Read Woke @ Goodnow

Children’s Book Recommendations:

Hispanic American Voices


Ana María Reyes does not Live in a Castle by Hilda Eunice Burgos – “With a new sibling (her fourth) on the way and a big piano recital on the horizon, Dominican-American Ana María Reyes tries to win a scholarship to a New York City private school.”

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya – “When his family’s restaurant and Cuban American neighborhood in Miami are threatened by a greedy land developer, 13-year-old Arturo fights back, discovering the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.”

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan – “Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California on the eve of the Great Depression.”

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez – “Malo loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). When she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malo finally begins to feel at home. She’ll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself!”

Forest World by Margarita Engle – “Sent to Cuba to visit the father he barely knows, Edver is surprised to meet a half-sister, Luza, whose plan to lure their cryptozoologist mother into coming there, too, turns dangerous.”

Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook (series) by Iva-Marie Palmer – “When her school is shut down, all-star pitcher Gabby Garcia is sent to an upscale private school that already has a star pitcher, and to make matters worse, she has trouble making friends and finding her place.”

Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes – “Gaby loves volunteering at the animal shelter.  Her mom, a Honduran immigrant, was swiftly deported after her factory was raided. Now Gaby clings to the notion that her mother is on the way home again while trying to navigate life with her newly custodial dad.”

I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin – “An 11-year-old’s world is upended by political turmoil in this searing novel from an award-winning poet, based on true events in Chile.”

Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes – “Lety Muñoz’s first language is Spanish, and she likes to take her time putting her words together. She loves volunteering at the Furry Friends Animal Shelter because the dogs and cats there don’t care if she can’t always find the right word.”

The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau – “In the remote mountains of Mexico, 11-year-old  Teo lives with his family and the animals that he has healed. When a Romany caravan rolls into town with a girl who calls herself Esma, the Gypsy Queen of Lightning, it is the beginning of a  life-changing friendship.”

Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano – “Wanting to be a part of her family’s Dia de los Muertos preparations, Leonora sneaks out of school to discover her mother, aunt, and older sisters have been keeping a secret.”

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar – “In 1960s New York, 5th-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast.”

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina – “Thoughtful, strong-willed 6th-grader Merci Suarez navigates difficult changes with friends, family, and everyone in between. Medina keeps the tone light as Merci’s take-charge personality helps her to succeed.”

Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez – “A 12-year-old girl discovers her secret ancient bloodline. Now the fate of her family, and the world, may rest in her hands… The DaVinci Code for Middle Grade!”

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Alberto Pablo Hernandez – “In order to heal after his mother’s death, Sal learned how to meditate. But no one expected him to be able to take it further and ‘relax’ things into existence. Turns out he can reach into time and space to retrieve things from other universes.”

Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome by Gonzalez, Sarai – “4th-grader Saraí Gonzalez can bake, dance, and run her own cupcake business. But when her grandparents are forced to move, even Saraí’s not sure what to do. So she hatches a super-awesome plan with her younger sisters and cousin to buy back the house. Will Saraí find a way to save the day?”

Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez – “Stella Diaz wants to be friends with the new boy in class, but sometimes she accidentally speaks Spanish instead of English and pronounces words wrong, which makes her turn roja. In addition, she has to get over her fear of speaking in front of the class.”

Tight by Torrey Maldonado – “After his quick-tempered father gets in a fight and is sent back to jail, sixth-grader Bryan, known for being quiet and thoughtful, snaps and follows new friend Mike into trouble.”

Picture Books

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal – “When Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela asks her father why she has so many names, she hears the story of her name and learns about her grandparents.”

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle – “Follows a young Cuban girl in the 1930s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there’s never been a female drummer in Cuba. Includes note about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who inspired the story, and Anacaona, the all-girl dance band she formed with her sisters.”

Esquivel! Space-age Sound Artist (Biography) by Susan Wood  – “Juan Garcia Esquivel was born in Mexico and grew up to the sounds of mariachi bands. He loved music and became a musical explorer. Defying convention, he created music that made people laugh and planted images in their minds. Juan’s space-age lounge music popular in the fifties and sixties has found a new generation of listeners.”

Islandborn by Junot Díaz – “Lola was just a baby when her family left the Island, so when she has to draw it for a school assignment, she asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland and in the process, comes up with a new way of understanding her own heritage”

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De la Peña – “A young boy, CJ, rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.”

Lucía the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza – “Lucia zips through the playground in her cape like the boys, but when they tell her ‘girls can’t be superheroes’, she doesn’t feel so mighty. That’s when her abuela reveals a secret: Lucia comes from a family of luchadoras, the bold and valiant women of the Mexican lucha libre tradition.”

Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina – “When Mia’s far-away grandmother comes to stay, love and patience transcend language.”

Marta! Big & Small by Jen Arena – “Marta explores the world of opposites and animals; incorporates Spanish words.”

My Papi Has A Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero – “When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.  A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood.”

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales – “Lucha Libre champion Niño has no trouble fending off monstrous opponents, but when his little sisters awaken from their naps, he is in for a no-holds-barred wrestling match that will truly test his skills.”

The Princess and the Warrior: Tale of Two Volcanoes (Non-Fiction/Folktales) by Duncan Tonatiuh  – “Princess Izta had many wealthy suitors but dismissed them all. When a mere warrior, Popoca, promised to be true to her and stay always by her side, Izta fell in love. The emperor promised Popoca if he could defeat their enemy Jaguar Claw – one of Mexico’s cherished legends.”

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation (Non-Fiction) by Duncan Tonatiuh  – “Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California.”

¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat (World Language) by Raúl the Third  – “Little Lobo, a Mexican American, and Bernabé, his dog, gather tacos, frutas picadas, cuernos, and more and deliver them to los luchadores preparing for Lucha Libre 5000.”

Where are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez – “When a young girl is asked where she’s from, she’s no longer as she was. She decides to turn to her abuelo for some help with this question. But he doesn’t give her the answer she expects.”