Hispanic Heritage Month

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

Here are some of our favorite books by Hispanic authors and illustrators that celebrate the lives of Hispanic people, their contributions to our world, and the richness and vibrancy of their cultures. These are great books for families with kids ages 3-12.

  • Lucia the Luchadora

    2017 by Garza, Cynthia Leonor

    Lucia zips through the playground in her cape just like the boys, but when they tell her "girls can't be superheroes," suddenly she doesn't feel so mighty. That's when her beloved abuela reveals a dazzling secret: Lucia comes from a family of luchadoras, the bold and valiant women of the Mexican lucha libre tradition. Ages 3-7.

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  • Octopus Stew

    2019 by Velasquez, Eric

    Ramsey, an imaginative Afro-Latinx artist, creates a painting of an octopus, which inspires his grandma to make pulpo—octopus stew. From there, adventure ensues as we accompany Ramsey and his grandma on a "wild octopus chase." But is the chase real, or just Ramsey's imagination at play? Includes a Spanish glossary and a recipe for octopus stew. Ages 4-8.

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  • Dreamers

    2018 by Morales, Yuyi

    This picture book memoir tells the story of the author's journey to America with her infant son. Morales tells us that no matter where where life takes us, we never arrive empty-handed. We come with our stories, our strengths, and our drive to create a better life and future. At the heart of it, we are all dreamers. Ages 4-8.

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  • Carmela Full of Wishes

    2018 by de la Peña, Matt

    When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true—she's finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. Before she blows its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of the right wish. This story is a moving ode to family, dreamers, and finding hope in the most unexpected places. Ages 4-8.

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  • Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

    2019 by Sotomayor, Sonia

    Written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, this book celebrates the abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges—and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. Ages 4-8.

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  • Yo Soy Muslim: A Father's Letter to His Daughter

    2017 by Gonzales, Mark

    In this touching and lyrical picture book, a parent encourages their child to find joy and pride in all aspects of their multicultural identity. Written as a letter from a father to his daughter, Yo Soy Muslim is a celebration of the diversity of the Muslim community, as well as indigenous identity. Ages 3-9.

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  • Mister Yes

    2017 by Gil, Carmen

    Mr. Yes just cannot say "no" to anything! Then the unexpected happens, and Mr. Yes finds a powerful new voice. What about you? Have you ever smiled and said "yes" when what you really wanted to say was "no"? This is a fun story for readers of all ages about the importance of communication and being assertive. Available in Spanish with the title, Señor Sí. Ages 5-8.

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  • The Lonely Mailman

    2016 by Isern, Susanna

    In this beautiful story the mail carrier, a bespectacled badger, plays a central role in a small but vibrant forest community. When the animals discover his peacemaking skills, they surprise badger in the very best way. Available in Spanish with the title, Cartas en el Bosque. Ages 6-8.

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  • Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation

    2014 by Tonatiuh, Duncan

    In the 1940s, Sylvia Mendez and her family are not welcomed into their local school and community in Westminster, California, and, because of their Hispanic heritage, are forced to attend the under-resourced "Mexican" school. Along with four other families, the Mendezes file suit against the town, ultimately seeking to desegregate California schools and create equal educational experiences for all. Ages 6-10.

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  • My Shoes and I: Crossing Three Borders

    2019 by Colato Laínez, René

    In this bilingual picture book, a boy and his Papá travel from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with Mamá. The boy's wonderful new shoes help to distract him from the long and difficult journey. Ages 6-10.

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  • Stella Diaz Has Something to Say

    2018 by Dominguez, Angela

    Stella Diaz wants to be friends with the new boy in class, but sometimes she accidentally speaks Spanish instead of English and pronounces words wrong, which makes her turn "roja." As Stella seeks to find her voice, she feels caught between two worlds—school and home. Ages 6-9.

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  • Mango Moon

    2019 by De Anda, Diane

    Ten-year-old Maricela, her brother Manuel, and their mother face many challenges when their father is taken away to face deportation, but love binds them close. The story validates a truly heartbreaking reality. Ages 6-10.

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  • My Papi Has a Motorcycle

    2019 by Quintero, Isabel

    When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she has always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing. This book is a young girl's love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change. Ages 6-10.

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  • Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet

    2019 by Rusch, Elizabeth

    The true story of how Mexican-American scientist Mario Molina helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s and went on to become a Nobel laureate and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiring story gives hope in the fight against global warming. Ages 6-11.

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  • Mañanaland

    2020 by Ryan, Pam Muñoz

    Set in the fictional Latin country of Santa Maria, 12-year-old Max wants to know what happened to his mother. He discovers that the family lore passed down from his grandfather might actually be true—his family might really have been the gatekeepers to refugees fleeing a neighboring country! Fantasy meets reality in this beautiful story. Ages 8-12.

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