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Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 Recommended Reading List

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated nationwide and begins Sept. 15, 2014, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico achieved independence on September 16th and Chile on September 18th. Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1974, when President Gerald Ford issued a Presidential Proclamation extending Hispanic Heritage Week into a month-long observation.

This recommended reading list provides a variety of suggested books by grade level for children of all ages, as well as a selection of suggested books for adult reading. Just Read, Florida! makes reading a priority in Florida’s public schools and among the community groups and volunteer organizations that support them. This recommended reading list serves that goal while increasing students’ interest in the many aspects and contributions of Hispanic culture to the state of Florida.

Elementary (K-Grade 2) · Elementary (3–5) · Middle School (6–8) · High School (9–12) · Adult Reading

Elementary (K-Grade 2)
Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale Carmen Agra Deedy
Doña Flor Pat Mora
Juan Bobo Goes to Work Marisa Montes
From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems Francisco X. Alarcón
Pablo's Tree Pat Mora
Chato and the Party Animals Gary Soto
Mama & Papa Have a Store Amelia Lau Carling
Snapshots from the Wedding Gary Soto
In My Family Lomas Garza, Carmen
Rainbow Tulip Pat Mora
Xochtil and the Flowers Jorge Argueta
The Spirit of Tío Fernando Janice Levy
Hispanic Scientists: Ellen Ochoa, Carlos A. Ramirez,
Eloy Rodriguez, Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Maria Elena Zavala
Jetty St. John
Angels Ride Bikes: And Other Fall Poems Francisco X. Alarcon
Get Ready for Gabi: A Crazy Mixed Up Spanglish Day Marisa Montes Illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Gracias Thanks Pat Mora, Illustrated by, John Parra and written by Pat Mora
Nacho and Lolita Pam Munoz Ryan
Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English Alma Flor Ada
The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos Lucia Gonzalez and Lulu Delacre
Book fiesta!: Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day; Celebramos El dia de los ninos/Eldia de los libros Pat Mora, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Elementary (3–5)
Under the Royal Palms: a Childhood in Cuba Alma Flor Ada
My Diary from Here to There Amada Irma Pérez
Magic Windows Carmen Lomas Garza
Hands-on Latin America: Art Activities For All Ages Yvonne Y. Merrill
Where the Flame Trees Bloom Alma Flor Ada
Amazing Hispanic American History George Ochoa
Charro: The Mexican Cowboy George Ancona
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez Kathleen Krull
Family Pictures Carmen Lomas Garza
The Bossy Gallito Lucia Gonzalez
Calling the Doves/El Encanto De Las Palomas Juan Felipe Herrera
Under the Royal Palms: a Childhood in Cuba Alma Flor Ada
Learning About Determination From the Life of Gloria Estefan Meanne Stazzabosco
Ivan Rodriguez Tony DeMarco
Alicia Alonso: First Lady of the Ballet Sandra Martin Arnold
The Biographical Dictionary of Hispanic Americans Nicholas E. Meyer
Famous Hispanic Americans Janet Morey
Ellen Ochoa: The First Hispanic Woman Astronaut Romero Maritza
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El
día de los niños/El día de los libros
illustrated by Rafael López, written by Pat Mora
The Day It Snowed Tortillas: A Classic from the American Southwest Joe Hayes
How Tia Lola Came to Stay Julia Alvarez
Poet and Politician of Puerto Rico: Don Luis Munoz Marin Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Illustrated by Leyla Torres, Susan Guevara, and Felipe Davalos
Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller Xavier Garza
The Dreamer Pam Munoz Ryan

Middle School (6–8)
César Chávez : Crusader for Social Change Brenda Haugen
When I was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo Poli Délano
Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States Lori Carlson, Editor
Crossing the Wire Will Hobbs
Breaking Through Francisco Jiménez
Under the Same Sky Cynthia DeFelico
Struggling to Become an American Robin Santos Doak
The Color of My Words Lynn Joseph
Wachale! Poetry and Prose about Growing Up Latino in America Ilan Stavans, Editor
Extraordinary Hispanic Americans Susan Sinnott
Baseball in April and Other Stories Gary Soto
Call Me Maria: a Novel Judith Ortiz Cofer
Hispanic, Female and Young: An Anthology Edited by Phyllis Tashlik
My Daughter, My Son, the Eagle, the Dove: An Aztec Chant Ana Castillo
Cuba 15 Nancy Osa
Becoming Naomi León Pam Muñoz Ryan
The Tree is Older than You Are Edited by Naomi Shihab Nye
Facts of Life Gary Soto
Flight to Freedom Ana Veciana–Suarez
Among the Volcanoes Omar S. Castañeda
The Smell of Old Lady Perfume Claudia Guadalupe Martínez
Delores Huerta: Labor Leader and Civil Rights Activist Robin S. Doak
Esperanza Rising Pam Munoz Ryan
The Circuit: Stories From the Life of a Migrant Child Francisco Jimenez
Journey of Dreams Marge Pellegrino
Tropical secrets : Holocaust refugees in Cuba Margarita Engle
The Dreamer Pam Munoz Ryan
The Firefly Letters Margarita Engle
César Chávez: A Photographic Essay Ilan Stavans
Under the Mesquite Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck Margarita Engle
Dancing Home Alma For Ada
El Caracol: The Story of Alfonso, Labor Camp Child Yolanda Espinosa Espinoza

