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Webster High School Library: Latino Books Month 2020

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Grades K-2

Across the Bay

Author-illustrator Carlos Aponte takes readers on a journey to the heart of Puerto Rico in this enchanting picture book set in Old San Juan. Carlitos lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. Life in his hometown is cozy as can be, but the call of the capital city pulls Carlitos across the bay in search of his father. Jolly piragüeros, mischievous cats, and costumed musicians color this tale of love, family, and the true meaning of home.

Luca's Bridge/el Puente de Luca

Luca has never lived outside the U.S., but when his parents receive a letter in the mail, the family must pack up and leave home for a strange land. Together in their car, Luca, his brother Paco, and their parents head across the border to Mexico where his parents were born. Luca doesn't understand why he must leave the only home he's ever known, his friends, and his school. He struggles through lonely and disorienting times--reflected both in Real's delicate, symbolic illustrations and through Llanos' description of his dreams--and leans on music, memory, and familial love for support.Luca's Bridge / El puente de Luca is a story for everyone about immigration, deportation, home, and identity.

Where Are You From?

This resonant picture book tells the story of one girl who constantly gets asked a simple question that doesn't have a simple answer. A great conversation starter in the home or classroom--a book to share, in the spirit of I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo. When a girl is asked where she's from--where she's really from--none of her answers seems to be the right one. Unsure about how to reply, she turns to her loving abuelo for help. He doesn't give her the response she expects. She gets an even better one. Where am I from? You're from hurricanes and dark storms, and a tiny singing frog that calls the island people home when the sun goes to sleep.... With themes of self-acceptance, identity, and home, this powerful, lyrical picture book will resonate with readers young and old, from all backgrounds and of all colors--especially anyone who ever felt that they don't belong. A Spanish-language edition, ¿De dónde eres?, is also available.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo. When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there. With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle 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.

¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market

Richard Scarry'sBusytowngets a Mexican-American makeover in the marketplace of a buzzing border town from Pura Belpré Medal-winning illustrator Raúl the Third. Bilingual in a new way, this paper over board book teaches readers simple words in Spanish as they experience the bustling life of a border town. Follow Little Lobo and his dog Bernabe as they deliver supplies to a variety of vendors, selling everything from sweets to sombreros, portraits to piñatas, carved masks to comic books!

Octopus Stew

The octopus Grandma's cooking has grown to titanic proportions. " Tenga cuidado! " Ramsy shouts. "Be careful!"But it's too late. The octopus traps grandma! Ramsey uses both art and intellect to free her. Then the story takes a surprising twist. And it can be read two ways. Open the fold-out pages to find Ramsy telling a story to his family. Keep the pages folded, and Ramsy's octopus adventure is real. This story is based upon incidents in the author's childhood, and celebrates creativity, heroism, family, grandmothers, grandsons, Puerto Rican food, Hispanic culture and more.

Grades 6-8

The Other Half of Happy

This immersive and beautifully written novel follows the story of Quijana, a girl in pieces. Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. This is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong. * Lyrical middle grade debut from author Rebecca Balcárcel * A diverse and family-centered story that resonates with anyone who remembers, or is going through, growing pains * Inclusively embraces real life experiences with biracial, autistic, and gay characters One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana's Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn't know more about her family's heritage. One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she's found true friends. But she can't help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what's going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother. * A wonderful gift for bilingual and bicultural readers, introspective tweens and teens, and parents and educators * Perfect for those who love the heart of Matt de la Peña, the honesty of Meg Medina, and the poetry of Kate DiCamillo * Add it to the shelf with books likeWe Were Here by Matt de la Peña,Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina, andI Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows

 The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America. Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela's stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie's always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe--nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving. But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations--ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend--he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he's spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself. Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Peluda (a.k.a. the Hairy Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother's stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn't possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what's happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world). No pressure, muchacho.

Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish

One boy's search for his father leads him to Puerto Rico in this moving middle-grade novel, for fans of Ghost and See You in the Cosmos. Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you're only in the eighth grade, you're both a threat and a target. After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mom decides it's time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don't remember or have never met. But Marcus can't focus knowing that his father--who walked out of their lives ten years ago--is somewhere on the island. So begins Marcus's incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn't know if he'll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way.

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)? How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany's locker? When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn't under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal's office for the third time in three days, and it's still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany's locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he's capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken--including his dead mother--and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There's only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk. A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.

