Tía Fortuna’s New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey

Written By: Ruth Behar (Pura Belpré Award Winner, cultural anthropologist, poet, memoirist, and fiction author)

Illustrated By: Devon Holzwarth

Published By: Alfred A. Knopf, 2022

Age: 4+

Location: Cuba and Miami

Language: Spanglish; Also available in Spanish

Ruth Behar’s new book, Tía Fortuna’s New Home, tells the story of young Estrella’s experience witnessing the love and loss involved in the migrations in the life of her Tía Fortuna. Told through the eyes of Estrella, we learn this is not Tía Fortuna’s first time being forced to leave her home. Rather, it is a recurring reality throughout her family history, of forced migration due to religious persecution, due to conflict, and due to greed and hate. Despite such difficult realities, above all else this is a story of strength. Tía Fortuna shows Estrella how to carry traditions and home within herself, to cherish the memories, and demonstrates the difficulty and power in enjoying what exists today in spite of the fear or knowledge that what you cherish may not be there tomorrow. This story serves as a reminder to us how communities can thrive in the face of continued struggle, and how home and kindness can be made in many places. Holzwarth’s illustrations give life to this resistant beauty and hope, creating a magical world in which this family’s Cuban, Sephardic legacy traces its way through home, life, and journeys. In the end we see how these legacies are passed onto Estrella, who must decide how to take up and choose to remember the challenges and beauty for herself. 

As Behar explains in her author’s notes, the story presented in this book is based on very real historical and present realities. It is a reminder of the power of history to erase or take responsibility for the future. Behar’s story speaks to the present, extending the conversation to all of us to think critically about how we respond in the face of such realities. 

“People of Sephardic heritage need to hear these stories to find out who they are, but so do all who wish to take part in the beautiful diversity that is the soul of our humanity”.


The Town of Babylon

Written by: Alejandro Varela

Published by: Penguin RandomHouse 2022

Age: Adult

Region: North America/U.S

Andrés is a first generation child of immigrants from Latin America. Although the book starts in his early forties as a Public Health Professor who begrudgingly returns to his hometown when his father becomes ill, much of the story revolves around Andrés understanding of self and sexuality in his youth. The story is told half in the present and half looking backwards, the reader comes to understand Andrés through the anecdotes of his upbringing as a gay son of immigrants living in a suburban neighborhood of mostly white people at a catholic school. The book grapples with larger systemic racial and economic issues and poignantly details how such larger systemic forces have intimately impacted Andrés family and life. Varela magically weaves together the micro and the macro in this beautiful and heartbreaking coming of age story of resistance and belonging.

Additional Resources:

Author’s Website: https://alejandrovarela.work/

The Latino Book Review: Three Questions for the Author https://www.latinobookreview.com/three-questions-for-alejandro-varela-regarding-his-debut-novel-the-town-of-babylon-by-daniel-a-olivas–latino-book-review.html

Feathered Serpent and the Fire Suns: A Mesoamerican Creation Myth

Author: Duncan Tonatiuh

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

Ages: 5+

Region: Mesoamerica

Language: English with Nahuatl words and translations.

Feather Serpent and the Fire Suns shares author Duncan Tonatiuh’s imagined journey of Quetzalcoátl in a well-known Mesoamerican creation myth. Quetzalcoátl must travel across the nine regions to reach Mictlán, the Underworld, to gather the god’s sacred bones and create the fifth tonatiuh (sun) to give the creation of  humanity a final chance of success. The God of Knowledge, aided by his intelligence, creativity, and his helpful friend and spirit guide Xólotl, struggles his way through the realms to gather the sacred bones. Through struggle, bravery, and teamwork, Quetzalcoátl finds success at the end of his journey, bringing life to the fifth and final tonatiuh.