High School (9–12)
Journey of the Sparrows Fran Leeper Buss
Jesse Gary Soto
Yo! Julia Alvarez
El Bronx Remembered Nicholasa Mohr
Famous Hispanic Americans Wendy Dunn, Janet Nomura Morey, and Carlos E. Cortes
Laughing Out Loud, I Fly: Poems in English and Spanish Juan Felipe Herrera
How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents Julia Alvarez
Bless Me, Ultima Rudolfo Anaya
When I Was Puerto Rican Esmeralda Santiago
Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young
and Latino in the United States
Lori Marie Carlson
The Shadow of the Wind: A Novel Carlos Ruiz Zafón translated by Lucia Graves
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez
American Chica Maria Arana
Taking Sides Gary Soto
Before We Were Free Julia Alvarez
Riding Low on the Streets of Gold: Latino Literature for Young Adults edited, with an introduction Judith Ortiz Cofer
Growing Up Inside the Sanctuary of My Imagination Nicholasa Mohr
Curse of the Chupa Cabra Rudolfo Anaya
Accidental Love Gary Soto
The Importance of a Piece of Paper: Stories Jimmy Santiago Baca
Crazy Loco David Talbot Rice
Reaching Out Francisco Jiménez
Voices in First Person: Reflections on Latino Identity edited by Lori Marie Carlson
I, Juan De Pareja Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
The Emerald Lizard: Fifteen Latin American Tales to Tell Pleasant DeSpain
Kids Like Me Judith M. Blohm, Terri Lapinsky Powells
Hispanic Surnames and Family History Lyman DePlatt
The Hispanic America, Texas and the Mexican War, 1835 - 1850 Christopher Collier
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors Francisco X. Stork
You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens Edited by Sarah Cortez
When I Am Singing to You Rebecca Burke
The Distance Between Us: A Memoir Reyna Grande
Latinnovating: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them Graciela Tiscareno-Sato

Adult Reading
Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez Richard Rodriguez
The Line of the Sun Judith Ortiz Cofer
Empress of the Splendid Season Ơscar Hijuelos
In the Time of the Butterflies: A Novel Julia Alvarez
Never Through Miami Robert Quesada
Down These Mean Streets Piri Thomas
Our House in the Last World Ơscar Hijuelos
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love Ơscar Hijuelos
Collected Fictions Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Andrew Hurley
Shadow without a Name Ignacio Padilla, translated by Peter R. Bush & Anne McCleane
By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border Luis Alberto Urrea
The Latino Holiday Book: From Cinco de Mayo to Dia de los Muertos--the Celebrations and Traditions of Hispanic-Americans Valerie Menard
Latino Literacy: The Complete Guide to Our Hispanic History and Culture Frank De Varona
Chronology of Hispanic-American History: From Pre-Columbian Times to the Present Nicolas Kanellos
Everything you need to know about Latino History Himilce Novas
Thirty Million Strong: Reclaiming the Hispanic Image in American Culture Nicolas Kanellos
Strangers Among Us: How Latino Immigration is Transforming America Roberto Suro
Women's Tales from the New Mexico WPA: La Diabla a Pie (Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Series) Tey Diana Rebolledo and María Teresa Márquez
Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America Helen Thorpe
The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris Mark Kurlansky

Students now have an additional reading resource to help them find these exciting books on the Hispanic Heritage Month reading list. The free online search tool dubbed “Find a Book, Florida” allows users to build custom reading lists based on each student’s individual interests from a growing database of fiction and nonfiction titles. The database also allows students to locate books that best complement their reading ability. Using Lexile® measures, the standard for matching readers with books, “Find a Book, Florida” aims to make it easier for students and families to select the right books and then locate these selections at their local public library.

To use this resource today, visit or