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Pura Belpré Book Awards

med-belpre.pngThe award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.



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

In this ... memoir, Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.



I Lived on Butterfly Hill
I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin

When her beloved country, Chile, is taken over by a militaristic, sadistic government, Celeste is sent to America for her safety and her parents must go into hiding before they "disappear."



Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass
Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass by Meg Medina

Informed that a bully she does not know is determined to beat her up Latin American teen Piddy Sanchez struggles to learn more about the father she has never met, until the bully's gang forces her to confront more difficult challenges.

Honor Books



Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Saenz

Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.



Under the Mesquite
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry. Includes glossary of Spanish terms.



The Dreamer
The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan

A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.



Return to Sender
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez

After his family hires migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure, eleven-year-old Tyler befriends the oldest daughter, but when he discovers they may not be in the country legally, he realizes that real friendship knows no borders.



The Surrender Tree : Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom
The Surrender Tree : Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle

Cuba has fought three wars for independence, and still she is not free. This history in verse creates a lyrical portrait of Cuba.



The Poet Slave of Cuba : A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano
The Poet Slave of Cuba : A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano by Margarita Engle

Juan Francisco Manzano was born in 1797 into the household of wealthy slave owners in Cuba. He spent his early years at the side of his owner's wife, entertaining her friends. His poetry was his outlet, reflecting the beauty and cruelty of his world. Written in verse.



The Tequila Worm
The Tequila Worm by Viola Canales

Sofia grows up in the close-knit community of the barrio in McAllen, Texas, then finds that her experiences as a scholarship student at an Episcopal boarding school in Austin only strengthen her ties to family and her "comadres."



Before We Were Free
Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo.



Esperanza Rising
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, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.




Parrot in the Oven : mi vida
Parrot in the Oven : mi vida by Martinez Victor

Manny relates his coming of age experiences as a member of a poor Mexican American family in which the alcoholic father only adds to everyone's struggle.



An Island Like You : Stories of the Barrio
An Island Like You : Stories of the Barrio by Judith Ortiz Cofer

Twelve stories about young people caught between their Puerto Rican heritage and their American surroundings.

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