The author-illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh’s illustrations are a crucial aspect of this text that bring the story to life. More than anything, Quetzaloátl’s imagined journey to Mictlán is an arduous voyage–Tonatiuh does not depict an easy journey. The themes in this book are not light. They depict hardship, but they also imagine how the figures we look up to may face these hardships and overcome them. Notably, Tonatiuh does not shy away from darker themes of fear, difficulty, and pain. The colors utilized throughout the presentation of Tonatiuh’s detailed and captivating images shift as this difficult journey progresses, reflecting the dark tonalities of the increasing challenges our protagonist encounters on his journey. While this journey is often frightful, there is always a presence of light or a helpful being at our protagonist’s side, demonstrating that help can always be found. This is not a store of strict independence, but of learning to depend on oneself, using the tools you have at one’s disposal creatively, and of both helping and depending on others to achieve a higher goal. Crucially, our heroic protagonist and god Quetzaloátl is not infallible–he injures himself along the way and ultimately makes a final act of sacrifice to obtain his goal. Sacrifice and determination are two prominent themes throughout this book, teaching our young readers that life is not easy, but that it is beautiful despite darkness, worthwhile, and that they can achieve their dreams in spite of challenges so long as they help and reach out to others when they are in need. 

Aside from being an award-winning and captivating illustrator, the author includes an author’s note with further context, an informative and contextualizing addition we should see more of in children’s literature more broadly. Like many of Tonatiuh’s other works that we continue to love and appreciate for young readers, at the end of the book Tonatiuh provides an enlightening glossary and pronunciation guide of the Nahuatl terms utilized throughout Quetzalcoátl’s journey that invites young readers to continue speaking, sharing, and learning the Nahuatl language. In addition, Tonatiuh clarifies to young readers and parents that his primary purpose in crafting this work is to introduce curious readers to the “mythology of Mesoamerica and to introduce young readers to this tradition”. The Book, Feather Serpent and the Fire Suns, is based on an Aztec creation myth, and Tonatiuh alerts the readers of both the histories he has borrowed from as well as what creative liberties he has taken in the process. Crucially, Tonatiuh “imagin(ed) how Quetzalcoátl would have confronted the arduous journey through the regions of Mictlán”. The text ultimately presents an artistically beautiful, accessible, and welcoming presentation of this Mesoamerican creation myth to audiences who may have varying levels of knowledge and experience with the Nahuatl language and Mesoamerican culture. Moreover, it is a text many curious minds, young readers and mature readers alike, can learn from together.

Additional Resources:

Podcast and Talk with the author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhWdsbIq1H4

Teaching Books.net Lesson Planning Resource: https://www.teachingbooks.net/tb.cgi?tid=71822

Santiago’s Road Home / La Travesía de Santiago

By: Alexandra Diaz

Published by: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Age: YA

Region: Mexico and USA

Main Themes: immigration, family, community, detention centers, overcoming adversity, US immigration policy

Temas principales: inmigración, familia, comunidad, centros de detención, superación de la adversidad, política de inmigración de EE.UU.

Alexandra Diaz brings us another impactful story about immigration to the United States from Latin America. Diaz’s story follows the journey of Santiago Garcia Reyes, an orphaned teen whose family mistreats him and continues to sluff him off to other relatives until he runs out of options. When his aunt Tía Roberta kicks him out and demands he return to his abuela’s, Santiago decides he would rather fend for himself than suffer under the roof at La Malvada’s. After a few days of sleeping in abandoned houses and scrounging around for food, Santi runs into a mother and her daughter outside of a food truck. The connection is immediate between Santiago and María and becomes even deeper with María’s daughter Alegría. Once Santiago learns of their plan to travel north and cross the border to the United States, he is determined to accompany them on their journey and prove he is a worthy companion.

The trio sets off together becoming family along the way. Their bond only strengthens as they face several hardships throughout their path north. Once they cross the border, María is close to death and Santi and Alegría are sent to a detention center in New Mexico, separated once they arrive. Santiago struggles in the detention center as he feels abandoned yet again and he is treated like a criminal with no rights or comforts while under custody. He finds solace in the teacher and the lunch lady at the detention facility, making connections that give him strength in the unlikeliest places. While Santi lives for months in the facility slowly deflating each day, María is working hard to get him released and reunited with his surrogate family. Even if Santi had given up hope for a better future, those whose lives he touched never give up on him.

