Famous Authors and Librarians: Hispanic Heritage

These stories celebrate the world of reading, books, and libraries. From reading adventures to biographies of authors and librarians, these titles remind readers just how magical a book can be!

A Library for Juana

By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Beatriz Vidal
Age Level: 6-9

This picture book biography introduces Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of Mexico's most beloved scholars and poets. At the age of three, Juana promised her sister's teacher that she was "quiet like a turtle" so that she could stay at the school and learn to read. Later, Juana would become a nun and produce poetry that is still learned by children in Mexico today. Handsome, detailed paintings evoke Mexican folk art and tell the story of Juana's life.

Isabel Allende: Memories for a Story

Illustrated by: Fernando Molina
Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Isabel Allende: Memories for a Story gives readers a glimpse of Isabel Allende's childhood influences. Benatar offers a vivid picture of a unique childhood: bewitched by the séances of her grandmother, enlivened by her own adventurous spirit, and haunted by the silence that descended upon the house after the death of a loved one. With the passage of time, Isabel became the keeper of the family memories, memories that come alive in her writing.

My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 9-12

Monica Brown tells the story of young Gabriel García Márquez and provides children with an introduction to magical realism by showing how young Gabriel’s surroundings and imagination merged in fantastic ways, fostering his creativity and building the foundation for the legendary characters and stories he would later create. Raúl Colón brings these rich imaginings to life in vivid illustrations that complement the lyrical text. Pura Belpré Honor Award.

My Name Is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral

Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 3-6

"My name is Gabriela Mistral. It is a name I chose myself because I like the sound of it." With these words, Monica Brown introduces us to the Chilean poet and author who, in 1945, became the first Latin American writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. The lyrical text and exquisite illustrations bring Gabriela's childhood and talent to life for young readers.

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People

Illustrated by: Julie Paschkis
Age Level: 3-6

Neftali always loved nature and words. This fondness allowed Neftali — better known as Pablo Neruda — to create poetry in a "voice [that] was heard across nations and ocean." Rich language and lush illustrations that incorporate words in Spanish and English are sure to enthuse young writers while introducing this Nobel-winning poet.

The Color of My Words

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Twelve-year-old Ana Rosa is a blossoming writer growing up in the Dominican Republic, a country where words are feared. Yet there is so much inspiration all around her — watching her brother search for a future, learning to dance and to love, and finding out what it means to be part of a community — that Ana Rosa must write it all down. As she struggles to find her own voice and a way to make it heard, Ana Rosa realizes the power of her words to transform the world around her — and to transcend the most unthinkable of tragedies.

The Dreamer

Illustrated by: Peter Sis
Age Level: 9-12

Young Neftali cannot resist the power of words and the world around him. Whether he is studying the iridescent wings of beetle or imagining the story of a lone boot left in the mud, there is no limit to where his imagination and words will take him. Neftali grows up to become one of the world's most beloved poets: Chile's Nobel-winning laureate Pablo Neruda. Through this stunning novel, Pam Muñoz Ryan imagines poet's childhood and triumph in overcoming a tyrannical father to believe in his own voice and words.

Waiting for the Biblioburro

Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 6-9

Meet Ana, a young girl who loves to read. There aren't many books in her small Colombian village, though — until the day Ana meets the Biblioburro, a librarian who brings books through the mountains on the backs of two strong donkeys. Inspired by the heroic efforts of real-life librarian Luis Soriano, this story asks readers, "How far would you go for a book?"