Latinos Who Made a Difference

These titles tell the stories of famous Latinos and Latin Americans whose legacies we continue to celebrate and discuss. The stories often focus on their childhoods and are sure to resonate with young readers.

Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Luis loves to read, but soon his house in Colombia is so full of books there's barely room for the family. What to do? Then he comes up with the perfect solution — a traveling library! He buys two donkeys — Alfa and Beto — and travels with them throughout the land, bringing books and reading to the children in faraway villages.

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours

Age Level: 6-9

Duncan Tonatiuh introduces young readers to muralist Diego Rivera and his many sources of inspiration, such as the Cubism movement that he discovered in Paris, the ruins of ancient Mexican civilizations, and the daily lives of the Mexican people. He concludes by asking, "What would Diego Rivera paint today?" These intriguing reflections are brought to life by Tonatiuh's compelling, playful illustrations which evoke some of Diego's best known scenes and murals. 2012 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award.

José! Born to Dance: The Story of José Limón

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

Born in 1908, in a small Mexican village, José Limón seemed destined to become an artist rather than a world-famous dancer. The lyrical language incorporates onomatopoeic and Spanish words. The distinctive illustrations with swirling colors reveal the life of a great modern dancer and choreographer.

Just Like Me: Stories and Self-Portraits by Fourteen Artists

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: This remarkable collection highlights the art and inspirational paths of 14 outstanding artists who, over the course of 20 years, have shared their art and lives with children. Each spread comprises a self-portrait, as well as the artist's personal story and reflections on what their art means to them. Artists include George Littlechild, Maya Christina Gonzalez, Enrique Chagoya, Rodolfo Morales, Tomie Arai, and Hideo Yoshida.

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.

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.

Play Ball!

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Jorge loved the feel of the ball in his glove, the bat in his hand, and the game of baseball. Day and night he would play with his sister, his father, and his friends. At night he dreamed of baseball. When he and his mother visit New York and he sees Yankee Stadium for the first time, he knows there is only one way to get there: work hard and play ball. Based on the childhood of New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, this is the story of a boy from Puerto Rico who grew up to be a champion.

Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 9-12

This visually stunning book showcases twenty Hispanic and Latino American men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the arts, politics, science, humanitarianism, and athletics. Gorgeous portraits by Raúl Colón complement sparkling biographies of Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, Ellen Ochoa, Roberto Clemente, and many more. Complete with timelines and famous quotes, this tome is a magnificent homage to those who have shaped our nation.

Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

This moving tribute is the perfect introduction to Roberto Clemente. Readers will learn of his humble beginnings, the challenges he faced in a new country, and his unprecedented accomplishments as one of the greatest baseball players in history. Even more importantly, readers will come to understand the way that Clemente's generosity shaped so much of his life — and his untimely death. Raúl Colón's impressionistic yet evocative illustrations enhance the emotional impact of the text.

Tito Puente, Mambo King

Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 3-6

Tito Puente was born to be a musician. He grew up to become the Mamba King to whose music people danced the mambo, rumba and cha-cha. Rhythmic language and animated illustrations briefly present Tito's life and the impact of music throughout.

¡Béisbol!: Latino Baseball Pioneers and Legends

Age Level: 9-12

This collection profiles 14 Latino baseball pioneers (Roberto Clemente, Bobby Avila, etc.) who played during the first half of the 20th century, often in the Negro Leagues or winter leagues of Latin America. Readers will learn about the group's accomplishments, including the barriers they had to overcome and how they paved the way for today's Latino baseball stars.