• Hispanic/Latino Connections in Literature

    The following books have been chosen because they have a connection to the
    Hispanic/Latino culture and will help all students develop their knowledge and
    understanding of it.  The list includes books at a variety of reading levels and
    are written by a variety of authors.  They are also part of the MacArthur
    Reading Counts program.
    Students have the opportunity to earn extra credit throughout the year by writing
    one page reports about books with Hispanic/Latino connections.
    Reports should be:
    - one page in length (front side only)
    - written in pencil
    - written in English if the student is a Non-Native Speaker
    - written in Spanish if the student is a Native Speaker 
    * These reports will not take the place of missing assignments or low scores
       and should not be completed instead of classwork or homework.

    I have always
    imagined that
    Paradise will be
    a kind of library.


    - Jorge Luis Borges
    Argentine writer
    of short stories,
    poetry and essays

    A great book
    that comes from
    a great thinker

    is a ship of thought,

    deep freighted with

    truth and beauty.


    - Pablo Neruda
    Chilean poet
    and diplomat

    1971 Nobel Prize

    for Literature
    By its very nature,
    the novel indicates
    that we are becoming.
    There is no final
    There is no last
    - Carlos Fuentes
     Mexican writer
    of novels and essays 
  • 90 Miles to Havana

    by Enrique Flores-Galbis Year Published: LXL: 790 WC: 66636

    After his parents send him from Cuba to a camp in 1961 Miami with his brothers, Julian learns to survive and be resourceful while never losing faith that his family will eventually be reunited.

    Comments (-1)
  • A Sunburned Prayer

    by Marc Talbert Year Published: LXL: 910 WC: 27126

    Eloy sets out alone under the hot New Mexico sun to walk the 17 miles to Chimayó. There is said to be holy dirt there--dirt with the healing power to save his grandmother's life.

    Comments (-1)
  • Alphabet City Ballet

    by Erika Tamar Year Published: LXL: 590 WC: 33299

    Living in a poor Puerto Rican family complicates life for ten-year-old Marisol when she realizes that pursuing her love for ballet may expose her brother to danger.

    Comments (-1)
  • Among The Volcanoes

    by Omar S. Castaneda Year Published: LXL: 820L WC: 44167
    In the small Guatemalan village where she lives, Isabel Pacay must go against the traditions of her people--including their expectations that she marry her boyfriend, Lucas - to realize her dream of becoming a teacher.
    Comments (-1)
  • Ancient Aztecs

    by Michael Burgan Year Published: LXL: 1000 WC: 13725
    This colorfully illustrated book in the Ancient World series follows the Aztec civilization from its founding to the Spanish conquest. Chapters describe how the Aztecs lived, what they believed, and how their civilization influences us today.
    Comments (-1)
  • And Now Miguel

    by Joseph Krumgold Year Published: LXL: 780 WC: 56589

    Twelve-year-old Miguel, the middle son of a family of sheep-raisers, finds himself at the awkward age between boyhood and manhood.

    Comments (-1)
  • Bean Trees

    by Barbara Kingsolver Year Published: LXL: 900 WC: 82101
    Young, bright Taylor Greer leaves her poverty stricken life in Kentuckyand heads west, picking up an abandoned Native American baby girl whom she names Turtle. In Tucson, she finds a new home with Mattie, an old woman who takes in Central American refugees.
    Comments (-1)
  • Becoming Naomi León

    by Pam Muñoz Ryan Year Published: LXL: 830 WC: 41287

    When Naomi and Owen's mother, Skyla, shows up at Gram's trailer after seven years, Naomi knows her life is going to change. Skyla wants Naomito move to Las Vegas, but she doesn't want Owen. To keep Naomi, Gram takes them to Mexico to find their father and ask for his help. In the process, Naomi becomes a lion - a true Leon.

    Comments (-1)
  • Before We Were Free

    by Julia Alvarez Year Published: LXL: 890 WC: 48043

    In the midst of a fight for liberation in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita de la Torre learns about love, family, and the cost of being able to fly free.

    Comments (-1)
  • Breaking Through

    by Francisco Jimenez Year Published: LXL: 750 WC: 43851

    In this autobiographical sequel to "The Circuit," Mexican-born Francisco Jiménez tells the story of his family's struggle to survive in southern California during his junior high and high school years.

    Comments (-1)
  • Bringing The Boy Home

    by N.A. Nelson Year Published: LXL: 710 WC: 40066

    As two Takunami boys approach their thirteenth birthdays, they must confront a traditional test in the Amazon rainforest.

    Comments (-1)
  • Carlota

    by Scott O'Dell Year Published: LXL: 810 WC: 29656

    On the ranch and in battle, Carlota feels she must prove again and again that she is as courageous and strong as the son her father wishes she were.

