pencils. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Just a Minute // Just In Case
by Yuyi Morales

Just A Minute Just in Case

Señor Calavera tells Grandma Beetle it’s time to come along but she stalls for time. “Just a Minute,” Grandma says, and attends to one chore after the next, from sweeping the house to filling piñatas. In Just in Case Señor Calvera tries to figure out what to give Grandma Beetle for her birthday. With dynamic text and lively illustrations reflecting Mexican culture, these two award-winning picture books are fun and original counting and alphabet books. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Book Fiesta!
by Pat Mora

Book Fiesta!

Book Fiesta! is a bilingual celebration of Children’s Day/Book Day (El día de los niños/El día de los libroswhich is observed annually on April 30th to emphasize the importance of literacy for children of all backgrounds. Founder Pat Mora’s fun text coupled with Rafael López’s colourful and lively illustrations make this picture book a hit for story time. Includes a letter from the author and suggestions for celebrating Children’s Day /Book Day. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Little Night
by Yuyi Morales

Little Night

As the day comes to an end, Mother Sky calls Little Night for her bedtime routine, but Little Night keeps running off. The beautiful text, coupled with Morales’ exquisite dreamlike illustrations make Little Night an absolute treasure for bedtime. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: Top 10 Multicultural Bedtime Stories for Babies & Toddlers


Jay and Ben
by Katharine Swanson

 Jay and Ben

I was delighted to find a multicultural children’s book aimed at children with special needs! Jay and Ben is an interactive book developed for use with children with developmental and learning differences and disabilities. It is designed to help educators, parents and caregivers teach children about language, reading, story comprehension, functional skills and basic concepts. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 16 Multicultural Children’s Books about Autism


Dear Primo
by Duncan Tonatiuh

Dear Primo

Two cousins, one in America and one in Mexico, write letters to each other. Their lives are different yet similar. Charlie eats pizza after school, Carlitos helps his mother make quesadillas. Charlie cools off in an open fire hydrant, Carlitos jumps into a small rio. Simple text infused with Spanish words, and colourful collage illustrations make Dear Primo a fun read. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


The Adventures of Pili in New York
by Kike Calvo

Follow Pili as she travels the world from New York City to the Colombian rain forest with her dad, National Geographic photographer Kike Calvo. The Adventures of Pili in New York is the first book in a bilingual series about Pili’s adventures. The Little Explorer, Big World series tackles the concepts of cultural diversity and empowerment, global readiness and peace, entrepreneurship and climate change. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day


She’s Got This
by Laurie Hernandez

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Even Olympians have to start somewhere. When Zoe sees a gymnast on TV, she realizes that gymnastics is just like flying. But when she first goes to class and falls off the balance beam, she discovers that following your dreams isn’t always that easy. She’s Got This by gold-medal-winning Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez is an inspiring picture book about never giving up on your dreams. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 55 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models


May Your Life Be Deliciosa
by Michael Genhart

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Pura Belpré Illustrator Honour Book

“What is the recipe?” I ask. Abuela laughs. “It is in my heart, Rosie. I use mis ojos, my eyes, to measure. Mis manos, my hands, to feel. Mi boca, my mouth, to taste. My abuela gave it to me, and I am giving it to you.” Each year on Christmas Eve, Rosie’s abuela, mamá, tía, sister, and cousins all gather together in Abuela’s kitchen to make tamales—cleaning corn husks, chopping onions and garlic, roasting chilis, kneading cornmeal dough, seasoning the filling, and folding it all—and tell stories. Rosie learns from her abuela not only how to make a delicious tamale, but how to make a delicious life, one filled with love, plenty of spice, and family. May Your Life Be Deliciosa is a vibrant picture book about family and traditions. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


My Tata’s Guitar/ La Guitarra de Mi Tata
by Ethriam Cash Brammer

 My Tata's Guitar

A young boy is intrigued by the treasures he finds in his grandfather’s garage, most of all an old guitar. Tata plays the guitar for him that was given to him by his own grandfather. He shares his memories of posadas at Christmas, birthday melodies and even a special moonlight serenade. My Tata’s Guitar is a bright bilingual picture book about loving intergenerational relationships and the magic of musical tradition. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents



 

 

 

 


Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (The Questioneers)
by Andrea Beaty

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

When Sofia’s beloved Abuelo hurts his ankle at the local landfill known as Mount Trashmore, Sofia comes up with the genius idea to turn the slimy mess into a park! She presents her plan at the City Plan but is told that she can’t build a park because she’s just a kid. Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do. Instant New York Times bestseller Sofia Valdez, Future Prez is the newest in the popular Questioneers series starring a diverse bunch of kids who come up with creative ideas and pursue their passions with persistence. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 50+ Multicultural STEAM Books for Children


Two White Rabbits
by Jairo Buitrago

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: Two White Rabbits

Told from the child’s perspective, Two White Rabbits follows a little girl and her father as they travel north toward the US border. The girl counts everything she sees along the way, from animals by the road to the clouds in the sky. This poignant picture book with its expressive illustrations introduces young children to the struggles of immigrants on their challenging journey. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
by Monica Brown

Multicultural Children's Books About Fabulous Female Artists: Frida Kahlo

Based on the life of one of the world’s most influential painters, Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos tells the story of the animals that inspired her art. This stunning multi-award-winning picture book recounts Frida’s beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Fabulous Female Artists


Coquí in the City
by Nomar Perez

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Miguel’s pet frog, Coquí, is always with him: as he greets his neighbours in San Juan, buys quesitos from the panadería, and listens to his abuelo’s story about meeting baseball legend Roberto Clemente. But then Miguel and his parents move to New York City, leaving his beloved grandparents, home in Puerto Rico, and even Coquí behind. Life in the city is overwhelming, with unfamiliar buildings, foods, and people. But when he and Mamá go exploring, they find a few familiar sights that remind them of home, and Miguel realizes there might be a way to keep a little bit of Puerto Rico with him. Coquí in the City is a heartfelt picture book based on the author’s own experience of immigration. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


A Song of Frutas
by Margarita Engle

A Song of Frutas

“When we visit mi abuelo, I help him sell frutas, singing the names of each fruit as we walk, our footsteps like drumbeats, our hands like maracas, shaking…” From Pura Belpré Award–winning author Margarita Engle comes A Song of Frutas, a lively, rhythmic picture book about a little girl visiting her grandfather who is a pregonero—a singing street vendor in Cuba—and helping him sell his frutas. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


Margaret and Margarita / Margarita y Margaret
by Lynn Reiser

Two little girls meet in the park. Margaret only speaks English, and Margarita only speaks Spanish. The girls find a creative way to communicate and have fun playing together. They even draw their mothers together and make plans to meet again. With simple illustrations that build a bridge between the two languages, Margaret and Margarita is a cleverly constructed bilingual story about a new friendship. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Friendship


Julián Is a Mermaid
by Jessica Love

Julian Is A Mermaid

While riding on the subway with his Abuela, Julián is fascinated by three women spectacularly dressed up as mermaids. When he gets home, he makes his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think? Vibrantly illustrated, Julián is a Mermaid is a heart-warming celebration of self-love, individuality and acceptance. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books To Help Build Self-Esteem


Julián at the Wedding
by Jessica Love

In this radiant sequel to acclaimed Julián Is a Mermaid, Julián is excited to be part of a wedding — and he even makes a new friend! Julián and Marisol set off for some magic and mischief of their own, and when things take an unexpected turn, the pair learns that everything is easier with a good friend by your side. Julián at the Wedding is a joyful story of friendship and individuality . ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Friendship


Lola Out Loud: Inspired by the Childhood of Activist Dolores Huerta
by Jennifer Torres

Her grandpa calls her “Lolita Siete Lenguas”—Little Lola, Seven Tongues, all fighting to be heard. Lola is trying not to make so much noise, but when she witnesses injustices in her own neighborhood, she knows she can’t keep quiet. Can Lola find a way to use her voice for change? ¡Sí, se puede! Inspired by the real-life civil rights activist and labor leader Dolores Huerta, Lola Out Loud is a warm and rollicking picture book that reminds us that sometimes one strong voice is just what we need. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls


Day of the Dead
by Tony Johnston

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: Day of the Dead

“Wait/Espérense. Till when? Soon.” Two siblings in a small Mexican town can’t wait till the celebrations for Day of the Day begin. They watch in anticipation as the fruits are being picked, food cooked, and flowers gathered. With bold illustrations framed by decorative borders, Day of the Dead is an appealing introduction to a fascinating holiday. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 19 Day of the Dead Children’s Books



 

 

 

 


Rafa Counts on Papá
by Joe Cepeda

NEW Multicultural Children's Books May 2022

Rafa and his papá love to count and measure together. They know how many branches they climb to their favorite spot, they know how high their dog Euclid can jump, and they know how far they can run. But there’s one thing Rafa can’t count or measure because it is infinite: the love that he and his papá share. With a subtle nod to introducing concepts, from real objects to the abstract, Rafa Counts On Papá the immeasurable love of this Latinx family. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Zonia’s Rain Forest
by Juana Martinez-Neal

best multicultural picture books of 2021

Zonia lives in the Peruvian Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to her, and every morning, she answers. Zonia visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice… Zonia’s Rain Forest is an engaging story of a young girl’s bond with her home, brought to life by expressive illustrations. Includes a translation of the story in Asháninka, information on the Asháninka community and on the Amazon rain forest and its wildlife. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day


La Princesa and the Pea
by Juana Martinez-Neal

Set amid guinea pigs, stone arches, and fuzzy indigenous Peruvian textiles, La Princesa and the Pea is a charming bilingual version of the classic fairy tale with a mischievous twist. Juana Martinez-Neal’s vibrant illustrations incorporating cultural elements from the Peruvian village of Huilloc and the Colca Canyon make this a unique and exquisite book. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

I’ll Meet You In Your Dreams
by Jessica Young

best multicultural picture books of 2021

“Each evening when the sun has set, as nighttime casts a starry net, I’ll hitch a ride on moonbeams, and meet you in your dreams.” With poetic text and striking illustrations by award-winning artist Rafael López, I’ll Meet You In Your Dreams is a tender story that celebrates the ever-evolving relationship of a parent and child across time. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


It’s Not a Bed, It’s a Time Machine
by Mickey Rapkin

Best Multicultural Picture Books of 2019

Bedtime means lights out, with dark corners and spooky sounds. But it also means . . . adventure! It’s Not A Bed, It’s A Time Machine follows a little boy as he rides to the coolest time of all — the age of the dinosaurs. He makes a tyrannosaurus-sized friend, who helps him become the Boss of Bedtime. With colourful illustrations and a lively storyline, this picture book is sure to become your little one’s favourite bedtime read! ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Where Wonder Grows
by Xelena González

Grandma knows that there is wondrous knowledge to be found everywhere you look. She takes her granddaughters to their special garden, and asks them to look over their collection of rocks, crystals, seashells, and meteorites to see what marvels they have to show. “They were here long before us and know so much more about our world than we ever will,” Grandma says. With dazzling illustrations and poetic text, Where Wonder Grows is the perfect book to encourage the children’s curiosity and cultivate an enthusiastic approach to learning. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


‘Twas Nochebuena
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

“’Twas Nochebuena and all through our casa, / every creature was kneading tamale masa…” Join a Latino family as they prepare for Nochebuena celebrations! They make tasty tamaleshang colourful adornos, and sing festive canciones while sipping champurrado. With humorous verse and appealing illustrations, ‘Twas Nochebuena is a fun Christmas book your kids will want to read over and over again. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books about Christmas


Alma and How She Got Her Name
by Juana Martinez-Neal

Multicultural 2019 ALA Youth Media Award-Winning Books: Alma

Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela thinks she has way too many names. But then her daddy tells her about the family history of her names: From Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers, to Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel, and José, the grandfather who was an artist. Alma and How She Got Her Name is a gorgeously illustrated, tender story that celebrates identity, family and belonging. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Lucia the Luchadora
by Cynthia Leonor Garza

Multicultural Children's Books featuring Superheroes

When some boys tell her that “girls can’t be superheroes”, Lucia’s abuela tells her that she actually comes from a family of brave Mexican luchadoras. So she returns disguised as a luchadora but is soon confronted with a case of injustice and needs to find the courage to fight for what is right, even if that means breaking the sacred rule of never revealing the identity behind her mask. Named one of the Best Books of 2017, Lucía the Luchadora is a wonderful story about courage and cultural legacy. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Mango, Abuela, and Me
by Meg Medina

Multicultural Children's Books about grandparents: Mango, Abuela and Me

When Mia’s abuela comes to live with her family, the young girl soon realizes that her grandmother can’t speak English. Mia helps abuela learn English, and learns some Spanish, too, When Mia sees a parrot in the pet-shop window she has the perfect idea for how to help them all communicate a little better. 2016 Pura Belpré Award winning Mango, Abuela and Me is a charming story about the love that bonds family members. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents






Elementary School


Viva’s Voice
by Raquel Donoso

Five-year-old Viva’s Papi is a bus driver and Viva loves going to work with him. The sounds of the traffic and the voices of the passengers are music to Viva’s ears. When she finds out that Papi’s union is going on strike, she convinces Papi to take her along to the picket line. When quiet Papi is too nervous to give his speech, Viva uses her powerful voice to give him the confidence to find his own. A first introduction to labor unions, strikes, picket lines, and workers’ rights, Viva’s Voice is a powerful and endearing picture book based on the author’s own childhood experience. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist
by Duncan Tonatiuh

Children's Books set in Mexico: Esquivel

Another exciting new release by Tonatiuh! Juan Garcia Esquivel grew up to the sounds of mariachi bands. Defying convention, he created music that made people laugh and planted images in their minds. Juan’s space-age lounge music has found a new generation of listeners. Esquivel! brings the artist’s spirit to life with quirky illustrations . ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Fabulous Female Artists