Santiago’s Road Home offers us yet another account of the realities of life in Mexico for many children, teenagers, and young adults. We understand the motivations to seek a better life in the United States. What is unique about this book in particular is the setting. Many of the stories I have read about immigration center on the before and after of crossing the border. Alexandra Diaz on the other hand, illustrates life in the detention centers where minors are held contrary to the United Nations standards on detention duration and treatment of those held at such facilities. While this story is a work of fiction it does reflect the realities of detention centers and gives the reader a sense of what the people held there think, feel, and how they are treated. This would be a great book for middle school to high school students. The back matter of the book includes a comprehensive list of discussion question, a glossary, references, and a list of books for further reading.

Alexandra Diaz nos trae otra impactante historia sobre la inmigración a Estados Unidos desde América Latina. La historia de Díaz sigue el viaje de Santiago García Reyes, un adolescente huérfano cuya familia lo maltrata y continúa vendiéndolo a otros parientes hasta que se queda sin opciones. Cuando su tía Tía Roberta le echa de casa y le exige que vuelva con su abuela, Santiago decide que prefiere valerse por sí mismo que sufrir bajo el techo de La Malvada. Tras unos días durmiendo en casas abandonadas y buscando comida, Santiago se encuentra con una madre y su hija en la puerta de un camión de comida. La conexión es inmediata entre Santiago y María y se hace aún más profunda con Alegría, la hija de María. Una vez que Santiago se entera de su plan de viajar al norte y cruzar la frontera con Estados Unidos, está decidido a acompañarlas en su viaje y demostrar que es un compañero digno.

El trío emprende el viaje convirtiéndose en familia. Su vínculo se fortalece a medida que se enfrentan a diversas dificultades en su camino hacia el norte. Una vez que cruzan la frontera, María está al borde de la muerte y Santi y Alegría son enviados a un centro de detención en Nuevo México, donde son separados una vez que llegan. Santiago lucha en el centro de detención al sentirse abandonado una vez más y es tratado como un criminal sin derechos ni comodidades mientras está bajo custodia. Encuentra consuelo en la maestra y en la señora del almuerzo del centro de detención, haciendo conexiones que le dan fuerza en los lugares más insospechados. Mientras Santi vive durante meses en el centro desinflándose poco a poco cada día, María trabaja duro para conseguir que lo liberen y se reúna con su familia sustituta. Aunque Santi haya perdido la esperanza de un futuro mejor, aquellos cuyas vidas tocó nunca se rinden con él.

El camino de Santiago a casa nos ofrece otro relato de las realidades de la vida en México para muchos niños, adolescentes y jóvenes. Comprendemos las motivaciones para buscar una vida mejor en Estados Unidos. Lo que hace único a este libro en particular es el escenario. Muchas de las historias que he leído sobre inmigración se centran en el antes y el después de cruzar la frontera. Alexandra Díaz, en cambio, ilustra la vida en los centros de detención donde se recluye a los menores, en contra de las normas de las Naciones Unidas sobre la duración de la detención y el trato que reciben los retenidos en tales instalaciones. Aunque esta historia es una obra de ficción, refleja la realidad de los centros de detención y da al lector una idea de lo que piensan, sienten y cómo son tratadas las personas allí retenidas. Es un libro ideal para estudiantes de secundaria y bachillerato. La contraportada del libro incluye una lista exhaustiva de preguntas para debatir, un glosario, referencias y una lista de libros de lectura complementaria.

Additional Resources:

Related Vamos a Leer Book Reviews:

Beast Rider By María Elena Fontanot de Rhoads  and Tony Johnston

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

El Viaje / The Journey by Francesca Sanna

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight by Duncan Tonatiuh

For All / Para Todos Educator Curriculum Guide with lesson plans and activities

Publisher’s Website


Author: Yamile Saied Méndez

Publisher: Algonquin, 2020

Awards: A 2021 Pura Belpré Medal Winner

Camila Hassan loves the game of soccer, and she’s good at it too. But in Rosario, Argentina, her brother Pablo is the soccer star. He plays for the hometown professional team Central, while Camila has to sneakily attend her practices and prepare for the SudAmericano cup, her first shot at going pro. Camila navigates life amidst the Ni Uno Menos movement, a movement to stop the violence against women and girls. Not only is she hiding her soccer  dreams from her family but she has to navigate the city with care and vigilance amidst constant threats to her safety because of her gender.  On top of all that Camila’s first love Diego, a famous professional soccer star, is back in town. With so much hanging in the balance, Camila will have to choose what matter’s most. Furia is an excellent coming of age novel that highlights the challenging intersections of gender, soccer, class, and love.