    Comments (-1)
  • Cinnamon Girl

    by Juan Felipe Herrera Year Published: WC: 17226

    In the wake of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, a thirteen-year-old Puerto Rican girl named Yolanda searches for a way to save the life of her uncle who was injured in the attack.

    Comments (-1)
  • Colibri

    by Ann Cameron Year Published: LXL: 730 WC: 46950

    Kidnapped from a bus in Guatemala City at age four, twelve-year-old Rosa yearns to be reconciled with her parents. When her unscrupulous kidnapper learns that Rosa can lead him to a treasure, he will stop at nothing to satiate his greed.

    Comments (-1)
  • Cuentos: Tales from the Hispanic Southwest

    by Jose Griego y Maestas and Rudolfo A. Anaya Year Published: LXL: 780 WC: 56589

    This bilingual collection of Hispanic tales, folklore, and words of wisdom reflect everyday life and the deep traditions permeating the villages of New Mexico and Southern Colorado.

    Comments (-1)
  • Downtown Boy

    by Juan Felipe Herrera Year Published: LXL: 740 WC: 27915
    In this novel told in verse, ten-year-old Juanito Palomares moves from a rural life to San Francisco and San Diego in the late 1950s. Through many changes of school and friends, he tries to balance the attraction of the street life with his Mexican family's wish for him to be a "good boy."
    Comments (-1)
  • El Chino

    by Allen Say Year Published: LXL: 600 WC: 1577

    This book is a biography of Bill Wong, a Chinese American who became a famous bullfighter in Spain.

    Comments (-1)
  • El Dorado Adventure

    by Lloyd Alexander Year Published: LXL: 800 WC: 38052
    Traveling to Central America to inspect her real estate holdings, seventeen-year-old Vesper tries to stop a villain from building a canal that would destroy an Indian tribe's homeland.
    Comments (-1)
  • El Güero

    by Elizabeth Borton de Treviño Year Published: LXL: 860 WC: 22708
    After Judge Cayetano Treviño is ordered to establish a court in Ensenada, he and his family begin an adventurous journey.
    Comments (-1)
  • Enchanted Air

    by Margarita Engle Year Published: LXL: 1120 WC: 12721
    In this hopeful memoir in the form of free verse, Margarita Engle struggles with her love of two countries that hate each other. Part of her is in Cuba with her mother's family, and the other part is in California where she grew up.
    Comments (-1)
  • Esperanza Rising

    by Pam Muñoz Ryan Year Published: LXL: 750 WC: 41795
    Thirteen-year-old Esperanza's world changes completely when she and her mother are forced to leave their comfortable life in Mexico and work in a labor camp in California. When her mother becomes ill, Esperanza must learn to survive in the new world so that she can help her mother.
    Comments (-1)
  • Famous Hispanic Americans

    by Janet Nomura Morey, Wendy Dunn Year Published: LXL: 1170 WC: 31741
    Profiles the lives of fourteen Hispanic Americans, including, Gloria Estefan, Andy Garcia, Ellen Ochoa, Felipe Alou, and Carolina Herrera.
    Comments (-1)
  • First Crossing: Stories About Teen Immigrants

    by Donald R. Gallo Year Published: LXL: 820 WC: 52142
    This collection of biographies sheds light on the experience of teenage immigrants in America. Each shares their story with unflinching honesty and gives real insight into the experience from a teenager's point of view.
    Comments (-1)
  • Frida Kahlo

    by Jill A. Laidlaw Year Published: LXL: 1070 WC: 7497
    In this volume of "Artists in their Times," photographs of Kahlo's family, her time, and her gorgeous paintings will introduce readers of all ages to the powerful work of one of the 20th century's most important painters.
    Comments (-1)
  • How Tía Lola Came to Stay

    by Julia Alvarez Year Published: LXL: 740 WC: 25852
    Miguel is having a hard time making friends in his new home in Vermont. When his unusual Tia Lola comes for a visit from her native Dominican Republic, Miguel thinks things can only get worse.
    Comments (-1)
  • Hummingbirds: Facts And Folklore From The Americas

    by Jeanette Larson, Adrienne Yorinks Year Published: LXL: 1120 WC: 6116
    The hummingbird is native to the Americas and has made its way into tales from different indigenous cultures. Learn how stories and myth are woven together in this fascinating folklore book.
    Comments (-1)
  • Inca Gold

    by Clive Cussler Year Published: LXL: 1000 WC: 96619
    Dirk Pitt dives into an ancient sacrificial pool to save a couple of archeologists and finds himself competing with an evil crime syndicate in a hunt for a long-lost treasure. The syndicate will stop at nothing to get its hands on the golden prize and rid itself of the only thing standing in its way - Dirk Pitt.
    Comments (-1)
  • Isabel: Jewel of Castilla