Manuel’s Murals
by Jeaninne Escallier Kato

 Manuel's Murals

9-year-old Manuel  loves to paint murals like his hero, the legendary Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He dreams of becoming as famous as Rivera so he can take care of his family and never have to watch his father clean other people’s buildings ever again. Manuel’s Murals is a vibrant picture book about family and Mexican culture. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


Dream Carver
by Diana Cohn

Children's Books set in Mexico: Dream Carver

Mateo and his father carve juguetes, small wooden animals they sell at the fiestas in Oaxaca. Mateo dream of carving large and bright animals, like goats as pink as bougainvillea with cactus-green speckles. His father scowls at the idea, but Mateo perseveres, and his animals sell like hotcakes at the local fiesta. Includes information on the unique Mexican art form. Dream Carver is an inspiring tale, brought to life by Cordova’s brilliant primitive paintings. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Jalapeno Bagels
by Natasha Wing

Jalapeno Bagels

Beautifully illustrated, Jalapeño Bagels tells the story of Pablo who cannot decide what food to take for his school’s International Day. The chano bars his Mexican mother makes or the bagels his white Jewish father bakes? He eventually comes up with a food that perfectly represents his mixed heritage. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families


Diego Rivera: His World and Ours
by Duncan Tonatiuh

Children's Books set in Mexico: Diego Rivera

This charming picture book shows Diego Rivera as a young, mischievous boy who loved to draw. Growing up he followed his passion for art and became one of the world’s most famous painters. Diego Rivera is an inspiring introduction to Rivera’s work, beautifully illustrated by the author. Tonatiuh also encourages readers to think about what Rivera would paint today, how his paintings would reflect today’s culture. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


My Papi Has a Motorcycle
by Isabel Quintero

My Papi Has A Motorcycle

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighbourhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees her rapidly changing community around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold, she knows that the love she feels will always be there. With vivid cartoon-style illustrations, My Papi Has A Motorcycle is a touching celebration of the love between a father and daughter. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 70+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers


First Day in Grapes
by L King Perez

First Day in Grapes

Every September Chico starts at a new school. His family moves up and down California picking fruits and vegetables. Not fluent in English, Chico often gets picked on at school but his first day in Grade 3 is different. His teacher is friendly and recognizes his excellent math skills, and his classmates accept him, too. When some older children bully Chico at lunchtime he responds in a brave and creative way. Pura Belpré Honour Book First Day in Grapes tells a heartfelt story of inner strength and personal triumph. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books about Bullying


Antonio’s Card/ La tarjeta de Antonio 
by Rigoberto González

Antonio's Card

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and Antonio searches for words to express his love for his mother and her partner, Leslie. When his classmates make fun of Leslie, a tall artist who wears paint-splattered overalls, Antonio feels hurt and confused. Complemented by richly hued paintings, Antonio’s Card is a warm and tender story about standing up for yourself and the people you love. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers


The Good Garden
by Katie Smith Milway

The Good Garden

The crop on their small farm in Honduras being poor, Maria’s family struggles to grow enough food to meet their needs. When a new teacher introduces Maria to sustainable farming practices the family’s farm starts yielding enough crop to cut out the coyote middleman. More and more farmers begin to grow good gardens, and the whole village becomes more food secure. The Good Garden is an inspiring story about sustainable farming, enhanced by lush illustrations and a useful author’s note. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 21 Multicultural Children’s Books: Growing Your Own Food


Danza!: Amalia Hernández and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet
by Duncan Tonatiuh

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

With award-winning author and illustrator Tonatiuh’s distinctive style, Danza! celebrates the life of Amalia Hernández, founder of the famous El Ballet Folklórico de México. Watching a performance of dancers in her town square, little Amalia was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew then that someday she would be a dancer, too. She went on to study different types of dance, including ballet, modern, and regional Mexican dances and brought her own dance company to international fame. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 22 Multicultural Children’s Books About Brave Ballerinas



 

 

 

 


La Luna Mango (Spanish Edition)
by Diane de Anda

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

When her father is taken away and faces deportation, Maricela and her family are left to deal with the grief, uncertainty and challenges ahead. But Maricela learns that her love for her father is sustained even though he is no longer part of her daily life. With expressive illustrations, La Luna Mango is a touching picture book about family, loss and grief. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


The Little House of Hope
by Terry Catasús Jennings

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

When Esperanza and her family arrive in the U.S. from Cuba, they rent a little house, una casita. As the family settles into their new house, they all do their part to make it a home. When other immigrant families need a place to stay, it seems only natural for the family in la casita to help. Together they turn the house into a place where other new immigrants can help one another. The Little House of Hope is an inspiring, semi-autobiographical story of how immigrants can help each other find their footing in a new country. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


Soccer Cousins 
by Jean Marzollo

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Although he’s been practising soccer for a long time, David always chokes at the important moments on the field. He is convinced that he is not cut out to play and never wants to play again. When he visits his cousin in Mexico to watch his Day of the Dead soccer tournament, he gets an unexpected chance to prove himself. With colourful illustrations and a suspenseful plot, Soccer Cousins is a great book for emerging readers. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books About Soccer


Zapato Power
by Jacqueline Jules

     

One day Freddie Ramos comes home from school and finds a strange box just for him. Inside he finds Zapato Power-shoes that change his life by giving him super speed! With breezy text, infused with a few Spanish words, and cartoon-style illustrations, Zapato Power is an appealing early chapter book series. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Book Series for Girls & Boys


The One Day House
by Julia Durango

The One Day House

Wilson tells his elderly friend Gigi that one day he will paint her house “orange and yellow like the sun.” Although Gigi assures him that him being there is more important to her, Wilson is determined to make his vision come true and tells everyone in the neighbourhood about it. And then one day, volunteers from the community come and help make Gigi’s house warm, comfortable and pretty. Inspired by the Labor of Love movement, The One Day House is a warm-hearted story about empathy and community. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Power of Community


The Gumazing Gum Girl!, Book 1: Chews Your Destiny
by Rhode Montijo

Multicultural Children's Books featuring Superheroes

Gabby Gomez loves to chew bubble gum, everywhere and all the time. One day a freak incident turns her into a sticky, stretchy superhero. Gabby loves her new superpowers but has to keep them secret from her mother or else she’ll find herself in a really sticky situation. With a hilarious storyline and bold artwork, The Gumazing Girl will be appealing to boys and girls everywhere. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 10 Laugh-Out-Loud Funny Multicultural Picture Books


Lola Levine
by Monica Brown

Lola Levine Multicultural Book Series: Lola Levine Multicultural Book Series: Lola Levine Multicultural Book Series: Lola Levine

Lola Levine likes writing in her diario, sipping her mom’s cafe con leche, eating her dad’s matzo ball soup, and playing soccer with her team, the Orange Smoothies. So what if she doesn’t always fit in? Lola Levine follows a Peruvian-Jewish girl with a big heart and creative spirit as she navigates second grade, friendship and more. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Book Series for Girls & Boys


Love to Mama: A Tribute to Mothers
by Pat Mora

Love To Mama

Love to Mama is a brightly illustrated collection of thirteen poems by Latino poets, from award-winning author Pat Mora to a teenaged new talent. Whether the poets are from Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela, they all write passionately about the one thing they have in common: The special bond they share with their mothers and grandmothers. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers


Tomas and the Library Lady
by Pat Mora

 Tomas and the Library Lady

Every summer story-loving Tomás and his family follow the crops north, working in the fields from Texas to Iowa. When his grandfather tells him about the books at the library, a whole new world opens up for Tomás. With gentle text and warm, earthy paintings, Tomás and the Library Lady tells the inspiring story of Tomás Rivera, a child of migrant workers who went on to become the first minority Chancellor at the University of California. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 19 Multicultural Children’s Books Celebrating Books & Reading


Dreamers
by Yuyi Morales

Dreamers

This instant NY Times bestseller is another firm favourite of 2018! In lyrical text and with the most beautiful illustrations, Dreamers tells Yuyi Morales’ own immigration story. She left almost everything behind in Mexico and came to the US with her infant son in 1994. What she brought with her though were her strength, her passion, her hopes and dreams…and her stories. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration



 

 

 

 


Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx
by Jonah Winter

Sonia Sotomayor

With her mother’s love, her own determination and will to learn, Sonia Sotomayor rose up from a childhood of poverty and prejudice to become the first Latina Supreme Court judge. With expressive illustrations, bilingual Sonia Sotomayor is an accessible picture book biography that chronicles the life of this inspirational woman, from her childhood in the South Bronx to her historic nomination. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls


The Legend of the Poinsettia
by Tomie dePaola

When Lucinda accidentally ruins the new blanket for the Baby Jesus she doesn’t want to go to the procession anymore. But then a mysterious old woman tells her that “any gift is beautiful because it is given”. So Lucinda brings an armful of weeds, and as she prays, they open into flaming red flowers. With beautiful artwork, The Legend of the Poinsettia tells the Mexican legend of how the poinsettia came to be the “Flor de la Nochebueno”.  ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2022


Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation
by Duncan Tonatiuh

Separate Is Never Equal

In 1944 Sylvia Mendez, an American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. With the help of the Hispanic community, her parents filed and won a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually led to the end of segregated education in California. Separate Is Never Equal tells Sylvia’s story in a touching and accessible way. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 100 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination


My Diary from Here to There/Mi diario de aqui hasta alla
by Amada Irma Perez

Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration: My Diary From Here to There

When Amada overhears her parents talking about moving Mexico to California, she is so worried she can’t sleep. Will she ever see her best friend again? What if she can’t learn English? Amada starts writing down her feelings and thoughts in her diary, and continues to do so throughout the journey north. My Diary From Here To There is a heartfelt story about a young girl who learns that with her family’s love and a strong belief in herself, she will be able to cope with anything. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


Juana and Lucas
by Juana Medina

Juana & Lucas

Spunky little Juana loves drawing, eating Brussels sprouts, living in Bogotá, Colombia, and most of all her dog Lucas. What she doesn’t like is wearing her itchy school uniform, solving math problems, going to dance class and most of all learning English. It is only when her grandparents tell her about an upcoming special trip that Juana starts to think that maybe learning English could be useful after all. The first book of a new series, humourous Juana & Lucas with its endearing main character is sure to win over the hearts of young readers everywhere. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Imagine!
by Raúl Colón

Imagine!

A young boy visits the Museum of Modern Art. He looks at all the artwork until one painting grabs his attention. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery unfolds. Imagine! is a compelling wordless picture book about the power of imagination and the passion for art. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Let’s Go See Papá!
by Lawrence Schimel

 Go See Papa!

A young girl loves Sundays because that’s when her father calls from the far-away US where he works. The girl thinks of all the fun things she used to do with her dad and keeps a record of what happens every day to share with him when she finally sees him again. But when her dad announces that she and her mother will move to the US, the girl has mixed feelings as she will have to leave her grandmother, her friends and her beloved dog behind. Let’s go see Papa! is a touching story about an absent father and leaving behind those you love.  ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers
by Sarah Warren

 Dolores Huerta

Teacher Dolores Huerta wants to know why her students are too hungry to listen, why they don’t have shoes to wear to school. When she finds out that the migrant farm workers in her community are poorly paid and work under dangerous conditions, she stands up for their rights. Powerful text and vibrant illustrations bring Huerta’s extraordinary battle to life. Includes a timeline, additional reading, articles, websites, and resources for teachers. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 55 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models


Roses for Isabella
by Diana Cohn & Lynn Lohr

Children's Books set in Ecuador: Roses for Isabella

Isabella’s teacher asks the children to write a story that honours Pachamama, our Mother Earth. Isabella wants to write abut the rose farm where her parents work. Her teacher tells her it is good to see what you write about, so together they visit the farm. Roses for Isabella is a sweet story, complemented by colourful illustrations. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 6 Children’s Books set in Ecuador


Drum Dream Girl
by Margarita Engle

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: Drum Dream Girl

Based on the life of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, Drum Dream Girl tells the story of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo of female drumming. Dreaming of pounding congas and tapping bongós, little Millo practices in secret and eventually becomes the first well-known female drummer in Cuba. With Rafael López’s vibrant and detailed illustrations in acrylic paint on wood, this is an inspiring children’s book about a young girl’s determination to make her dream come true. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families


Rain Player
by David Wiesniewsky

Rain Player

Based on the Mayan belief that the future is determined and cannot be changed, this is a story about a young ballplayer who challenges the Rain God in order to prevent disaster for his people. With extraordinary cut-paper illustrations, Rain Player is an unusual picture book that teaches young children about the ancient Mayan culture. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 15 Multicultural Children’s Books about Rain



 

 

 

 


Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda and his Muse
by Alexandria Giardino

 Ode To An Onion

Pablo’s friend Maltide takes the moody poet around her garden to gather food for their lunch. Where Pablo sees tension, darkness and sadness, Matilde sees love, light and hope. Inspired by Pablo’Neruda’s famous poem, Ode to an Onion is a poetic ode to friendship, a humble vegetable and unexpected beauty. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children


Chocolate Milk, Por Favor
by Maria Dismondy

 Chocolate Milk, Por Favor!

Gabe cries when his mother drops him off for his first day of school in America. He doesn’t speak English and does not understand the mean things Johnny says to him (“crybaby”). With the help of his other classmates, Gabe soon becomes part of the school community. And with his kindness, he also eventually wins over Johnny. Chocolate Milk, Por favor! shows the challenges a young immigrant faces and the positive effects of kindness.  ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 20 Multicultural Children’s Books about School


That’s Not Fair! / ¡No Es Justo!: Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice
by Carmen Tafolla

That's Not Fair!