Age Range: High School

Region: South America/Argentina

Additional Resources:

Author’s Website

The National Book Club Discussion Questions https://promo.booksamillion.com/BookClub/DiscussionQuestions/Furia_Discussion_Questions_Book_Club_Kit.pdf

More Information on Rosario, Argentina

Picture from https://www.workman.com/products/furia/paperback


By: Leopoldo Gout and Eva Aridjis

Co-Illustrator: James Manning

Publisher: HarperOne of HarperCollins Publishers

Ages: All Ages, Recommended 11 and up

Region: New England and Michoacán, Mexico

Language: English, also available in Spanish

Image from HarperCollins Publishers https://www.harpercollins.com/products/monarca-leopoldo-gouteva-aridjis?variant=39502434828322

The journey of Monarca is told as a tale within a tale, beginning where Inés’ journey ends, coming full circle to the small New England town where Inés grew up. Yet, most of the journey Inés finds herself on feels outside of conventional time and space, stretching across a period of roughly two months on a voyage south to the butterfly sanctuary in Michoacán. This quickly becomes a story about found family and self discovery amidst a collective migration Inés has little choice in starting, but finds her own agency within once she embarks on this fated quest southward. Along her voyage she is accompanied and guided by spirits of nature, past ancestors, fellow travel companions Josephine and Valerio, and her abuela. Though not set in a specific time period, this vibrant book is clearly intended to inspire the present, as it tackles urgent environmental themes like deforestation, animal cruelty, and abuse of power in pursuit of profit in a way that is both digestible and familiar to the youth of today. Divided into the four parts of metamorphosis a butterfly experiences, this journey is clearly about Inés’ own personal development. The Inés we find reflecting on her past journey is not the one who first transforms. This story provides a beautiful way to talk about global themes of migration, belonging, identity, and heritage–but within this narrative we are also gifted with an exploration of how change is so often reflected in an embodied process. Readers are left with the implication that embodied changes are equally as important as inner and global changes–a narrative I fear has been neglected in a recent time period that has been full of so many changes for the youth of today. This illustrated account is in many ways a graphic novel, providing an aesthetic journey that lends a whole new level of imagination and creativity to this journey of discovery and metamorphosis.

“It is time to feed. By that I mean it’s time for you to learn as much as possible about the world around you. Instead of speaking, listen. Instead of showing, watch. Be open and do not resist your destiny…” (p. 63)

“…humans need to understand how devastating–or lifesaving–their actions can be when it comes to the rest of us…” (p. 121)

Woven throughout this enchanting novel and within the characters is a deep appreciation for the natural world. Though it comes with a lot of responsibility, Inés is given the opportunity to see the world through an entirely different perspective and interact with her new family who she quickly identifies see an entirely different world. Aside from encouraging the development of empathy and compassion among students, this novel offers a crucial opportunity to rethink humanity’s relationship with the natural world. Invite students to reflect on their relationship with nature and the one that Inés notices from afar in her new form. How is her relationship different from the beginning of its journey to the end? What shifts when she changes perspectives–who and what becomes the enemy? Who is suddenly a friend? How does Inés begin to evaluate people differently?

Illustrations from co-illustrator James Manning https://www.manningstudios.com/portfolio-2/monarca

One scene that invites us to both reflect on shifting perspectives and current events is an instance in which the migrating Monarcas moving south into Mexico encounter a group of people migrating north through the desert. Up until this juncture, every being the Monarcas have encountered has become a threat. Aside from children, this group of fellow migrants are the only other humans who are presented as peaceful and supportive friends throughout the novel. While much of Inés’ metamorphosis and migration is made accessibly abstract through her transformation, this encounter very much encourages us to ground the book in reality. There are several opportunities to extend the conversation around current events, including scenes in which the Monarcas mobilize against illegal deforestation, work to save one another from toxic pesticides, and escape animal trophy hunters. Monarca is a text that is uniquely positioned to encourage us to see the beauty and collective power that can be learned from cultivating relationships with the natural word, both through Inés’ journey and through our own reflection as readers on this aesthetic voyage.

