Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15, a period chosen because it bookends the independence days of five Central American nations (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica, Sept. 15), Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept. 18), as well as Columbus Day/Dia de la Raza (Oct. 14 this year in the United States). In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve rounded up five great books that celebrate Latino culture and history.
1. Gracias~Thanks by Pat Mora, illustrated by John Parra
In a series of poetic sentences, a young boy tells about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful in both English and Spanish.
2. Marisol McDonald Doesnt’ Match/Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios
A young Peruvian-Scottish-American girl tries to match but finds it’s much more fun to live outside the box.
3. The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos by Lucía González, illustrated by Lulu Delacre
Award-winners Lucía González and Lulu Delacre celebrate the magic of the public library and the remarkable efforts of New York City’s first Latina librarian, Pura Belpré.
4. Poems to Dream Together/Poemas para soñar juntos by Francisco X. Alarcón, illustrated by Paula S. Barragán
A bilingual collection of poetry that celebrates family, community, nature, and the positive power of dreams to shape our future.
5. Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Fifteen-year-old Odilia and her younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, and must outwit monsters and witches to make it back home again in this YA fantasy that retells Homer’s The Odyssey.