That’s Not Fair! tells the true story of Emma Tenayuca, a courageous and compassionate young Mexican-American girl in San Antonio in the 1920’s. Emma cared deeply about poverty and hunger during a time when many Mexican Americans were exploited in the city’s pecan-shelling factories. At the age of 21, Emma led 12,000 workers in the first significant historical action in the Mexican-American struggle for justice. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 55 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models


Colors of the Wind: The Story of Blind Artist and Champion Runner George Mendoza
by J.L. Powers

Colors of the Wind

At age 15 George Mendoza started losing his central vision and seeing things like eyes floating in the air, extraordinary colors, and multiplied objects. He went on to break a world record for blind runners and later turned his talents to painting what he saw with his ‘kaleidoscope eyes”. Mendoza’s collection of paintings, also titled Colors of the Wind, is a National Smithsonian Affiliates traveling exhibit. Brightly illustrated Colors of the Wind is an inspiring story about a contemporary artist who overcame challenges and turned them into triumphs. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 8 Multicultural Children’s Books Featuring Blind Children


Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua
by Gloria Amescua

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

As a young Nahua girl in Mexico during the early 1900s, Luz learned how to grind corn in a metate, to twist yarn with her toes, and to weave on a loom. By the fire at night, she listened to stories of her community’s joys, suffering, and survival, and wove them into her heart. But when the Mexican Revolution came to her village, Luz and her family were forced to flee and start a new life. In Mexico City, Luz became a model for painters, sculptors, and photographers such as Diego Rivera, Jean Charlot, and Tina Modotti. Through her work, Luz found a way to preserve her people’s culture by sharing her native language, stories, and traditions. Brought to life by gorgeous illustrations, Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua tells the remarkable story of how model and teacher Luz Jiménez became “the soul of Mexico”. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls


Sofia Martinez
by Jacqueline Jules

Sofia Martinez Multicultural Book Series: Sofia Martinez Multicultural Book Series: Sofia Martinez Multicultural Book Series: Sofia Martinez Multicultural Book Series: Sofia Martinez Multicultural Book Series: Sofia Martinez

Lively 7-year-old Sofia Martinez loves getting attention – even if it gets her into trouble! Sofia Martinez follows spunky Sofia and her big family on her adventures in this fun early chapter book series! The stories stand alone and don’t need to be read in a particular order. The books are sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases and include discussion questions and writing prompts. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

More from Sofia Martinez: Picture Perfect // The Secret Recipe // The Marigold Mess // Lights Out // Singing Superstar // Shopping Trip Trouble // Abuela’s Special Letters


Beauty Woke
by NoNieqa Ramos

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Beauty is a Puerto Rican girl loved and admired by her family and community. At first, she’s awake to their beauty, and her own—a proud Boricua of Taíno and African descent. But as she grows older, she sees how people who look like her are treated badly, and she forgets what makes her special. So her community bands together to help remind her of her beautiful heritage. Beauty Woke is a powerful story of pride and community, told with bold lyricism and the heart of a fairy tale. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Power of Community


Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln
by Margarita Engle

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

As a little girl, Teresa loved to let her hands dance across the piano. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. When a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the U.S., Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few people spoke Spanish. And there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War. Still, Teresa kept playing and soon grew so famous that President Lincoln asked her to play at the White House. With soaring words and stunning illustrations, Dancing Hands tells the fascinating life story of Teresa Carreño. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 55 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models


She Persisted: Diana Taurasi
by Monica Brown

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

When Diana Taurasi was a girl, professional women’s basketball didn’t exist in the US. Diana knew she was talented, and she worked hard to create opportunities for herself and other female athletes. She won high school and college championships before going pro with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and winning five Olympic gold medals, inspiring many girls to follow in her athletic footsteps. She Persisted: Diana Taurasi is an inspiring chapter book biography that shows readers how Diana Taurasi persisted and succeeded. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Women In Sports


The Soda Bottle School
by Laura Kutner

 The Soda Bottle School

In a Guatemalan village, the tiny schoolhouse desperately needed expansion. When the money ran out before the project was finished, someone had a creative idea: Why not use readily available soda bottles for the walls? The Soda Bottle School teaches children that thinking outside the box can lead to the perfect solution. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School



 

 

 

 


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

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

The Princess and The Warrior retells one of Mexico’s cherished legends, the Aztec tale of two volcanoes: Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl. Iztaccíhuatl is said to look like a sleeping woman, and Popocatépetl like a warrior who guards her. The captivating story and Tonatiuh’s trademark illustrations of stylized characters always shown in profile complement each other perfectly. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
by Susan Hood

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Growing up in a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill, Ada Ríos dreamed of playing the violin. When music teacher Favio Chávez arrived, he made the children instruments out of trash. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays venues around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation. Ada’s Violin is the extraordinary true tale of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, brought to life by expressive mixed media collages. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


N Is for Navidad
by Susan Middleton Elya

“A is for ángel, / hung high by papá. / B is for buñuelos, / fried by mamá.” N is for Navidad is a lively celebration of a Latino Christmas, complemented by vibrant illustrations. Each letter in this festive alphabet introduces children to a Spanish word, and each colourful page takes them through another joyous aspect of the 22 days of the traditional holiday. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books about Christmas


Clue by Clue (Carmen Sandiego)
by Catherine Hapka

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Crack the code with Carmen Sandiego! Inspired by the Netflix animated series, Clue by Clue follows the world’s greatest thief and her crew on a thrilling treasure hunt from the cobblestone streets of London to a sunken city in the Caribbean. A special clue-decoding wheel allows readers to help Carmen find the treasure. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Carmen Sandiego: The Sticky Rice Paper
by Houghtoun Mifflin Harcourt

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

In this graphic novel version of Carmen Sandiego’s adventures, the world’s greatest thief is headed to the island nation of Indonesia for her next caper! The Sticky Rice Paper is an action-packed packed story that introduces kids to the geography, culture, and history of Indonesia along the way. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Sarai and the Around the World Fair
by Monica Brown

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Sarai And The Around The World Fair is the fourth book in a series inspired by the life of viral video sensation and social activist Sarai Gonzalez. When Sarai outgrows her bike, she worries she’ll never get to travel anywhere. But, when Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary hosts an Around the World Fair, Sarai learns that with a little imagination, you can go anywhere you want! ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

More from the series: Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome // Sarai in the Spotlight // Sarai Saves the Music


Alicia Alonso Dances On (She Made History)
by Rose Viña

Multicultural Children's Books About Brave Ballerinas

As a young girl in Cuba, Alicia Alonso practiced ballet in tennis shoes. Within a few years, she was in New York City, with a promising ballet career. But her eyesight began to fail. When Alicia needed surgeries to save her vision, dancing was impossible, but she wouldn’t give up her dream. She found the strength and determination to return to the stage and become a prima ballerina. Alicia Alonso Dances On is the true story of a woman who overcame her challenges, mastered her art, and inspired others to dance and dream. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 22 Multicultural Children’s Books About Brave Ballerinas


A Journey Toward Hope
by Victor Hinojosa & Coert Voorhees

NEW Multicultural Children's Books August 2020

Every year, roughly 50,000 unaccompanied minors seek asylum at the US/Mexico border, the majority fleeing the systemic violence of Central America’s “Northern Triangle”: Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. A Journey Toward Hope is a heartfelt book that tells the story of Rodrigo, a 14-year-old Honduran; Alessandra, a 10-year-old Guatemalan; and Salvadoran siblings Laura and Nando. Though their reasons for making the trip are different, the four children band together, finding strength in one another as they share the dreams of their past and the hopes for their future.  ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


Growing Up Pedro
by Matt Tavares

2016 Américas Award winning Children's Books: Growing Up Pedro

Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues celebrates baseball hero Pedro Martinez and his brother Ramón who supported Pedro on his way to fame. With detailed, realistic paintings and simple text, the book describes the deep connection between the two brothers, from their childhood throwing rocks at mangos or pitching against each other to giving each other strength through injury and other obstacles. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Finding the Music / En pos de la música
by Jennifer Torres

2016 Américas Award winning Children's Books: Finding the Music

Reyna feels terrible when she accidentally breaks her Abuelito’s vihuela, a small guitar her late grandfather used to play in a mariachi band. As she searches for someone in her neighbourhood who can fix the instrument, Reyna gathers stories about Abuelito and his music. She eventually finds a music store whose owner can fix the vihuela and even gives her a recording of her grandfather’s music. With realistic illustrations bilingual Finding the Music tells an engaging story about family, community and the connecting power of music. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 15 Multicultural Children’s Books based on Famous Songs


Papi’s Gift
by Karen Stanton

Multicultural Children's Books about Fathers: Papi's Gift

Because of a drought, Graciela’s father has to go work on a farm in California, and won’t be at home for her seventh birthday. But he promises that he will send a special present in the mail, with Graciela’s full name on it and red string wrapped around it. Each day, Graciela gets more and more angry and disappointed when the present doesn’t arrive. Until one day she has a thought: Maybe Papi could use a gift himself! Papi’s Gift is a beautifully illustrated and heartwarming picture book that highlights the special, unbreakable bond between a father and a daughter. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 70+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers



 

 

 

 


Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
by Anika Aldamuy Denise

Best Multicultural Picture Books of 2019

Working as a bilingual assistant at the New York Public Library, Pura Belpré turned her popular retellings of Puerto Rican folk stories into books and spread story seeds across the land. Since then, generations of children and storytellers have continued to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy. Brought to life by exuberant illustrations and lyrical text, Planting Stories is an inspiring picture book biography of New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian who championed bilingual literature. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 19 Multicultural Children’s Books Celebrating Books & Reading


Grandma’s Gift
by Eric Velasquez

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Eric and his grandmother visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eric is fascinated by a painting by Diego Velasquez and wonders whether he could be an artist one day. Later, Grandma gives him the perfect Christmas gift. Based on the author’s childhood memories, Grandma’s Gift is a heart-warming book about self-discovery and the special bond between a grandparent and grandchild, perfectly complemented by Velasquez’s rich paintings. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


The Dead Family Diaz
by P.J. Bracegirdle

Day of the Dead Children's Books

Unlike all the other skeletons in the Land of the Dead, Angelito is not looking forward to celebrate the Day of the Dead with the Living. He is scared of their bulgy eyes, red tongues and squishy skin. When Angelito is separated from his family during the celebrations he is petrified – until he befriends a living boy. The Dead Family Diaz is a fresh and humourous take on the Mexican holiday, brought to life by vibrant, Tim Burton-esque illustrations. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 19 Day of the Dead Children’s Books


Stella Díaz Dreams Big
by Angela Dominguez

Stella is happy as a clam in fourth grade. She’s the president of the Sea Musketeers conservation club, she starts taking swim lessons, and she joins a new art club at school. But as her schedule fills up, school gets harder, too. Suddenly the tides have turned, and she is way too busy! Stella will be in an ocean of trouble if she can’t keep her head above water. But with her trusty Sea Musketeers by her side, she hopes to make her big dreams come true! Based on the author’s experiences growing up Mexican American, Stella Díaz Dreams Big is a relatable story with an infectiously charming character. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


She Persisted: Sonia Sotomayor
by Meg Medina

Best Multicultural Chapter Books of 2021

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in the history of the United States, but her road there wasn’t easy. She overcame many challenges along the way, including a diagnosis of diabetes at age seven. But she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her dream and inspiring children all over the world to work hard and believe in themselves. She Persisted: Sonia Sotomayor is an engaging chapter book biography that includes a list of ways that readers can follow in Sonia Sotomayor’s footsteps and make a difference. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 55 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models


Pedro’s Big Goal
by Fran Manushkin

Multicultural Children's Books About Soccer

Pedro’s biggest dream is to play goalie in his team’s next big soccer match. But he worries that he is too slow and too small. Will Pedro meet his big goal? Part of the Pedro series, Pedro’s Big Goal is a fun read that emerging readers will love. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books About Soccer


Camila the Baking Star
by Alicia Salazar

Camila and her papa enter a baking competition on TV. As they start their challenge, Camila is determined to take complete control of their challenge, strawberry-iced cake pops. But without teamwork, their dessert is a mess! Is it too late to become baking stars? Camila The Baking Star is one of four books in the charming Camila the Star chapter book series featuring an endearing protagonist and her Mexican American family. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


Knight of the Cape (Definitely Dominguita)
by Terry Catasús Jennings

Best Multicultural Chapter Books of 2021

All Dominguita wants to do is read. Especially the books in Spanish that Abuela gave to her just before she moved from Cuba to America. One of her favorites, Don Quixote, tells of a brave knight errant who tries to do good deeds. Dominguita decides that she, too, will become a knight and do good deeds around her community, creating a grand adventure for her to share with her abuela. And when the class bully tells Dominguita that girls can’t be knights, Dom is determined to prove him wrong. With a team of new friends, can Dominguita learn how to be the hero of her own story? Definitely Dominguita is thefirst book in a new chapter book series featuring a young Cuban American girl. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


When Christmas Feels Like Home
by Gretchen Griffith

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Eduardo’s family has just moved to the U.S. from a small village in Mexico. The other children don’t speak his language and they don’t play fútbol. His family promises Eduardo that he will feel at home by Christmas, when “your words float like clouds from your mouth” and “trees will ride on cars.” Beautifully illustrated and sprinkled with Spanish words, When Christmas feels like Home teaches children that home is wherever family is. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books about Christmas


When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana
by Michael Mahin

Multicultural 2019 ALA Youth Media Award-Winning Books: When Angels Sing

Whenever Carlos Santana listened to his father playing el violín, he was mesmerized by its sound. He decided to play music, too, and tried el clarinete and el violín until he found la guitarra. Santana combined took Blues, Jazz, Rock’n Roll, and Afro-Cuban drums to create the unique style he became famous for. When Angels Sing tells the story of this music icon with vibrant illustrations and rhythmic text. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 15 Multicultural Children’s Books based on famous songs



 

 

 

 


The Astronaut With a Song for the Stars: The Story of Dr. Ellen Ochoa
by Julia Finley Mosca