Additional Resources:

Beyond the Mic w/Sean Dillon Interview with the author Leopoldo Gout https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwYALYI-VPE

Recording of Bookshop Santa Cruz Presents: Leopoldo and Eva Ardjis | MONARCA

The Distance Between Us

Written by/escrito por: Reyna Grande

Published by/Publicado por: Washington Square Press

Age/edad: 11-12th grade +

Region/región: Mexico/USA

Themes/Temas: immigration, family, education, marginalization, abuse, poverty, Mexican culture, coming of age / inmigración, familia, educación, marginación, abuso, pobreza, cultura mexicana, mayoría de edad

In her memoir, Reyna Grande takes us on a heartbreaking journey propped up by the hope and dreams of herself and her family. Reyna recounts her painful youth, growing up in Iguala, Mexico without her parents who both left to pursue a better life in El Otro Lado. Reyna and her siblings Mago and Carlos are left in the care of their father’s mother Abuela Evila who despised the three, physically, mentally, and emotionally abusing them under her charge. Reyna holds the photo of her father close to her heart and finds strength and hope in his image.

Years go by with hardly any communication from their parents when they are told they have a new little sister who was born in the United States. This sends the three into a pit of despair as they fear their parents love and chance of returning to them will be diminished by their baby sister Betty. Their mother eventually returns breaking the news that their father had abandoned her for another women so she had taken Betty and headed back to her mother’s house in Mexico. While the three who were left in Mexico fear their mother will love Betty more than them, there is something more heartbreaking at work. Their mother’s love seems to become increasingly more detached from her children and more centered on her romantic desires. Reyna’s siblings struggle to understand why their mother who finally returned continues to abandon them for different men in Mexico, leaving for months at a time at her children and mother’s protests. Reyna’s father returns to Mexico and decides he will bring Reyna, Mago, and Carlos to El Otro Lado with him. Finally Reyna is within reach of all she has hoped and dreamed for. The unconditional love of at least one parent, a chance at a new life in El Otro Lado, and a family unified under one roof. That hope deflates over the years of living with her father, as his alcoholism escalates and causes physical, emotional, and verbal abuse that threaten to ruin all that Reyna has worked towards in El Otro Lado. Despite all of her hardships throughout her life, Reyna achieves what no one else in her family had- she graduates from The University of California Santa Cruz with honors and embarks on a successful life as an educator and author.

The Distance Between Us is a truly impactful story of a Mexican immigrant’s journey that exposes how immigration has lasting effects on entire families. I have read several books about immigration, the journey to the US, and experiences once across the border but Reyna Grande’s memoir takes the experience to an intimate place where we are exposed to the feelings, thoughts, and emotions of a child left behind while her parents travel north. Reyna’s life in Iguala after her parents leave remind us of the complex ways in which immigration affects all those involved and how children left behind view the world and long for the reunification of their family. We are reminded that experiences of immigration and reunification engender sustained changes on family dynamics where the old ways may not ever be again. While Reyna’s story is heartbreaking, it is also a story of hope and an inspiration to everyone who has experienced hardship. Despite the abuse she suffers and the constant ways in which she tries to win the love of her parents, only to be let down, Reyna pursues her dreams and finds success, peace, and fulfillment in her life. She develops an admirable ability to understand the people who hurt her from a holistic perspective that is grounded in empathy. I admire her for this and will definitely read more of her books.

