25 Books by Latine Creators to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Children's books by Latine authors and illustrators celebrating culture, community, and family for National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The United States’ National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and lasts until October 15. During this month-long observance, we take time to honor the contributions, history, and culture of Americans whose ancestors are from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
One way to celebrate this year is to take a look at this list of stories by Latine and Hispanic authors and illustrators, and choose a few books to read with the children in your life! These books depict traditional and new stories, biographies and unique characters, and celebrate family, community, and culture.
This list has been curated using the Sacred Worth Books database. This resource was created with the understanding that our earliest ideas of ourselves and others are often related to what we see around us, including our family and close community, books and other media. The Sacred Worth Books list exists in order to provide families and church libraries access to picture books representing a wide variety of diverse main characters, so that children may decrease the bias they learn as they get older, value all children as part of God’s creation, and see themselves represented in affirming ways. Some of these books represent NEW additions to our database! We love receiving book recommendations for our list, so if there’s a book you or the kids in your life love, contribute to the Sacred Worth Books database here!
Abuela By Arthur Dorros, Illustrated by Elisa Kleven. Rosalba and her abuela (grandmother) go on a magical adventure as they fly above New York City together in this story which incorporates Spanish words and phrases throughout.
Abuela’s Weave By Omar S. Castaneda, Illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez. In this story about intergenerational bonds, culture and craftsmanship, a Guatemalan girl learns to weave from her grandmother.
Alma and How She Got Her Name Written and Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela wonders why she has such a long name! Her father explains the origins of each part of her name in this sweet story about family heritage and what makes up who we are.
Areli is a Dreamer By Areli Morales, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe. Areli Morales shares her own true story of moving from Mexico to New York as a young girl, the struggles of adjusting to a new culture, and ultimately making a home and pursuing her dreams in the United States. Includes an author’s note on the DACA program.
Be Bold! Be Brave!: 11 Latinas Who Made U. S. History By Naibe Reynoso, Illustrated by Jone Leal. A bilingual book with 11 short biographies of Latinas who accomplished important firsts: for example, Rita Moreno, the first Latina to win an Oscar, and Antonia Novello, the first woman Surgeon General in the United States!
Blanca’s Feather By Antonio Hernández Madrigal, Illustrated by Gerardo Suzán. Join Rosalia as she takes her pet hen, Blanca, to be blessed on Saint Francis of Assisi Day, and discovers a special surprise.
Carmela Full of Wishes By Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Christian Robinson. On Carmela’s birthday, she thinks of many different special wishes as she walks through her city with her brother. A story that touches on some of what it means to be an immigrant in the United States, and to live in an urban environment, as well as the special bond between brother and sister.
Chavela and the Magic Bubble By Monica Brown, Illustrated by Magaly Morales. Chavela chews a magical piece of gum, and its bubble carries her on a journey to discover how chicle is harvested to make the bubble gum she loves.
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours Written and Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. The story of Mexican artist Diego Rivera and how his work continues to inspire and to tell important stories.
Dreamers Written and Illustrated by Yuyi Morales. A woman and her baby immigrate to the United States and navigate the change in culture and language, finding both comfort and new discoveries in a library full of books. Check out our Read-Along video of this book on GBCS’s YouTube page!
Drum Dream Girl By Margarita Engle, Illustrated by Rafael López. A girl with a secret love for music and drumming dares to challenge the traditional culture of her island which holds that only men can be drummers in this story inspired by the real-life story of Chinese-African-Cuban woman Millo Castro Zaldarriaga.
Fearless Trailblazers: 11 Latinos Who Made U. S. History By Naibe Reynoso, Illustrated by Jone Leal. In this bilingual book, find 11 short biographies of Latinos throughout US History from Cesar Chavez to Lin-Manuel Miranda who accomplished amazing things.
From North to South / Del Norte al Sur By René Laínez, Illustrated by Joe Cepeda. José and his father drive from California to Mexico to visit his mother, who has been deported. A story that touches on the injustice of family separation.
I Know the River Loves Me: Yo sé que el río me ama Written and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. A bilingual story of a girl named Maya and the mutual caretaking between her and the river she loves.
Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers Written and illustrated by Juliet Menendez. A collection of short biographical stories of women from the United States and across Latin America and the steps they took to become such influential figures, from Sonia Sotomayor to Frida Kahlo to Celia Cruz to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Miguel and the Grand Harmony By Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Ana Ramirez. Based on characters from the Disney animated film Coco, this book tells the story of Miguel and his love for music, narrated by La Música herself.
My Name is Maria Isabel By Alma Flor Ada. When Maria Isabel starts at a new school, she is frustrated that her teacher wants to call her “Mary” since there is already a “Maria” in the class. Her name is important to her because she is named after her Puerto Rican grandmother who she loves dearly, and she works to show her teacher why her name matters so much.
One of A Kind, Like me/ Único como yo By Laurin Mayeno, Illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo, Translation by Teresa Mlawer. In this bilingual tale, Danny decides he wants to be a princess for the school parade. A fun story about being yourself that affirms all of our uniqueness and celebrates gender diversity.
Quinito’s Neighborhood/El Vecindario de Quinito By Ina Cumpiano, Illustrated by José Ramirez. Travel with Quinito as he greets friends and relatives on a journey through his neighborhood, and learn about their different jobs and how each of them contribute to the community.
The Secret Footprints By Julia Alvarez, Illustrated by Fabian Negrin. In this book based on Dominican folk tales of mythical creatures called ciguapas, who live in underwater caves and fear humans, one curious ciguapa befriends a human boy.
Tomás and the Library Lady By Pat Mora, Illustrated by Raul Colón. Tomás, a son of migrant workers, loves the stories his grandfather tells. Then, his grandfather introduces him to the library, where the “library lady” shows him a whole world of even more stories. A true story of Mexican-American author and educator Tomás Rivera.
Viva Frida By Yuyi Morales, Photographs by Tim O’Meara. Using both English and Spanish words, and creatively photographed puppets for illustrations, this book tells about the artist Frida Kahlo and how she found inspiration for her groundbreaking art.
Waiting for the Biblioburro By Monica Brown, Illustrated by John Parra. Ana, who loves stories, is thrilled when a traveling library comes to her village. This book is based on the true story of Luis Soriano’s work establishing the Biblioburro program for kids in rural Colombia.
What can you do with a Paleta? By Carmen Tafolla, Illustrated by Magaly Morales. A celebration of the paleta, a traditional Mexican popsicle loved by kids especially on a hot summer day!
Xochitl and the Flowers/Xochitl, la Nina de las flores By Jorge Argueta, Illustrated by Carl Angel. When Xochitl’s family moves from El Salvador to the United States, she misses the garden and flower shop they left behind. But as they start to grow and sell flowers in their new neighborhood, Xochitl and her family find a real sense of community and home once again.