Multicultural Children's Books About Women In STEM

“If you have a mission, a dream to explore, but no one like you has achieved it before…”  Mexican-American Ellen dreamed of becoming a professional flutist, but all of that changed when she discovered engineering in college. Despite being told that field of study wasn’t for girls, the bright young scientist refused to give up — ultimately becoming a NASA astronaut who shattered barriers and rocketed to success! With rhyming text and vibrant illustrations, The Astronaut With A Song For The Stars is an inspiring picture book biography about the first Latina woman in space. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Maya’s Blanket/La Manta de Maya
by Monica Brown

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: Maya's Blanket

Maya’s grandmother made her a special blanket to protect her from bad dreams. As Maya grows, the blanket is made into smaller and smaller items, from a dress to a bookmark. Each item has a special meaning for Maya and helps her in some way. When she loses the bookmark, she creates a book about all the items which she eventually shares with her own daughter. Inspired by a traditional Yiddish folk song and infused with Latino elements, Maya’s Blanket is a heartfelt story about family ties and creativity, enhanced by rich mixed-media illustrations. Includes glossary of Spanish words. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


A Chair for My Mother
by Vera B. Williams

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: A Chair For My Mother

A Chair for my Mother tells the story of little Rosa who – together with her mother and grandmother – saves up coins to buy a comfortable chair after the family home was destroyed by a fire. This award-winning picture book with its expressive water colour paintings beautifully depicts a loving family who keeps up a joyful spirit in the face of adversity. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

More in the Rosa series: Something Special for Me // Music, Music for Everyone // A Chair for Always


Waiting for the Biblioburro
by Monica Brown

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: Waiting for the Biblioburro

Little Ana is thrilled when the travelling librarian returns to her village on his trusted mules, Alfa and Beto. Inspired by real-life librarian Luis Soriano, Waiting for the Biblioburro introduces children to the concept of mobile libraries that bring literacy to rural Colombia. The colourful folk-style illustrations perfectly match this beautiful celebration of books and reading. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 15 Multicultural Children’s Books Celebrating Books & Reading


Abuela’s Weave
by Omar S. Castaneda

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: Abuela's Weave

A young Guatemalan girl learns the art of weaving from her grandmother. The whole family depends on the income earned by selling the products at the local maket. Award-winning Abuela’s Weave is an authentic story about life in a small community in Latin America, beautifully complemented by the rich acrylic paintings in earthy tones with splashes of colour. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents


Frida
by Jonah Winter

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: Frida

This striking picture book tells the story of Frida Kahlo’s life in simple words and with gorgeous acrylic paintings full of Mexican folk art icons (monkeys, devils, smiling skeletons). Frida is the companion book to Winter’s acclaimed Diego, an equally stunning book about Frida’s artist husband Diego Rivera. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Fabulous Female Artists


In My Family/En mi familia
by Carmen Lomas Garza

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: In My Family

Following her best-selling Family Pictures, Garza’s In My Family is another tribute to her Mexican American family and the culture that shaped her life. Like flipping through a family photo album, this warm, personal book gives a lovely insight into Mexican culture and family life. Children will love studying the detailed scenes displayed in the vibrant paintings! ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia


I Love Saturdays y domingos
by Alma Flor Ada

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: I Love Saturdays Y Domingos

On Saturdays, a little girl visits her European-American grandparents, and on Sundays (domingos) she spends the day with her Mexican-American abuelito y abuelita. She goes to the circus with one set of grandparents, to the sea with the other and celebrates her birthday with both of them. While their cultures may be different, they all have in common that they love their granddaughter dearly. I love Saturdays y domingos is a light-hearted celebration of two different cultures. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 50+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families


Dance of the Eggshells: Baile De Los Cascarones
by Carla Aragón

Multicultural Children's Books About Easter

Libby and her older brother, J.D., don’t get along, and their relationship is tested in an unexpected way when they visit their grandparents in Santa Fe. It’s the week after Easter and Grandma Socorro tells them about the upcoming Baile de los Cascarones, a tradition where people ask one another to dance by gently crushing decorated eggshells filled with confetti over their heads. Libby immerses herself in the preparations and is excited to learn all the dances. J.D. only bombards his cousins with cascarones and ignores the dancing. But when he is forced to dance it is Libby who saves him from embarrassment. Dance Of The Eggshells is a bilingual children’s story that explores the family bond created through traditions passed on by grandparents. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2021


My Tata’s Remedies / Los remedios de mi tata
by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

2016 Américas Award winning Children's Books: My Tata's Remedies

Aaron is fascinated by his grandfather’s knowledge of the healing powers of plants and herbs. With compassion and gentle wisdom, Tata helps his neighbours who come to him with their ailments and injuries, from bee stings to itchy feet and eye infections. Aaron learns all about making and applying herbal remedies. My Tata’s Remedies is a warm portrayal of a loving Latino family, complemented by realistic watercolour illustrations. Includes a herbal remedies glossary. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents



 

 

 

 


Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale
by Duncan Tonatiuh

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote

In this award-winning picture book a young rabbit awaits the return of his papa who went to find work in the great carrot and lettuce fields. Little Pancho decides to go and look for him and is offered help by a coyote in exchange for his food. But when the food is gone, the coyote is still hungry… Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote is a suspenseful and empathetic story about the hardships of illegal immigrants seeking a better life for their families. With folk-art illustrations and poignant text full of emotion, this stunning allegorical book is a must-read for children of all ethnicities. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match
by Monica Brown

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: Marisol Doesn't Match

Little Marisol is like a Hispanic American version of Pippi Longstocking – a spunky and fun-loving little girl who doesn’t let anyone put her into a box. Marisol does things the way she likes, from wearing polka dots with stripes to being a soccer playing pirate princess. When she gets teased it does get her down, but she stays true to herself nonetheless. Bouncy prose and appealing acrylic illustrations make bilingual Marisol McDonald doesn’t match a fun, confidence-boosting read. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families


Floating on Mama’s Song
by Laura Lacamara

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Elementary School: Floating On Mama's Song

Anita’s mama sings songs so beautiful they create magic: Whoever hears them starts floating high above the ground. When one day Mama stops singing, Anita tries to find a way to bring back the happiness and the magic of her songs. Floating on Mama’s Song is a lyrical tale about three generations of women, stunningly illustrated with Morales’ expressive artwork. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 14 Multicultural Children’s Books about Mothers


When We Love Someone We Sing to Them
by Ernesto Javier Martinez

best multicultural picture books of 2021

A reclamation of the Mexican serenata tradition, When We Love Someone We Sing to Them tells the story of a young boy who asks his father if there is a song for a boy who loves a boy. This award-winning bilingual book shows how a tradition expands as limitations are lifted to include everyone, all the way to remembering Xochipilli, the Mesoamerican deity of creativity, song, and dance.  ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 15 Multicultural Children’s Books based on famous songs


Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert
by Gary D. Schmidt 

This stunningly illustrated picture book tells the story of the first black saint of the Americas. Martin de Porres was the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a former African Peruvian slave. His mother begged the church fathers to allow him into the priesthood but they only accepted him as a servant boy. When Martin started to perform miracles, he soon became known as the “mulatto boy with healing hands” who gave first to the people of the barrios. Martin was made a saint in 1962. David Diaz’ expressive paintings complement the touching story of Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert beautifully.  ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Areli Is A Dreamer
by Areli Morales

best multicultural picture books of 2021

When Areli was a baby, her parents moved from Mexico to New York with her brother, Alex, to make a better life for the family–and when she was in kindergarten, they sent for her, too. Everything in New York was different. Gone were the Saturdays at Abuela’s house, filled with cousins and sunshine. Instead, things were busy and fast and noisy. Areli’s limited English came out wrong, and schoolmates accused her of being illegal. But with time, America became her home. Written by a DACA Dreamer, Areli Is A Dreamer is a vibrant and powerful immigration story. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


Imagine
by Juan Felipe Herrera

Best Multicultural Picture Books of 2018: Imagine

In lyrical text, Juan Felipe Herrera describes how he grew up sleeping outside, moving with his family several times, and teaching himself English to becoming the United States Poet Laureate and reading his poems aloud on the steps of the Library of Congress. If he could do all of that . . . what could you do? Imagine is a poem of endless possibility that will speak to children everywhere. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 26 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children aged 0 to 10


Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello
by Monica Brown

NEW Multicultural Children's Books August 2020

Growing up in the late 1800s, indigenous Julio Tello spent time exploring the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Later, while in medical school, an article about the skulls he had found renewed Julio’s interest in his ancestry, and he decided to devote his medical skills to the study of Peru’s Indigenous history. Over his lifetime, Julio Tello made many revolutionary discoveries at archaeological sites around Peru. Sharuko is a fascinating bilingual picture book about the archaeologist who unearthed Peru’s ancient cultures and fostered pride in the country’s Indigenous history. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Confetti: Poems for Children
by Pat Mora

Multicultural Poetry Books for Children: Confetti

“I say yo soy libre / I am free / free, free, /free as confetti.” With a fun mix of English and Spanish, the poems in Confetti! celebrate the Southwest, children’s imagination and their connection with nature. The beautiful bright illustrations complement the poems perfectly. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children


Spirit Child: A Story of the Nativity
by John Bierhorst

Multicultural Children's Books about the Nativity Story: Spirit Child

Spirit Child is a dramatically retold version of the 400-year-old Aztec Christmas story. Brought to life by Cooney’s vibrant, folk-art style illustrations, this book offers the rare chance to experience the Nativity story as it was first told in the new world. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Nativity Story



 

 

 

 


My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela
by Monica Brown

Multicultural Children's Books About Fabulous Female Artists: My Name Is Gabriela

Gabriela Mistral loved words and sounds and stories. The Chilean poet and teacher inspired children across many countries to let their voices be heard. Gabriela became the first Nobel Prize-winning Latina woman in the world. Told with the rhythm a poem, My Name Is Gabriella is a beautifully crafted story about a remarkable woman. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children


Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
by Duncan Tonatiuh

Day of the Dead Children's Books

Funny Bones tells the story of artist José Guadalupe Posada, famous for his skeletons in the park, skeletons wearing fancy hats, and the skeletons for Mexico’s Day of the Dead. With a stunning mix of biography and art, young readers are invited to look at the deeper meaning behind Don Lupe’s artwork: His critiques about social class, quickly changing technology, and violence during the Mexican Revolution. This 2016 Américas Award winning book lends itself for classroom use. Includes an author’s note, glossary, and bibliography. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 2016 Américas Award Winning Children’s Books


Sofia Valdez and the Vanishing Vote (The Questioneers)
by Andrea Beaty

New Multicultural Children's Books October 2020

Miss Greer asks her class to choose a class pet. The kids narrow it down to two options: Team Turtle and Team Bird. Sofia is named Election Commissioner, in charge of overseeing a fair and honest election. After a class-wide campaign, complete with posters, articles, and speeches, it’s time for the election! But there’s a tie, and one vote is missing. How will the class break the tie? And what happened to the vanishing vote? Just in time for the 2020 election, the bestselling Questioneers chapter book series continues with Sofia Valdez and the Vanishing Vote~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Book Series for Girls & Boys


Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa
by Veronica Chambers

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Celia Cruz

“In the fabled land of Havana, where rhythm grows, sweet and juicy, like oranges in Florida, there lived a girl.” That girl with a magical voice would later reach international fame as an extraordinary salsa singer. Vibrantly illustrated, Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa tells the inspiring story of the flamboyant singer who passed away in 2003, from her childhood in Cuba to her rise to worldwide fame. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Fabulous Female Artists


From the Bellybutton of the Moon
by Francisco X. Alarcón

Multicultural Poetry Books for Children: From the Bellybutton of the Moon

“I face south / “blue” I cry / same color – / the sea, the sky.” Renowned poet Francisco X. Alarcón’s takes young readers on a trip to his childhood home in Mexico to learn about his grandma’s stories, his aunt’s tasty breakfasts , and the keys to the universe. Part of the ‘Magical Cycle of the Seasons’ series, From the Bellybutton of the Moon is a joyful collection of 22 bilingual summer poems . ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

From the same series: Laughing Tomatoes // Angels Ride Bikes // Iguanas in the Snow


The Legend of the Cascaron
by Roxanna Montes-Bazaldua

Multicultural Children's Books About Easter

When chicken farmer Don Serafâin gets a huge order of eggs for a wedding cake, his heavy-handed methods lead his hens to go on strike. When things are resolved, he decides to do something different with the eggshells. With dynamic illustrations, The Legend Of The Cascaron is a fun tale about how the Cascaron came to be. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 23 Multicultural Children’s Books about Easter


My Name is Celia/Me llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/la vida de Celia Cruz 
by Monica Brown

Multicultural Picture Books about Strong Female Role Models: My Name Is Celia

And another one about the Queen of Salsa! Celia Cruz became a well-known singer in her homeland of Cuba, then moved to New York City and Miami where she and others created a new type of music called salsa. My Name is Celia is an exuberant picture book biography of the famous salsa singer. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas who made U.S. History 
by Naibe Reynoso
Best Multicultural Picture Books of 2019

Be Bold! Be Brave! is a bilingual picture book that highlights 11 Latinas who excelled in various fields including medicine, science, sports, art and politics. With bright illustration and rhyming verse, young readers will find it easy follow the success stories of these amazing women, from Ellen Ochoa (first Latina to go to space) to Sonia Sotomayor (first Latina Supreme Court Justice,) and Pura Belpré (first Latina to promote bilingual literacy in Public Libraries). ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 30 Diverse Children’s Anthologies About Trailblazing Women


A New Day / Un Nuevo Dia
by Don Bolognese

Multicultural Children's Books about the Nativity Story: A New Day

A New Day/ Un Nuevo Dia is a timeless, modern take on the Nativity story, featuring a migrant couple that takes refuge in a garage having found no room at an inn. With mostly somber illustrations contrasted by radiant hues, this bilingual picture book is a realistic modern interpretation of the Nativity story. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Nativity Story