En sus memorias, Reyna Grande nos lleva a un viaje desgarrador sostenido por la esperanza y los sueños de ella y su familia. Reyna relata su dolorosa juventud, creciendo en Iguala, México, sin sus padres, que se marcharon para buscar una vida mejor en el Otro Lado. Reyna y sus hermanos Mago y Carlos quedaron al cuidado de la madre de su padre, Abuela Evila, que despreció a los tres, abusando física, mental y emocionalmente de ellos bajo su cargo. Reyna guarda la foto de su padre cerca de su corazón y encuentra fuerza y esperanza en su imagen. Pasan años sin apenas comunicación con sus padres cuando les dicen que tienen una nueva hermanita nacida en Estados Unidos. Esto hace que los tres entren en un pozo de desesperación, ya que temen que el amor de sus padres y la posibilidad de volver con ellos se vea disminuida por su hermanita Betty. Su madre finalmente regresa dándoles la noticia de que su padre la había abandonado por otra mujer por lo que había tomado a Betty y se dirigió a la casa de su madre en México. Aunque los tres que se quedaron en México temen que su madre ame a Betty más que a ellos, hay algo más desgarrador en juego. El amor de su madre parece alejarse cada vez más de sus hijos y centrarse más en sus deseos románticos. Los hermanos de Reyna luchan por entender por qué su madre, que finalmente regresó, sigue abandonándolos por diferentes hombres en México, marchándose durante meses ante las protestas de sus hijos y de su madre. El padre de Reyna regresa a México y decide que llevará a Reyna, Mago y Carlos a El Otro Lado con él. Por fin Reyna está al alcance de todo lo que ha esperado y soñado. El amor incondicional de al menos uno de sus padres, la oportunidad de una nueva vida en El Otro Lado y una familia unida bajo un mismo techo. Esa esperanza se desinfla a lo largo de los años de convivencia con su padre, ya que el alcoholismo de éste va en aumento y provoca abusos físicos, emocionales y verbales que amenazan con arruinar todo lo que Reyna ha conseguido en El Otro Lado. A pesar de todas las dificultades a lo largo de su vida, Reyna logra lo que nadie más en su familia había logrado: se gradúa en la Universidad de California Santa Cruz con honores y se embarca en una vida exitosa como educadora y autora.

La distancia entre nosotros es una historia verdaderamente impactante del viaje de una inmigrante mexicana que expone cómo la inmigración tiene efectos duraderos en familias enteras. He leído varios libros sobre la inmigración, el viaje a los EE.UU. y las experiencias una vez cruzada la frontera, pero las memorias de Reyna Grande llevan la experiencia a un lugar íntimo en el que se nos exponen los sentimientos, pensamientos y emociones de una niña que se queda atrás mientras sus padres viajan al norte. La vida de Reyna en Iguala después de la partida de sus padres nos recuerda las complejas formas en que la inmigración afecta a todos los implicados y cómo los niños que se quedan atrás ven el mundo y anhelan la reunificación de su familia. Se nos recuerda que las experiencias de inmigración y reunificación engendran cambios sostenidos en la dinámica familiar, donde las viejas costumbres pueden no volver a serlo. Aunque la historia de Reyna es desgarradora, también es una historia de esperanza y una inspiración para todos los que han experimentado dificultades. A pesar de los abusos que sufre y de los constantes intentos de ganarse el amor de sus padres, sólo para ser defraudada, Reyna persigue sus sueños y encuentra el éxito, la paz y la plenitud en su vida. Desarrolla una admirable capacidad para comprender a las personas que la hieren desde una perspectiva holística basada en la empatía. La admiro por esto y definitivamente leeré más libros suyos.

Additional Resources/Recursos adicionales:

Reyna Grande’s website: http://reynagrande.com/

Related books + reviews: Undocumented: A Workers Fight and Beast Rider

Related books + lesson plans/classroom activities: Para Todos/For All

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide

Written by: Isabel Quintero

Illustrated by: Zeke Peña

Language: English

Age: YA

Region: Mexico

Published by: The J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles

Isbale Quintero and Zeke Pena bring the life of Graciela Iturbide, one of the most celebrated Mexican photographers, to life in this splendid graphic novel for young adults. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read as we are taken along Iturbide’s journey as she discovers herself through the photographs she takes of the world around her.

We peak into the lives of Mexican American cholos and cholas from East Los Angeles who strived to carve out an American life for themselves while holding their Mexican heritage as a badge of honor and resistance. We travel with Iturbide to Juchitán in the state of Oaxaca were “womanhood is not weakness;- it is unapologetic,” and gender is not binary but maintains the fluidity forever present in the region. She worked in India where the thesis of her project was to find connections between India and Mexico. It was there she questioned, “do we force our vision to find likeness, Reader, because we fear difference?” She photographs people but also things.

“Human subjects tell a biased version of who they are. But objects have a different perspective. They ask me to use my imagination, to listen as they tell their stories.”

This biography is original and exciting. The graphic novel presentation of Iturbide’s life pulls the reader into her life, we are with her, we see what she sees, we can relate.