    by Carolyn Meyer Year Published: LXL: 860 WC: 30536
    In this fictional though historically based diary of Isabel, the future Queen of Spain, readers can learn about the tragedies and triumphs that led her to become one of the most dynamic and influential women in history. The book includes illustrations, historical notes, a glossary of characters, a guide to pronunciation of Spanish words from the text, and Isabel's royal family tree.
    Comments (-1)
  • Letters from the Corrugated Castle

    by Joan W. Blos Year Published: LXL: 1000 WC: 49688
    At the time of the California Gold Rush in 1850, thirteen-year-old Eldora thought that she had been an orphan all her life. Everything changes when she receives a letter from a woman claiming to be her mother.
    Comments (-1)
  • Meet Josefina

    by Valerie Tripp Year Published: LXL: 690 WC: 12936
    Nine-year-old Josefina, the youngest of four sisters living in New Mexico in 1824, tries to help run the household after her mother dies.
    Comments (-1)
  • Night of the Chupacabras

    by Marie G. Lee Year Published: LXL: 760 WC: 21633
    When three seventh-grade friends have the opportunity to spend their summer vacation on a goat ranch in Mexico, they have no idea of the adventure that awaits them. Join them as they try to solve the dangerous mystery, while learning many things about the Mexican cultures.
    Comments (-1)
  • Quinceañera Means Sweet 15

    by Veronica Chambers Year Published: LXL: 630 WC: 42395
    Marisol and her best friend, Magda, will soon celebrate their 15th birthdays which are important celebrations to all Panamanians. As Marisol worries that her family's poor financial situation will prevent her from having the celebration she yearns for, Magda seems to prefer the company of another girl who is leading Magda on a path of crime. 
    Comments (-1)
  • Shadow of a Bull

    by Maia Wojciechowska Year Published: LXL: 740 WC: 30321

    Manolo Olivar has to make a decision: to follow in his famous father's shadow and become a bullfighter, or to follow his heart and become a doctor.

    Comments (-1)
  • Spirits of the High Mesa

    by Floyd Martinez Year Published: LXL: 740 WC: 59642
    Flavio leads a simple yet full life with his family in Capulín, New Mexico. When progress comes to his small town, his grandfather, El Grande, warns of its drawbacks and how it will change everyone's lives - and not always for the better.
    Comments (-1)
  • The Blue Door

    by Emma Holloway Year Published: LXL: 1010 WC: 2196

    When they pass through the blue door in the mysterious painting passed down by their grandmother, Tisa and Leroy find themselves in an ancient Mayan society.

    Comments (-1)
  • The Color of My Words

    by Lynn Joseph Year Published: LXL: 840 WC: 18878
    In this poignant tale, twelve-year-old Ana Rosa learns that her many-colored words are not only powerful enough to entertain the whole village but are also capable of creating the destructive force that leads to the death of her beloved brother, Guario.
    Comments (-1)
  • The Girl from Chimel

    by Rigoberta Menchú Year Published: LXL: 860 WC: 7903

    Rigoberta Menchú grew up in the Indian village of Chimel in Guatemala before becoming a heroine to indigenous peoples all over for her activist work on human rights. This story is her memories of the stories her grandfather told and the peacefulness and beauty of nature that surrounded her childhood home.

    Comments (-1)
  • The House on Mango Street

    by Sandra Cisneros Year Published: LXL: 870 WC: 17472
    Esperanza narrates her experiences growing up on Mango Street in theLatino section of Chicago, telling of the different characters in her neighborhood and of her transition from girlhood to womanhood.
    Comments (-1)
  • The Island of Dangerous Dreams

    by Joan Lowery Nixon Year Published: LXL: 740 WC: 43388
    When Andrea spends a month with her aunt, she gradually becomes enmeshed in a plot involving a stolen Peruvian artifact and murder on a boat in the Bahamas.
    Comments (-1)
  • Vampire Plagues: Mexico, 1850

    by Sebastian Rook Year Published: LXL: 790 WC: 42661
    In this third book of the "Vampire Plagues" series, friends Jack, Ben, and Emily are in a race to the jungles of Yucatán. Camazotz, an ancient Mayan vampire god, needs one more piece of an amulet so he can plunge the earth into darkness.
    Comments (-1)
  • What the Moon Saw

    by Laura Resau Year Published: LXL: 750 WC: 71104
    When fourteen-year-old Clara spends two months with her paternal grandparents in a tiny village in Mexico, she encounters many surprises while learning about the culture of her ancestors.
    Comments (-1)
  • Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

    by Sandra Cisneros Year Published: LXL: 960 WC: 46172
    This collection of stories examines life on both sides of the Mexican border. From the secrets of an eleven-year-old girl to the predawn flight of a witch woman, the women in these stories offer their wisdom and insight into their worlds.
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