Viva Frida
by Yuyi Morales

Multicultural Children's Books About Fabulous Female Artists: Viva Frida

Distinguished author and illustrator Yuyi Morales illuminates Frida Kahlo’s life and work in this award-winning picture book biography. In short sentences and unusual mixed-media illustrations – created with puppets, paintings and digital elements – bilingual Frida celebrates the famous Mexican painter’s creativity and talent. ~ Hispanic – Elementary Schoo


Cesar Chavez: Get to Know the Leader Who Won Rights for Workers 
by Rebecca Langston-George

New Multicultural Children's Books February 2019: Cesar Chavez

From the same series as the above book, Cesar Chavez introduces the famous leader who won rights for workers. Cesar never forgot how it felt when his family lost their farm. He went on to fight for fair wages and labour laws for farmworkers and had a historical impact beyond the fields. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


A Kid’s Guide to Latino History: More than 50 Activities
by Valerie Petrillo

Multicultural Activity Books for Children

A Kid’s Guide to Latino History features more than 50 hands-on activities, games, and crafts that explore the diversity of Latino culture and teach children about the people, experiences, and events that have shaped Hispanic American history. Kids can learn to dance the merengue from the Dominican Republic, write a short story using “magical realism” from Columbia, build Afro-Cuban Bongos, make Guatemalan worry dolls, and much more. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School, Middle School

Related: 11 Multicultural Activity Books for Children






Middle School


Ghost Squad
by Claribel A. Ortega

Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books

Shortly before Halloween, Lucely Luna and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town. Debut novel Ghost Squad is an action-packed supernatural fantasy rooted in Dominican mythology. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Iveliz Explains It All
by Andrea Beatriz Arango

Seventh grade is going to be Iveliz’s year. She’s going to make a new friend, help her abuela Mimi get settled after moving from Puerto Rico, and she is not going to get into any more trouble at school. . . . Except is that what happens? Of course not. Because no matter how hard Iveliz tries, sometimes people say things that just make her so mad. And worse, Mimi keeps saying Iveliz’s medicine is unnecessary—even though it helps Iveliz feel less sad. But how do you explain your feelings to others when you’re not even sure what’s going on yourself? Powerful and compassionate, Iveliz Explains It All navigates mental health, finding your voice, and discovering that those who really love you will stay by your side. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna
by Alda P. Dobbs

It is 1913, and twelve-year-old Petra Luna’s mama has died while the Revolution rages in Mexico. When her papa is dragged away by soldiers, Petra, her abuelita, little sister Amelia, and baby brother Luisito flee north through the unforgiving desert. Through battlefields, hunger and fear, Petra will stop at nothing to keep her family safe and lead them to a better life across the U.S. border—a life where her dreams could finally become reality. Based on a true story, Barefoot Dreams is the gripping tale of one girl’s perilous journey during the Mexican Revolution. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

On the brink of her Quinceañera, and her official coronation, Solimar visits the oyamel forest to sit among the monarch butterflies. The sun shines on her and sends the butterflies humming and swirling around her. After the magical frenzy, she realizes she’s been given a gift―and a burden: she can predict the near future! She has also become a protector of the young and weak butterflies. This alone would be a huge responsibility, but tragedy strikes when a neighbouring king invades while her father and brother and many others are away. The remaining villagers are taken hostage―all except Solimar. Can this princess-to-be save her family, the kingdom, and the future of the monarch butterflies from a greedy and dangerous king? Fans of Esperanza Rising will find a new Mexican heroine to love in Solimar. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


Efrén Divided
by Ernesto Cisneros

Efrén Amá is his Superwoman—or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family. But Efrén worries about his parents; although he’s American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá is deported across the border to Tijuana, México. Now more than ever, Efrén must channel his inner Soperboy to take care of and try to reunite his family. Efrén Divided is a heartfelt book about family, hardship and deportation. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2020


Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words
by Margarita Engle

Best Multicultural Middle Grade Novels of 2016: Lion Island

Written in verse, Lion Island tells the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who became a champion of civil rights in the 19th century. Cuba is fighting for freedom from Spain, and Africans and Chinese are forced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields. Together with his Chinese friends Wing and Fan, Antonio fights for liberty and justice in this haunting yet hopeful middle grade novel. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Echo
by Pam Muñoz Ryan

2016 Américas Award Winning Children's Books: Echo

Lost in a forbidden forest, four children find themselves entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. In the early 20th century, the same harmonica lands in the lives of Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California. All three children experience the horrors of war and discrimination, and face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. The common thread of music and creativity masterfully ties the children’s stories together. Echo is a richly imagined, touching story about the turmoil in these children’s lives, and the healing and connecting powers of music.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 115 Multicultural Middle Grade Novels for Summer Reading


The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez
by Adrianna Cuevas

When Nestor Lopez and his mother move to a new town to live with his grandmother after his dad’s latest deployment, Nestor is careful not to let anyone know that he can talk to animals. But when his grandmother becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance of some town animals, Nestor starts to investigate. He learns that the animals are being seized by a tule vieja―a witch who can absorb an animal’s powers by biting it during a solar eclipse. The next eclipse is just around the corner, so it’s up to Nestor and his new friends to save the animals. The Total Eclipse Of Nestor Lopez is a fast-paced magical mystery that middle graders will love.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez
by Robin Yardi

Best Multicultural Middle Grade Novels of 2016: The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez

When Fourth Grader Mateo Martinez insists that two talking skunks stole his old trike, his family believes he was only dreaming. But that’s not all that’s difficult in Mateo’s life: He has to deal with bullies at school, Johnny not being his best friend anymore and developing his new friendship with Indian American Ashwin. And above all, he struggles with his Mexican American identity. The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez is a funny and action-packed coming-of-age middle grade novel with a touch of fantasy. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits
by Anna Meriano

New Multicultural Children's Books February 2019: Love Sugar Magic

In this follow-up of the instant hit Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble, Leonora Logroño has finally been introduced to her family’s bakery bruja magic. But since her special power hasn’t shown up yet, her family still won’t let her perform her own spells, and they expect her to keep the family magic secret, even from her best friend Caroline. Suddenly spirits are popping up all over town, causing all sorts of trouble! Is this Leo’s fault? And can she reverse the spell before it’s too late? Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle Of Spirits is a charming book that middle-graders will love. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Lupe Wong Won’t Dance
by Donna Barba Higuera

Lupe Wong is going to be the first female pitcher in the Major Leagues. She needs an A in all her classes in order to meet her favourite pitcher, Fu Li Hernandez, who’s Chinacan/Mexinese just like her. So when the horror that is square dancing rears its head in gym, she’s not gonna let that slide. Lupe Wong Won’t Dance is a wonderful debut novel written with humour and emotional insight. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 21 Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters



 

 

 

 


Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist
by Sylvia Acevedo

Multicultural Children's Books About Women In STEM

A meningitis outbreak in their underprivileged neighborhood left Sylvia Acevedo’s family forever altered. As she struggled in the aftermath of loss, young Sylvia’s life transformed when she joined the Brownies. The Girl Scouts taught her how to take control of her world and nourished her love of numbers and science. Path To The Stars is the inspiring memoir of the first Latina to graduate with a master’s in engineering from Stanford University and go on to become a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Lety Out Loud
by Angela Cervantes

New Multicultural Children's Books February 2019: Lety Out Loud

Recently immigrated to the U.S., Lety Muñoz loves volunteering at the Furry Friends Animal Shelter because the dogs and cats there don’t care how fast she can find the right word in English. When another volunteer sets up a secret competition to determine who will be the official shelter scribe, Lety is worried that if the shelter finds out, they’ll kick her out of the program. And then she’ll never be able to adopt her favourite shelter dog! Lety Out Loud is a touching story about compassion, empathy and living between two cultures. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


Tumble
by Celia C. Perez

NEW Multicultural Children's & YA Books August 2022

12-year-old Adela Ramírez is feeling overwhelmed: Her stepfather has proposed adoption, her new half brother is due soon, a big school theater performance is coming up, and she finds a photo of a young man hidden away in her mother’s things. Addie’s sleuthing takes her to a New Mexico ranch where she finds the legendary Bravos: Rosie and Pancho, her paternal grandparents and former professional wrestlers; Eva and Maggie, her older identical twin cousins who love to spar in and out of the ring; Uncle Mateo, whose lucha couture and advice are unmatched; and Manny, her biological father, who’s in the midst of a career comeback. As luchadores, the Bravos’s legacy is strong. But being part of a family is so much harder—it’s about showing up, taking off your mask, and working through challenges together. Tumble is a dazzling novel about a young girl who collects the missing pieces of her origin story from her family of legendary luchadores. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Alicia Alonzo Takes the Stage
by Rebel Girls

Multicultural Children's Books About Brave Ballerinas

From the moment Alicia slips on pointe shoes for the first time, she’s determined to become a professional ballerina. A few years later, Alicia moves from Cuba to the United States to follow her dreams. But then, she begins to lose her sight. Stuck in bed and only able to practice with her fingertips, Alicia doesn’t give up. She finds a way to get back on stage, dancing into the hearts of audiences as one of the world’s most famous prima ballerinas. Part of the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls seriesAlicia Alonso Takes the Stage is a heartfelt story of perseverance in the face of adversity. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
by Kelly Jones

Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters: Unusual Chickens for the exceptional poultry farmer

12-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when her family moves from Los Angeles to a farm they’ve inherited from a great-uncle. But farm life becomes interesting when she discovers that the chickens can move objects with the power of their little brains. When a local farmer tries to steal the chickens, Sophie must find a way to keep them (and their superpowers) safe. Told in letters to Sophie’s abuela, quizzes, a chicken-care correspondence course, to-do lists, and more, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer is a fun and quirky read. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 21 Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters


The Shadow Crosser (A Storm Runner Novel)
by J.C. Cervantes

Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books

Zane Obispo has been looking forward to his training at the Shaman Institute for Higher Order Magic, and not only because it means he’ll be reunited with his best friend, Brooks. Anything would be better than how he has spent the last three months: searching for the remaining godborns with a nasty demon who can sniff them out (literally). But when Zane tracks down the last kid on his list, he’s in for a surprise: the “one” is actually a pair of twins, and they’re trying to prevent a mysterious object from falling into the wrong hands. The Shadow Crosser is the epic finale to the Storm Runner trilogy, a tale of mystery, magic, and mayhem featuring gods from both Maya and Aztec mythology. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


The Moon Within
by Aida Salazar

New Multicultural Children's Books February 2019: The Moon Within

11-year old Celi Rivera has lots to grapple with, from her changing body to her first crush and her best friend’s exploration of gender fluidity. But most of all, she is dreading the looming arrival of her first period, because her mother insists on having a traditional Mexican moon ceremony. Told in verse, The Moon Within is a sensitive and humorous coming-of-age story that will appeal not only to young Latinas but girls everywhere. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


I Got This: To Gold and Beyond
by Laurie Hernandez

Multicultural Children's Books About Women In Sports

At sixteen years old, Laurie Hernandez has already made many of her dreams come true—and yet it’s only the beginning for this highly accomplished athlete. A Latina Jersey girl, Laurie saw her life take a dramatic turn in 2016 when she was chosen to be part of the US Olympic gymnastics team. After winning gold in Rio as part of the Final Five, Laurie also earned an individual silver medal for her performance on the balance beam. She then danced her way into everyone’s hearts while competing on—and winning!—the hit reality TV show Dancing with the Stars. In I Got This: To Gold and Beyond, Laurie shares her inspiring to Olympic gold and where her phenomenal talents will take her next. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Women In Sports


Twin Cities: (A Graphic Novel)
by Jose Pimienta

New Multicultural Children's & YA Books July 2022

Luis Fernando and Luisa Teresa are twins, and they finally have the chance to stand on their own. Fernando is staying local in Mexicali, Mexico, and Teresa is planning to cross the border every day so she can go to a private school in Calexico, California. Desperate to not be alone in middle school, Luis finds himself making friends with the first kid who’s willing to give him a chance . . . only this new friend says and does a lot of things that Fernando isn’t too sure about. Teresa soon finds herself failing under the pressure of crossing the US/Mexico border every day. She no longer has to worry about being compared to her brother — but now she doesn’t have his support when she could really use it. At home, both twins have a chance to reconnect. But instead, they find themselves pushing each other away. After all, being on their own is what they always wanted . . . right? Twin Cities explores the importance of family, belonging and staying true to yourself. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor
by Sonia Sotomayor

Multicultural 2019 ALA Youth Media Award-Winning Books: The Beloved World Of Sonia Sotomayor

Growing up in the rough South Bronx, Sonia Sotomayor dreamed of becoming a lawyer and a judge. Her determination, along with the guidance from mentors and the love of her extended Puerto Rican family, propelled her forward until her dream eventually came true. She became the first Latina and the third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor is the middle-grade adaptation of this inspiring woman’s memoir. Includes an 8-page photo insert and a brief history of the Supreme Court. ~ Hispanic – Middle School



 

 

 

 


Becoming Naomi Leon
by Pam Munoz Ryan

Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters: Becoming Naomi Leon

11-year-old half-Mexican Naomi lives with Gram and her disabled brother at Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho in California. Despite struggling with issues such as her difficulty speaking up, and her status at school as “nobody special”, Naomi is content with her life. But then her mother’s sudden reappearance stirs up all sorts of questions and challenges the young girl to discover who she really is. Pura Belpré Award honor book Becoming Naomi Leon is an intriguing novel about a young girl’s search for identity. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa
by Julian Randall

Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books

12-year-old Pilar Ramirez’s is intrigued by Abuela and Mami’s silence around her cousin Natasha―who vanished in the Dominican Republic fifty years ago during the Trujillo dictatorship. When Pilar discovers a folder with her cousin’s name on it, she gets sucked into the blank page within. She lands on Zafa, an island swarming with coconut-shaped demons, butterfly shapeshifters, and a sinister prison where her cousin is being held captive. Pilar has to go toe-to-toe with the fearsome Dominican boogeyman, El Cuco, in order to free Natasha and get back home. Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa is a gripping middle-grade fantasy that brings Dominican myths and legends to life. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 50 Children’s & YA Books set in the Caribbean


Gaby’s Latin American Kitchen: 70 Kid-Tested and Kid-Approved Recipes for Young Chefs
by Gaby Melian

NEW Multicultural Children's & YA Books August 2022

¡En sus marcas, listos… fuera! Ready, set, cook! Travel the world of Latin America with 70 kid-approved recipes developed and written by celebrity chef Gaby Melian. Kids can cook from desayuno (breakfast) to cena (dinner), merienda (snacks) and postre (dessert). A Spanish glossary, fun personal stories, and a peek into Gaby’s own kitchen make Gaby’s Latin American Kitchen a delicious book for all young chefs and their families. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


What the Moon Saw
by Laura Resau

Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters: What The Moon Saw

“Dear Clara, We invite you to our house for the summer. We will wait for you on the day of the full moon, in June, at the Oaxaca airport. Love, your grandparents.” Fourteen-year-old Clara Luna has never met her father’s parents. When she visits them, she is stunned by their life in simple shacks in the mountains of southern Mexico.  Through her grandmother and young goatherder Pedro, she discovers the magic of Yucuyoo and in her own soul. What The Moon Saw is an enchanting story of discovering your true self in the most unexpected place. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 21 Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters


They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems
by David Bowles

Multicultural 2019 ALA Youth Media Award-Winning Books: They Call Me Guero

Twelve-year-old Güero is a Mexican American border kid with red hair, light skin and freckles. He is a book, game and music nerd and has just started 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. They Call Me Güero is a vibrant novel-in-poems about growing up between two cultures. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


The Last Cuentista
by Donna Barbara Higuera

Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books

Petra Peña wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra’s world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over, bent on erasing the sins of humanity’s past. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again? The Last Cuentista is a gripping journey through the stars, to the very heart of what makes us human. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Lucky Broken Girl
by Ruth Behar

Diverse Jewish Books for Children & Teenagers

Newly arrived in the U.S. from Cuba in the 1960’s, Ruthie Mizrahi is confined to a full-body cast after a life-changing accident. With the support of her Cuban Ashkenazi-Sephardic family and a diverse group of neighbours, the fifth-grader finds the strength to heal and grow. Based on the author’s childhood, 2018 Pura Belpré award-winner Lucky Broken Girl is an unforgettable middle-grade novel that celebrates courage, resilience and the Latinx experience. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares
by Tehlor Mejia

Six months after Paola Santiago confronted the legendary La Llorona in Paola Santiago and the River of Tears, life is nothing like she’d expected it to be. She is barely speaking to her best friends, Dante and Emma, and what’s worse, her mom has a totally annoying boyfriend.  When Dante’s abuela falls mysteriously ill, it seems that the dad Pao never knew just might be the key to healing the eccentric old woman. Pao’s search for her father will see her encounter new monsters and ghosts, a devastating betrayal, and finally, the forest of her nightmares. Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares tells a wild and wondrous story that combines creatures from folklore with modern-day challenges. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


To Dance: Special Edition
by Siena Cherson Siegel

Multicultural Children's Books About Brave Ballerinas

When Siena was six her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance classes at the School of American Ballet, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet while working with ballet legend George Balanchine. Part family history, part backstage drama, To Dance is a dynamic graphic memoir about the dreams and realities of becoming a ballerina. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 36 Children’s Books set in the Caribbean


The Way to Rio Luna
by Zoraida Cordova

Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books

Eleven-year-old Danny Monteverde believes in magic. Most of all, he believes that his older sister, Pili, is waiting for him somewhere in Rio Luna, the enchanted land in their favorite book of fairy tales. When the siblings were placed in separate foster homes, she promised that she’d come back for him, and they’d build a new life together in Rio Luna. Yet as the years pass, Danny’s faith begins to dim. But then he finds a mysterious book in the library — a collection of stories with a map to Rio Luna . . . and to Pili. The Way To Rio Luna follows Danny on his adventure from New York to Ecuador to Brazil. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 115 Multicultural Middle Grade Novels for Summer Reading



 

 

 

 


Eye Spy: Harper’s Beginning
by L. Clayborne & K. Harris

NEW Multicultural Children's Books October 2021

Harper Ellison, school mischief maker and home prankster, never thought that one prank would land her in the principal’s office, let alone on an unexpected trip to Mexico to learn about her heritage. At first it was a perfectly normal vacation until her mom goes missing and Harper gets kidnapped by a spy agency that reveals the truth about her mami’s disappearance. Written by two 10-year-old girls, Eye Spy: Harper’s Beginning is a high-action espionage adventure with some unexpected twists. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 24 Children’s Books set in Mexico


Cuba in My Pocket
by Adrianna Cuevas

“I don’t remember. Tell me everything, Pepito. Tell me about Cuba.” When the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 solidifies Castro’s power in Cuba, twelve-year-old Cumba’s family makes the difficult decision to send him to Florida alone. From the author of 2021 Pura Belpré Honor Book The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopezcomes Cuba In My Pocket, a sweeping, emotional middle grade historical novel about a twelve-year-old boy who leaves his family in Cuba to immigrate to the U.S. by himself, based on the author’s family history. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 36 Children’s Books set in the Caribbean


Merci Suárez Can’t Dance
by Meg Medina

Seventh grade is going to be a real trial for Merci Suárez. For science she’s got no-nonsense Mr. Ellis, who expects her to be a smart as her brother, Roli. She’s been assigned to co-manage the tiny school store with Wilson Bellevue, a boy she barely knows, but whom she might actually like. And she’s tangling again with classmate Edna Santos, who is bossier and more obnoxious than ever now that she is in charge of the annual Heart Ball. One thing is for sure, though: Merci Suárez can’t dance—not at the Heart Ball or anywhere else! In Merci Suárez Can’t Dance, sequel to award–winning Merci Suárez Changes Gears, the lovable protagonist takes on 7th grade, with all its travails of friendship, family, and love. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: Multicultural 2021 ALA Award-Winning Children’s & YA Books


Merci Suárez Changes Gears
by Meg Medina

Multicultural 2019 ALA Youth Media Award-Winning Books: Merci Suarez

Sixth-Grader Merci Suarez and her older brother, Roli, are the only scholarship students at their private school in Florida. They have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. Added to that Merci is being targeted by a jealous girl and at home, her beloved grandfather is acting increasingly strange, too. Merci feels very alone with her confusion and worry and tries to find her own way of navigating the difficult situation. Merci Suárez Changes Gears is a heartfelt yet humorous coming-of-age novel about change, authenticity and family connection. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 21 Multicultural Middle-Grade Novels for Summer Reading


Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls
by Kaela Rivera

Powerful spirits roam the desert town of Tierra del Soand and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios thinks there is more to the criaturas, much to her family’s disapproval. After all, only brujas—humans who capture and control criaturas—consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime. When her older sister is kidnapped by a criatura, Cece is determined to bring her back. For that, she has to become a bruja herself—while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote agrees to help her on her journey. Full of Mexican-inspired mythology, Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls is a vivid middle grade fantasy full of adventure, magic and heart. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 52 Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books


A Handful of Stars
by Cynthia Lord

2016 Américas Award winning Children's Books: A Handful of Stars

A blind dog brings together two girls from very different backgrounds: When Lily’s beloved Lucky runs away in a small town in Maine, Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, helps her catch him. The girls start bonding over their love for dogs, art, and blueberry enchiladas. Together they come up with creative ideas to raise money for Lucky’s eye surgery. When Salma becomes the first migrant girl to enter the Blueberry Queen pageant, Lily’s eyes are opened to prejudice and racism of some people in her white community. A Handful of Stars is a heartfelt and powerful novel about discrimination, loss and friendship.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Island Treasures
by Alma Flor Ada

2016 Américas Award winning Children's Books: Island Treasures

Island Treasures is a collection of autobiographical stories from renowned author Alma Flor Ada, offering an moving glimpse into her childhood in Cuba. The book features Ada’s award-winning books ‘Where the Flame Trees Bloom’ and ‘Under the Royal Palms’ as well as five new stories, family photos and a Spanish/English glossary. The poignant and often humourous stories bring to live some of the important people in Ada’s life, from her blind great-grandmother with her wisdom and generosity to her brave airplane-flying Uncle Medardo, from music-loving worker Samoné  to Ada’s beloved and supportive dance teacher.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


The Jumbies
by Tracey Baptiste

2016 Américas Award winning Children's Books: The Jumbies

Corinne La Mer is convinced that jumbies are just tricksters made up by parents to frighten their children. But when one night yellow eyes follw her as she chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest, she is not so sure anymore. The next day a beautiful stranger called Severin turns up at Corinne’s house with plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. In order to save her home, Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic. The Jumbies is a cheerful and hypnotic tale that draws on Caribbean folk traditions. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 52 Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books


The Lightning Queen
by Laura Resau

2016 Américas Award winning Children's Books: The Lightning Queen

When a traveling caravan arrives in Teo’s small village in the Mexican mountains in the 1950s, they bring with them the magic of cinema films. Teo meets mysterious Romani girl Esma, and feels alive again for the first time after losing his mother and sister. The caravan’s Mistress of Destiny predicts that Teo and Esma will be lifelong friends and will save each other. With the help of a rescued duck, a three-legged skunk, a blind goat, and others, they must overcome many obstacles to fulfill their destiny. The Lightning Queen tells the heart-warming story of an unlikely lifelong friendship, giving a fascinating glimpse into the cultures of the Roma and the Mixtec Indians. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

More Multicultural Middle Grade Novels: 21 Multicultural Middle Grade Novels for Summer Reading


Bump
by Matt Wallace

MJ knows what it means to hurt. Bruises from gymnastics heal, but big hurts—like her dad not being around anymore—don’t go away. Now her mom needs to work two jobs, and MJ doesn’t have friends at school to lean on. When MJ learns that her neighbour, Mr. Arellano, is a former luchador and runs a wrestling school, she has a new mission in life: join the school, train hard, and become a wrestler. But threats to shut the school down put MJ’s new community at risk. What can she do to help? Bump is a moving middle grade nove about finding the courage to fight for what you love. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books about Fear and Courage



 

 

 

 


Concealed
by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

NEW Multicultural Children's Books October 2021

Katrina doesn’t know any of the details about her past, but she does know that she and her parents are part of the Witness Protection Program. Whenever they have to move on and start over, she takes on a new identity. A new name, a new hair color, a new story. Until their location leaks and her parents disappear. Forced to embark on a dangerous rescue mission, Katrina and her new friend Parker set out to save her parents―and find out the truth about her secret past and the people that want her family dead. Concealed is a thrilling action adventure middle-graders will love. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


The Insiders
by Mark Oshiro

At Héctor’s new school, being gay couldn’t make him feel more alone. Most days, he just wishes he could disappear. And he does. Right into the janitor’s closet. (Yes, he sees the irony.) But one day, when the door closes behind him, Héctor discovers he’s stumbled into a room that shouldn’t be possible. A room that connects him with two new friends from different corners of the country—and opens the door to a life-changing year full of friendship, adventure, and a little bit of magic. The Insiders is a hopeful and heartfelt coming-of-age story for anyone who’s ever felt like they didn’t fit in. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 75+ Multicultural LGBTQIA Books For Children & Teenagers


Swap’d (Click’d, Book 2)
by Tamara Ireland Stone

New Multicultural Children's Books February 2019: Swap'd

The second book in the Click’d series, Swap’d sees Allie Navarro determined to redeem herself. So when the class gets an assignment to create a mobile game from recycled code, Allie pairs up with Courtney, her best friend from CodeGirls camp, to create the perfect trade app. This fun and fast-paced novel about friendship, first crushes, and serious coding skills will have readers cheering Allie on from the first page to the last. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


I Wanna Be Your Shoebox
by Cristina Garcia

Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters: I Wanna Be Your Shoebox

Yumi’s life is as complicated as her Japanese-Cuban-Guatemalan-Jewish heritage. She is starting eighth grade, dealing with her mom’s new boyfriend and her unsuccessful punk-rock father, losing her house, her school orchestra, and – worst of all – her beloved grandfather. I Wanna Be Your ShoeBox is a slightly overstuffed yet charming story about the craziness that is life, and how we can either sit and watch life happen or join the dance. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 21 Middle Grade Novels With Multiracial Characters


Lowriders (3 Book Series)
by Cathy Camper

Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria love working with cars, especially lowriders—cars that hip and hop, dip and drop, go low and slow, bajito y suavecito. The stars align when a contest for the best car around offers a prize of a trunkful of cash—just what the team needs to open their own shop! In the second book, the trio’s cat Genie goes missing, and the search leads them to the realm of Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec god of the Underworld. In the third book the Lowriders are being bullied by Las Matamoscas who won’t let any girls or babies into car clubs. Can these three determined outcasts prove they deserve to be in the car show? With intricate artwork, an action-packed storyline, and cool Spanish phrases throughout, Lowriders in Space is a slapstick adventure series that even reluctant readers will love.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Luz Sees the Light
by Claudia Davila

When power outages and gas prices first start to increase, 12-year-old Luz balks at the prospect of actually having to walk to the mall. But soon, this intelligent and spirited chica begins to understand that she must change with the times. As food prices rise, Luz decides to help create a more self-sustainable community by transforming a run-down city lot into a garden where she and her neighbours can grow their own fruits and vegetables. With a fiery and resourceful heroine, Luz Sees the Light is an inspiring, kid-friendly take on sustainable living. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 21 Multicultural Children’s Books About Growing Your Own Food


Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza
by Kitty Felde

New Multicultural Children's Books February 2019: Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza

10-year-old Fina Mendoza’s mom just died. She and her older sister Gabby move to Washington, D.C. to live with Papa, a congressman from California. Fina loves riding the Capitol subways, grabbing snacks in congressional offices, and spending more time with Papa. But after she encounters a mysterious cat, a string of disasters follows, and Fina must solve the mystery of the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill. Welcome To Washington, Fina Mendoza is a fun read with a lovable protagonist that will appeal to middle-graders everywhere. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Nightlights
by Lorena Alvarez

Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy’s bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings that cover her room. One day, Morfie, a mysterious pale girl, appears at school. And she knows all about Sandy’s drawings… Nightlights is a quite dark but beautiful  story about fear, insecurity, and creativity. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Also available: Hicotea: A Nightlights Story


Who Was the Voice of the People?: Cesar Chavez: A Who HQ Graphic Novel
by Terry Blas

Follow Cesar Chavez and the National Farmworkers Association as they set out on a difficult 300-mile protest march in support of farm workers’ rights. A story of hope, solidarity, and perseverance, Who Was the Voice of the People?: Cesar Chavez invites readers to immerse themselves in the life of the famous Latino American Civil Rights leader — brought to life by gripping narrative and vivid full-colour illustrations that jump off the page. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Santiago’s Road Home
by Alexandra Diaz

Best Multicultural Middle Grade Books Of 2020

Determined to get away from his abusive grandmother, Santiago joins the kind María Dolores and her young daughter, Alegría, on their journey to the U.S. None of the three travelers realizes that the journey through Mexico to the border is just the beginning of their story. Santiago’s Road Home is a timely and harrowing novel about a young boy who gets detained by ICE while crossing the border from Mexico. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration



 

 

 

 


The Last Kids on Earth: June’s Wild Flight
by Max Brallier

Best Multicultural Middle Grade Books Of 2020

Following on from the shocking ending of The Midnight Blade that saw Jack, June, Quint, and Dirk battle an endless horde of animated skeletons, the kids are now planning their next move. But an unexpected threat emerges and June Del Toro gets dragged away from her friends to a town overgrown with monstrous vines and never-before-seen creatures. Drawing on her post-apocalyptic survival skills–and with the help of some odd new companions–she attempts to make her way back home. Told from June’s point of view, June’s Wild Flight is the latest in the New York Times bestselling adventure series, full of high-stakes action and stunning revelations. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 52 Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books


Julieta and the Diamond Enigma
by Luisana Duarte Armendariz

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Nine-year-old Julieta is off to Paris to help her art-handler dad collect pieces for a new exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Sadly, they must leave Julieta’s very pregnant mother behind. Julieta sees the best of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, and plenty of great art. But things go awry when she and Dad walk in on a thief stealing the Louvre’s most prized piece–a priceless cursed diamond with a shady history. Julieta And The Diamond Enigma is smart younger middle-grade mystery with a spunk main character who cracks the case. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco
by Judith Robbins Rose

Multicultural Middle Grade Novels for Summer Reading: Look Both Ways In The Barrio Blanco

Daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants, Jacinta Juarez doesn’t know much about the world outside her barrio. When a well-known news anchorwoman becomes her mentor after reporting on her youth center, Jacinta finds herself caught between two cultures. She want to embrace a better future but also longs for the comfort of her family and the barrio. When her family is torn apart, Jacinta needs to find her own strength to pick up the pieces. Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco is a charming and authentic coming of age story, told with humour and sensitivity. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


The Dream Weaver
by Reina Luz Alegre

Best Multicultural Middle Grade Books Of 2020

From start-up companies to selling motorcycles, Zoey’s dad is constantly chasing jobs that never seem to work out. As for Zoey, she’s willing to go along with whatever grand plans her dad dreams up—even if it means never staying in one place long enough to make real friends. Zoey’s world is turned upside down when Dad announces that he’s heading to a new job in New York City without her. Instead, Zoey and her older brother, José, will stay with their Poppy at the Jersey Shore. At first, Zoey feels as lost and alone as she did after her mami died. But soon she’s distracted by an even bigger problem: the bowling alley that Poppy has owned for decades is in danger of closing! The Dream Weaver is a heartwarming, coming-of-age novel about family and friendship. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
by Carlos Hernandez

New Multicultural Children's Books March 2019

When Sal Vidon and Gabi Real meet for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for allegedly putting a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker (that has since magically disappeared), and Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany. Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken–including his dead mother– and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk. Sal & Gabi Break The Universe is a hilarious and quirky novel that middle-graders won’t be able to put down. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Tortilla Sun
by Jennifer Cervantes

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: Tortilla Sun

12-year-old Lizzy is not happy having to spend the summer with her grandmother in a remote village in New Mexico. But soon she enjoys her loving Nana’s company and the enchanted athmosphere of a village frozen in time. Lizzy also starts to  uncover the mystery surrounding her father who died before she was born. Tortilla Sun is a gentle story about family, friendship and dealing with the past.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


El Lector
by William Durbin

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Middle School: El Lector

In the immigrant community of Ybor City 13-year-old Bella wants to become a lector, just like her grandfather. He reads novels, the newspaper and union news to the workers in a cigar factory. But this is the time of the Depression, where workers and owners clash, and racial tensions rise and jeapordize Bella’s plans for the future. In rich detail El Lector is an accessible middle school novel that brings to life the immigrant culture of Ybor City during the Depression.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel
by Diana Lopez

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Middle School: Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel

In the summer before Eighth Grade a mood ring helps Erica keep track of her changing and often overwhelming feelings. She is happy when she is with her friends, jealous of her genius little sister, and extremely worried when her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. In a desperate attempt to help, Erica makes a promise to God in exchange for her mom’s health. Skillfully balancing emotional and funny moments, Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel is an authentic portray of a family under strain.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Confetti Girl
by Diana Lopez

Multicultural Children's Book: Confetti Girl

Her pants always being too short, tall Lina has a sock obsession. Whilst navigating typical middle school problems, Lina also tries to figure out some bigger questions. Why does her dad seem to care more about books than her? Why is her best friend’s divorced mother obsessed with making cascarones (confetti filled eggshells)? And most of all: Why did her mom die last year? With Spanish phrases sprinkled throughout, Confetti Girl is a realistic novel about a young girl growing up and coming to terms with difficult changes in her life.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


The Dreamer
by Pam Munoz Ryan

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: The Dreamer

Inspired by poet Pablo Neruda’s childhood, this is the story of young Neftali who hears the call of a mysterious voive. Despite being ridiculed, he knows he must follow it. Award-winning The Dreamer takes the reader on a magical journey through the lush rain forest, wild sea and persistent Chilean rain to the source of the voice. Includes some of Neruda’s poetry.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School



 

 

 

 


Esperanza Rising
by Pam Munoz Ryan

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Middle School: Esperanza Rising

Based on the life of the author’s grandmother, this is the story of young Esperanza who has to flee from her rich life on a Mexican ranch during the Great Depression. Now living in a camp for Mexican workers in California, she experiences hard labour, poverty and hostility for the first time. Esperanza Rising is a captivating story about immigration, assimilation and a young girl’s growth in the face of change and adversity.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Caminar
by Skila Brown

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Middle School: Caminar

Set in 1981 during Guatemala’s Civil War, this is the story of young Carlos who has to flee when soldiers invade his village. Separated from his mother, he joins a band of guerillas and tries to make his way to his grandmother’s mountain village. Caminar is a gripping and moving story of a young boy’s loss, survival and growth, written entirely in free-verse poetry.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay
by Julia Alvarez

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: Tia Lola

Dealing with his parents’ divorce and being the only Latino in his class, 10-year-old Miguel is not thrilled when his aunt comes to visit from the Dominican Republic. But when flamboyant Tia Lola arrives, she brings love, laughter and a spice for life with her. She doesn’t worry about not fitting in, and Miguel learns that what’s most important is to be yourself. How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay is a delightful and often hilarious story about family and finding your place living with two cultures.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Call Me Maria
by Judith Ortiz Cofer

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Middle School: Call Me Maria

Call Me Maria tells the story of a young Puerto Rican girl living in a basement apartment in New York. With her mother still in Puerto Rico and her father being the super of their building, Maria tries to find her place in an unfamiliar culture. Written in letters, poems and prose, this is a powerful middle grade novel about a young girl who finds her voice through writing letters and poetry.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


90 Miles to Havana
by Enrique Flores-Galbis

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Middle School: 90 Miles To Havana

Based on the author’s own experience as a child refugee, this compelling historical novel is set around the evacuation of 14,000 children from Cuba to the U.S. in 1961. Being separated from his parents and his brothers, young Julian has to adjust to the harsh life in a refugee camp in Miami. 90 Miles to Havana is a heart-wrenching story about loss, betrayal and hope.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


The Color of My Words
by Lynn Joseph

Hispanic Children's Books - Middle School: The Color of my Words

In the Dominican Republic 12-year-old Ana Rosa dreams of becoming a writer but only the President is allowed to write books. When the girl’s life is disrupted by two major events, she finds her voice and learns that words have the power to transform the world around her. Young readers of lyrical The Color of my Words will be inspired by Ana Rosa’s talent and determination.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School


Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel
by Xavier Garza

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Middle School: Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel

11-year-old Maximilian is a passionate fan of lucha libre, Mexican masked wrestling. In the summer before Sixth Grade, he falls over the railing at a match, leading to a thrilling adventure during which he makes an astonishing discovery. Colourful cartoon-style illustrations and well-written action scenes make bilingual Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel an appealing book for middle grade boys.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 80+ Multicultural Graphic Novels for Children & Teenagers


Return to Sender
by Julia Alvarez

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - Middle School: Return To Sender

When 11-year-old Tyler’s father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to let undocumented Mexican laborers run their Vermont farm. Tyler soon befriends the workers’ daughter, Mari, with whom he shares an interest in stargazing. Can their friendship survive when immigration agents raid the farm and imprison Mari’s parents? Told through alternating viewpoints of Tyler and Mari, Return to Sender is a contemporary immigration story without easy answers but full of hope. ~ Hispanic – Middle School


I Lived on Butterfly Hill
by Marjorie Agosin

Multicultural Middle Grade Novels for Summer Reading: I Lived On Butterfly Hill

11-year-old Celeste lives a peaceful life among family, friends and neighbours in the idyllic seaside town of Valparaiso, Chile. But her world is turned upside down when warships arrive, and classmates start disappearing without an explanation. Celeste doesn’t quite understand but she knows that no one is safe anymore. Her parents have to go into hiding and send Celeste to America to protect her. Based on true events during Pinochet’s dictatorship, I Lived on Butterfly Hill is a heart-rending historical fiction novel about exile and reunification, loss and hope. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: 115 Multicultural Middle Grade Novels for Summer Reading






High School


Woven in Moonlight
by Isabel Ibañez

Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight. Debut novel Woven in Moonlight is a lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history. ~ Hispanic – High School


Written in Starlight
by Isabel Ibañez

Catalina Quiroga has lost the Inkasisa throne, the loyalty of her people, and her best friend. Banished to the perilous Yanu Jungle, Catalina knows her chances of survival are slim. While running for her life, she is rescued by Manuel, the son of her former general. With his help, Catalina could find the city of gold that’s home to the fierce Illari people and strike a deal with them for an army to retake her throne. But the elusive Illari are fighting a battle of their own―a mysterious blight is corrupting the jungle. Catalina must reckon with her duty and her heart to find her true calling, which is key to stopping the corruption before it destroys the jungle completely. Sequel to Woven in MoonlightWritten In Starlight is a breathtaking fantasy story full of adventure and romance. ~ Hispanic – High School 


What’s Coming to Me
by Francesca Padilla

NEW Multicultural Children's & YA Books August 2022

In the seaside town of Nautilus, 17-year-old Minerva Gutiérrez absolutely hates her job at the local ice cream stand, where her sexist boss makes each day worse than the last. But she needs the money: kicked out of school and stranded by her mom’s most recent hospitalization, she dreams of escaping her dead-end hometown. When an armed robbery at the ice cream stand stirs up rumors about money hidden on the property, Min teams up with her neighbour CeCe, also desperate for cash, to find it. The bonus? Getting revenge on her boss in the process. What’s Coming To Me is an equally poignant and thrilling novel about grief, anger, and fighting for what you deserve. ~ Hispanic – High School


Lobizona (Wolves of No World 1)
by Romina Garber

Multicultural Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy Books

As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manuela Azul is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida. But then her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past―a mysterious “Z” emblem―which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. Lobizona takes readers on an adventure into a magical world. ~ Hispanic – High School


Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
by Meg Medina

Multicultural Children's Books about Bullying: Yaqui Delgado

Piddy Sanchez finds herself the target of a bully at her new school. With her white skin, good grades, and no accent, Piddy isn’t Latin enough for Yaqui Delgado. Piddy isn’t too worried about Yaqui’s threats at first. She is more concerned with finding out more about her absent father and balancing her honours courses with her weekend job. But then the bullying escalates… Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is a heartfelt novel about a Latina teen who discovers resources she never knew she had. ~ Hispanic – High School 


How Moon Fuentez Fell In Love With The Universe
by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible. How Moon Fuentez Fell In Love With The Universe is an irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe while road tripping across the country. ~ Hispanic – High School

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2022


Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun: A Novel
by Jonny Garza Villa

Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life. Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. And when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most  – Mat, his empathetic Twitter crush from L.A. is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone. Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun is a poignant and funny novel about coming out, first love, and being your one and only best and true self. ~ Hispanic – High School 

Related: 75+ Multicultural LGBTQIA Books for Children & Teenagers


The Ride
by Nancy Cathers Demme

New Multicultural Children's Books February 2019: The Ride

After setting fire to the barn where his abusive stepfather is working, 15-year-old Diego Ramirez flees his home in El Paso in 1952.  Believing he has killed the man, Diego steals his mother’s life savings and hitchhikes through Texas. He encounters a bigoted truck driver, a woman who only gives rides to children of crippled spirit, a salesman who feeds Diego’s dreams of success, and a lonely widow, who takes him in only to have to let him go. The Ride is a vividly written, suspenseful novel about loss, love and what it means to be human. ~ Hispanic – High School 


Where I Belong
by Marcia Argueta Mickelson 

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Guatemalan American high school senior Milagros “Millie” Vargas has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, ever since her parents sought asylum there. Millie devotes herself to school and caring for her younger siblings while her mom works as a housekeeper for the wealthy Wheeler family. She is disturbed by what’s happening to asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, but she doesn’t see herself as an activist. But when Mr. Wheeler, a U.S. Senate candidate, mentions Millie’s achievements in a campaign speech about “deserving” immigrants, Millie is suddenly faced with journalists, trolls, anonymous threats, and the Wheelers’ good intentions. Where I Belong is a heartfealt story an immigrant teen who has to confront the complexity of her past, the uncertainty of her future, and her place in the country that she believed was home. ~ Hispanic – High School

Related: The 50 Best Multicultural Young Adult Books of 2021



 

 

 

 


Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
by Laekan Zea Kemp

Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. Her mom and dad have different plans though—leaving Pen to choose between not disappointing her traditional Mexican American parents or following her own path. But then she meets the cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself. For Xander Amaro, his job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for a chance at a normal life. When both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, the two teenagers must discover where they belong in order to save the place they all call home. Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet is a stunning story of first love, identity, family, and the power of food. ~ Hispanic – High School


Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
by Crystal Maldonado

Charlie Vega is smart, funny, artistic, ambitious, and fat. People sometimes have a problem with that last one, especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should be: smaller, whiter, quieter. Only her slim and popular best friend, Amelia, is always in Charlie’s corner. When Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, everything is perfect until she learns that he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is a sensitive, funny, and painfully honest coming-of-age story that tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves. ~ Hispanic – High School


Under the Mesquite
by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

“En los Estados Unidos / I trained my tongue / and twisted syllables / to form words / that sounded hollow, / like the rain at midnight / dripping into tin pails / through the thatched roof / of our abuelita’s house.” Lupita is terrified by the possibility of losing her mother who has been diagnosed with cancer. High school, friendships, and being in a play are all suddenly less important. All Lupita wants is to save her mother’s life. Under The Mesquite is a heartfelt free-verse novel about a Mexican American teenager coping with loss and adult responsibilities. ~ Hispanic – High School 


Don’t Hate the Player
by Alexis Nedd

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Puerto Rican Emilia Romero is living a double life. By day, she’s a field hockey star with a flawless report card. By night, she’s kicking virtual ass as the only female member of a highly competitive eSports team. Emilia masters her two worlds by keeping them completely separate. That’s in part to keep her real-life persona, but also for her own safety, since girl gamers are often harassed. When a major eSports tournament comes to her city, Emilia is determined to prove herself to her team and the male-dominated gaming community. But her perfectly balanced life is thrown for a loop when a member of a rival team recognizes her . . . Don’t Hate The Player is a refreshing combo-punch of charming romance and virtual adventure that will win the hearts of gamers and non-gamers alike. ~ Hispanic – High School

Related: 36 Children’s Books set in the Caribbean


Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Best Multicultural Young Adult Books of 2021

In Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, two boys in a border town fell in love. Now, they must discover what it means to stay in love and build a relationship in a world that seems to challenge their very existence. The boys are determined to forge a path for themselves. But when Ari is faced with a shocking loss, he’ll have to fight like never before to create a life that is truthfully, joyfully his own. Highly anticipated Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World is an achingly romantic, tender tale of love and identity. ~ Hispanic – High School 

Related: 75+ Multicultural LGBTQIA Books For Children & Teenagers


We Light Up the Sky
by Lilliam Rivera

Pedro, Luna, and Rafa all attend Fairfax High School but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he’s “too much” and seeks refuge from his home life in a local drag bar. Luna is pretending to go along with the popular crowd but is still grieving the unexpected passing of her beloved cousin Tasha. And Rafa is a quiet new kid who is hiding the fact that his family is homeless. Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find themselves thrown together when an extraterrestrial visitor lands in L.A. and takes the form of Luna’s cousin. As the Visitor causes destruction, the teens struggle to survive and warn others of what’s coming–because this Visitor is only the first of many. But who is their true enemy–this alien, or their fellow humans? We Light Up The Sky is a captivating story of an alien invasion from the perspective of three Latinx teens. ~ Hispanic – High School


Living Beyond Borders: Growing up Mexican in America
by Margarita Longoria

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Living Beyond Borders is a collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics by celebrated Mexican American authors who share the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate. This memorable anthology is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today’s young readers. ~ Hispanic – High School

Related: 30 Diverse Children’s Anthologies About Trailblazing Women


They Both Die at the End
by Adam Silvera

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day. Critically acclaimed bestseller They Both Die At The End is a devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day. ~ Hispanic – High School


Juliet Takes a Breath
by Gabby Rivera

Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she’s not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favourite feminist writer–what’s sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet’s coming out crashes and burns, she’s not sure her mom will ever speak to her again. In a summer bursting with queer brown dance parties, a sexy fling with a motorcycling librarian, and intense explorations of race and identity, Juliet Takes A Breath follows the strong Hispanic protagonist as she learns what it means to come out–to the world, to her family, to herself. ~ Hispanic – High School



 

 

 

 


Cemetery Boys
by Aiden Thomas

When his traditional family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel wants to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs a ritual to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. But the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, who is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave. Cemetery Boys is a paranormal young adult novel about about family, gender identity and love. ~ Hispanic – High School


Only Mostly Devastated
by Sophie Gonzales

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Will Tavares is the dream summer fling―he’s fun, affectionate, kind―but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. To complicate things further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to…except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted―and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk. Only Mostly Devastating is a funny and heart-warming boy-meets-boy spin on Grease. ~ Hispanic – High School


Furia
by Yamile Saied Méndez

Camila Hassan lives a double life. At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father. On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. But the path ahead isn’t easy… Filled with authentic details of day-to-day life in Argentina, heart-soaring romance, and breathless action on the pitch, Furia is the powerful coming-of-age story. ~ Hispanic – High School


We Are Not from Here
by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Best Multicultural Young Adult Novels 2020

Pulga, Chico and Pequeña don’t have any illusions about the town they’ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home. Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life–if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. We Are Not From Here is a poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border. ~ Hispanic – High School


Never Look Back
by Lilliam Rivera

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

Haunted by losing everything in Hurricane Maria–and by an evil spirit, Ato — Eury arrives in the Bronx, fully expecting the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. When she meets Pheus — a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer — she can set her fears aside for a while. But some dangers are too powerful for even the strongest love, and as the world threatens to tear them apart, Eury and Pheus must fight for each other and their lives. Never Look Back is a modern Afro-Latinx retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice. ~ Hispanic – High School


Tigers, Not Daughters
by Samantha Mawbry

Best Multicultural Young Adult Novels 2020

The Torres sisters dream of escaping their despotic widowed father, and their conservative San Antonio neighborhood. Tragedy strikes when Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say. Follow-up to acclaimed All the Wind in the WorldTigers, Not Daughters is a magical novel that is family drama, ghost story, and love story all in one. ~ Hispanic – High School


Category Five
by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Best Multicultural Young Adult Novels 2020

The tiny island of Vieques, just off the main island of Puerto Rico, is trying to recover after hurricane Maria, but the already battered island is now half empty. To make matters worse,developers have come in to buy up the land at a fraction of its worth, taking advantage of the island when it is down. Lupe, Javier, and Marisol are back to investigate a series of murders that follow in the wake of a hurricane and in the shadow of a new supernatural threat. Category Five is a new supernatural YA thriller that picks up a year after the events of Five Midnights. ~ Hispanic – High School


Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From
by Jennifer De Leon

Hispanic Children's & YA Books

First-generation American Latinx Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand. Don’t Ask Me Where I Am From is a thought-provoking yet humorous story about race, identity, friendship and belonging. ~ Hispanic – High School 

Related: 100 Children’s & YA Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination


Running
by Natalia Sylvester

Best Multicultural Young Adult Novels 2020

When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president, Mari starts to see him with new eyes. She learns details of her father’s political positions and realizes that he is not the man she thought he was. But how do you find your voice when everyone’s watching? When it means disagreeing with your father—publicly? Running is an authentic and humorous debut about privacy, waking up, and speaking up. ~ Hispanic – High School



 

 

 

 


The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo

Multicultural 2019 ALA Youth Media Award-Winning Books: The Poet X

Growing up in her Dominican community in Harlem, Xiomara Batista has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But her deepest thoughts she only shares with her diary in the form of poems, like the frustration about her strict religious mother and her feelings for a classmate. When Xiomara is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she wants to attend but knows her mum would never allow her to. The Poet X is a powerful novel-in-verse about the struggles of a young Afro-Latina. ~ Hispanic – High School


The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros

Hispanic Children's & YA Books: The House On Mango Street

The House on Mango Street tells the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. In short poems and stories – some heartbreaking, others full of joy – Esperanza expresses her thoughts and feelings about her oppressive environment. Acclaimed by critics and often used in schools and universities, this classic has been translated all over the world and should be on every young adult’s bookshelf. ~ Hispanic – High School

Related: 28 Banned/Challenged Multicultural Children’s Books


Out of Darkness
by Ashley Hope-Pérez
Out of Darkness

Out of Darkness is one of the 2016 Américas Award winning Children’s Books. It tells the moving story of the ill-fated love between a Mexican girl and an African American boy in 1937. Wash Fuller tries to navigate the cruel world of racial divisions, Naomi Smith is terrorized by the sexual advances of her white stepfather, and tries to protect her younger twin siblings. Set against the historical backdrop  of the catastrophic East Texas school explosion, Pérez weaves the fictional stories of the two families together in this compelling novel about segregation, family, forbidden love and destructive forces. ~ Hispanic – High School


Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
by Margarita Engle

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - High School: Enchanted Air

Margarita is a girl between two worlds: Feeling lonely in the noisy city of Los Angeles, she longs for the idyllic island of Cuba, her mother’s home country. Her worlds collide when tensions between Cuba and the United States rise and eventually erupt at the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Will she ever be able to visit her beloved island again? Multi-award-winning Enchanted Air is Engle’s deeply personal and hauntingly beautiful memoir-in verse. ~ Hispanic – High School


Dream Things True
by Marie Marquardt

Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - High School: Dream Things True

Evan and Alma’s paths have crossed a few times in the fifteen years that they have lived in the same town. When Evan helps Alma stop her father’s out-of-control truck, the two teenagers fall in love, trying to ignore their different backgrounds. Evan is the nephew of a senator and seems to have it all, Alma comes from a family of undocumented Mexican immigrants. Both dream of escaping their small town in Georgia, Evan’s one-way ticket being soccer, Alma’s her academic success. Dream Things True is a compelling debut novel about love and fear, highlighting the harsh reality of undocumented immigrants. ~ Hispanic – High School


The Afterlife
by Gary Soto
Hispanic Children's & YA Books: The Afterlife

Chuy makes his way through the barrios of Fresno, California, thinking of a strategy to impress a girl, when he gets stabbed by a stranger. Floating above his dying body, he goes on a journey of personal exploration. He learns that his family and friends love him, saves a life, punishes a thug, and even stumbles on what may be true love. With simple and poetic text, The Afterlife is a funny and touching story about a life and death of a teenager in the barrios. ~ Hispanic – High School


Burn Baby Burn
by Meg Medina
Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - High School: Burn Baby Burn

During the infamous violent summer of 1977, when New York City is affected by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer, 17-year-old Nora’s life isn’t going well either. Her drug-dealing brother physically abuses Nora and her mother, her absent father calls only on holidays, and the family is struggling to pay the rent. Nora likes Pablo, her new co-worker at the deli, but is not ready for a relationship, not least because the serial killer goes after young couples who stay out late. Burn Baby Burn is an intense coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl who discovers that the greatest danger lies within her own home. ~ Hispanic – High School


The Surrender Tree
by Margarita Engle

Pura Belpré Award Winners: The Surrender Tree

After three wars for independence, Cuba is still is not free in 1896. People are sent to “reconcentration camps” where there is little food and plenty of illness. In alternating voices and free verse, The Surrender Tree reveals pieces of Cuba’s lesser-known past, drawing on Engle’s grandmother’s stories. The main narrator is Rosa, a traditional healer, who nurses runaway slaves and deserters in hidden caves. Other voices include those of Rosa’s husband José, camp escapee Silvia, and evil slave hunter Lieutenant Death who collects the ears of the slaves he has killed. ~ Hispanic – High School 


Laughing Out Loud, I Fly
by Juan Felipe Herrera
Hispanic Multicultural Children's Books - High School: Laughing Out Loud I Fly

Award-winning Laughing Out Loud I Fly is a collection of over forty of Juan Felipe Herrera’s stirring poems, written in both Spanish and English. Herrera’s rich and vibrant poetry about the joy and the confusion of growing up between two cultures will speak to all teenagers growing up with both the Hispanic/Latino and the American culture. ~ Hispanic – High School


The Poet Slave of Cuba
by Margarita Engle

Pura Belpré Award Winners: The Poet Slave of Cuba

Kept by a wealthy slave owner in 1797 Cuba, 6-year-old Juan Francisco Manzano was treated like a pet. His mistress abused his talent for memorizing and reciting poems by making him perform in front of her guests. After her death, Manzano became the property of an even crueller mistress. He had to endure countless beatings and confinements before his escape at age 16. In powerful free verse and with compelling illustrations, The Poet Slave of Cuba tells the heart-breaking story of a young survivor of slavery. Despite experiencing unspeakable cruelty, Manzano managed to maintain hope and went on to become a celebrated poet. ~ Hispanic – High School


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