While we get a glimpse into an artist’s life, we also learn about Mexican, Mexican American, Indigenous, Indian, and American culture through her experiences with the people and places of those areas where she pieced herself together with every new connection and photograph she took. Photographic: The life of Graciela Iturbide is an inspirational story for any young adult, or adult for that matter. A wonderful reminder to pursue our dreams and find ourselves in the world around us.

Additional Resources:

Zeke Peña’s Website (illustrator)

Isabel Quintero’s Blog (author)

Graciela Iturbide’s Website

Getty’s Website (Publisher)

Be Bold! Be Brave! ¡Sé audaz! ¡Sé valiente!

Written by/escrito por: Naibe Reynoso

Illustrated by/ilustrado por: Jone Leal

Ages/edades: 5-10

Region/Región: USA

Text and illustration copyright/ Derechos de autor del texto y la ilustración

2019 Con Todo Press

Language/idioma: Bilingual: Spanish and English

Author Naibe Reynoso brings the inspiring biographies of 11 Latinas who contributed to US history to life for readers in both English and Spanish. Each of her short biographies are fun to read as they flow rhythmically bringing Selena, Ellen Ochoa, Maria Hinojosa, and many others to life. The last biography of the book is a space for the reader. Reynoso encourages readers to look in the mirror and imagine all the possibilities. Think about the change you want to see and be bold and brave in your journey to achieve them.

Naibe Reynoso is a journalist with over 20 years of experience in her field. She has always been dedicated to centering the voices and experiences of her community. While raising her own children, she noticed the lack of books that featured Latinxs who have contributed to US history. Be Bold! Be Brave! is her way of changing that so young readers see themselves represented in books and see all the potential there is for everyone to pursue their dreams.

La autora Naibe Reynoso da vida a las inspiradoras biografías de 11 latinas que contribuyeron a la historia de los Estados Unidos para los lectores tanto en inglés como en español. Cada una de sus biografías cortas es divertida de leer, ya que fluyen rítmicamente dando vida a Selena, Ellen Ochoa, María Hinojosa y muchas otras. La última biografía del libro es un espacio para el lector. Reynoso anima a los lectores a mirarse en el espejo e imaginar todas las posibilidades. Piensa en el cambio que quieres ver y sé audaz y valiente en tu viaje para lograrlos.

Naibe Reynoso es una periodista con más de 20 años de experiencia en su campo. Ella siempre se ha dedicado a centrar las voces y experiencias de su comunidad. Mientras criaba a sus propios hijos, notó la falta de libros que presentaran a latinos que han contribuido a la historia de los Estados Unidos. ¡Sé audaz! ¡Sé valiente! es su forma de cambiar que los lectores jóvenes se vean representados en los libros y vean todo el potencial que hay para que todos persigan sus sueños.

Additional Resources/recursos adicionales:

Con Todo Press Website

Video Read Aloud

Naibe Reynoso’s Website

LAII Latina Women in Stem Lesson Plans

Discussion Question/pregunta de discusión:

What strategies have you used to make sure students feel included and represented in course material and content?

¿Qué estrategias ha utilizado para asegurarse de que los estudiantes se sientan incluidos y representados en el material y el contenido del curso?

Just A Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book

By: Yuyi Morales

Published by: Chronicle Books LLC

Ages: 3-5

Region: Mexico

Language: English with Spanish words

Image from Chronicle Books LLC https://www.chroniclebooks.com/products/just-a-minute

Señor Calavera pays Grandma Beetle a visit asking her to leave with him but in true trickster style, Grandma Beetle finds a way to divert his attention and keep him around getting her tasks down along the way. She distracts him by counting out the preparations she has to do around the house before she can leave with him. Readers are encouraged to count along as she numbers her agenda items in both Spanish and English. Grandma Beetle counts her way all the way to her birthday dinner celebration with all of her grandchildren and Señor Calavera. She is not ready to leave this world for the afterlife with Señor Calavera, instead she opts for another day with her family. This is a wonderful celebration of Mexican culture and a great way to encourage bilingualism and/or Spanish language learning.


An ALA Notable Book

Pura Belpré Award Winner

Parents’ Choice Approved Award Winner

Notable Book for a Global Society

A Latino Book Award Winner

Additional Resources:

Author’s Website

Read aloud with Yuyi Morales: