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8 Hispanic Children's Books Every Niño And Niña Needs To Read

"You must be patient, Esperanza."

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1. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan


Age Range: 8 & Up

Awards: Pura Belpré Award for Writing (2002), Jane Addams Children's Book Awards for Book for Older Children (2001)

Set first on a wealthy Mexican ranch and then in Depression era US, the story follows Esperanza as an abrupt change in circumstance leads her to live a life she never thought in her wildest dreams she would have to live. It's a beautiful lesson on rising from the depths of despair.

2. Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Age Range: 6 - 9

Awards: Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book (2015), Robert F. Sibert Honor (2015)

10 years before the famed Brown vs. Board of Education ended segregation in schools, Sylvia Mendez and her parents led the fight to rid California of its segregation after she was denied entry into a "Whites Only" school. A must read for anyone who is up against seemingly impossible challenges in their lives.

4. Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez


Age Range: 8 - 12

Awards: Américas Award (2010), Pura Belpré Award for Narrative (2010)

Told from the perspective of the young white farmer concerned about his family and the young Mexican immigrant concerned about her family's future, the story delves into two seemingly disparate families and struggles that will leave the reader feeling for both sides of the story all the way throughout.

5. Gazpacho for Nacho by Tracey Kyle

Two Lions

Age Range: 5 - 9

Awards: None, but scrumptious

Follow Nacho as he makes a delicious recipe for the only thing he loves to eat. It's fun and will make you ask your mom for some Gazpacho when you're done.

6. The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez


Age Range: 8 - 12

Awards: Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Awards for Choice Award (2011), IRA-CBC Teacher's Choice (2011), Nebraska Book Award (2011), Skipping Stones Honor Book (2010), Florida Book Award for Young Adult - Gold (2010)

Follow Lucía Álvarez as she attempts to find a place in Nebraska after the growing oppression of the communist regime forces her parents to make the decision to send her and her brother away for a better life. Only for the strong hearted.

7. The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jiménez

University of New Mexico Press

Age Range: 10 - 13

Awards: John and Patricia Beatty Award (1998), Américas Award (1997)

Told in vignettes, each one will give you a glimpse into the life of a migrant child too real to ignore.

8. Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull

HMH Books for Young Readers

Age Range: 4 - 7

Awards: Elizabeth Burr / Worzalla Award (2004)

It's never too early to learn about the iconic man that fought for human rights for migrant farm workers. Told with beautifully detailed illustrations, the story will leave you proud of such a big accomplishment.

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