Silver Meadows Summer

Eleven-year-old Carolina's summer--and life as she knows it--is upended when Papi loses his job, and she and her family must move from Puerto Rico to her Tia Cuca and Uncle Porter's house in upstate New York. Now Carolina must attend Silver Meadows camp, where her bossy older cousin Gabriela rules the social scene. Just as Carolina worries she'll have to spend the entire summer in Gabriela's shadow, she makes a friend of her own in Jennifer, a fellow artist. Carolina gets another welcome surprise when she stumbles upon a long-abandoned cottage in the woods near the campsite and immediately sees its potential as a creative haven for making art. There, with Jennifer, Carolina begins to reclaim the parts of the life she loved in Puerto Rico and forget about how her relationship with Mami has changed and how distant Papi has become. But when the future of Silver Meadows and the cottage is thrown into jeopardy, Carolina and--to everyone's surprise--Gabriela come up with a plan to save them. Will it work?

The Moon Within

A stunning debut told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of new talent Aida Salazar. Celi Rivera's life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. Her best friend's exploration of what it means to be genderfluid. But most of all, her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It's an ancient Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi would rather do just about anything than talk about herself like that with other people. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?  

Grades 3-5

Red Panda & Moon Bear

Two Latinx kids battle supernatural threats to their working-class neighborhood with the power of science, magic, and a pair of very special hoodies. Red Panda and Moon Bear are the defenders of their community! Together, these brave siblings rescue lost cats, scold bullies, and solve mysteries, all before Mami and Papi get home. But lately... the mysteries have been EXTRA mysterious. All of RP and MB's powers may not be enough to handle spooks, supervillains, alien invaders, and time warps! It'll take all their imagination -- and some new friends -- to uncover the secret cause behind all these events before the whole world goes crazy. In his first book for young readers, Cuban-American cartoonist Jarod Roselló presents a whimsical and tender-hearted adventure, packed with Saturday-morning action and glowing with Caribbean sunshine.

Sarai Saves the Music

Inspired by the real-life viral video sensation and social activist Sarai Gonzalez! They're cutting funding at Sarai's school and her band program is the first to go. That is totally not okay with Sarai. She decides to organize a benefit concert to raise money! When she and her bandmates promote the concert on their video channel, it catches the attention of Sarai's favorite singer, Sparkles Sanchez! Can Sarai save the music?

Lety Out Loud

A heartfelt novel about friendship and finding your voice. Lety Andrade sometimes has trouble speaking her mind. Her first language is Spanish and she likes to take her time putting her words together. Lety loves volunteering at the Furry Friends Animal Shelter because the dogs and cats there don't care if she can't find the right word. When the shelter needs a volunteer to write animal profiles, Lety jumps at the chance. But grumpy classmate Hunter also wants to write profiles-- so now they have to work as a team. Hunter's not much of a team player, though. He devises a secret competition to decide who will be the official shelter scribe. They'll each write three profiles. Whoever helps get their animals adopted the fastest wins. The loser scoops dog food. Lety reluctantly agrees, but she's worried. If the shelter finds out about the contest, they might kick her out of the program. Then she'll never be able to adopt Spike, her favorite dog at the shelter. Can Lety find her voice before it's too late?

The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America

How would a kitchen maid fare against a seven-headed dragon? What happens when a woman marries a mouse? And what can a young man learn from a thousand leaf cutter ants? Famed Love and Rockets creator Jaime Hernandez asks these questions and more as he transforms beloved myths into bold, stunning, and utterly contemporary comics. Guided by the classic works of F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada, Hernandez's first book for young readers brings the sights and stories of Latin America toa new generation of graphic-novel fans around the world.

Love Sugar Magic: a Dash of Trouble

"A charming and delectably sweet debut. Mischief, friendship, and a whole lot of heart--Love Sugar Magic has it all." --Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of the Brooklyn Brujas series Leonora Logroño's family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival. Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration--but, once again, she is told she's too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they're brujas--witches of Mexican ancestry--who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake.   Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business--even if she can't let her mama and hermanas know about it yet. And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It's just one little spell, after all...what could possibly go wrong? Debut author Anna Meriano brings us the first book in a delightful new series filled to the brim with amor, azúcar, y magia.

When We Love Someone We Sing to Them

 In this book, we learn about the Mexican tradition of singing to family and loved ones through one boy who naturally assumes the tradition includes him and his experience. Watch a tradition expand as limitations are lifted to include everyone, all the way to remembering Xochipilli, the Mesoamerican deity of creativity, song, and dance. A perfect book to bring tradition and inclusion into the conversation and support our LGBTQ young ones in knowing that they belong and always have, while providing pride in both our Mexican heritage and our LGBTQ culture and history as families. A bilingual story with illustrations (English/Spanish) About the Illustrator: Maya Gonzalez is an award-winning children's book illustrator and author. She has illustrated more than 30 children's books many of which she also wrote. Her books have been recognized by the Pura Belpr award, Am ricas Book Award, and International Latino Book Awards. She is the co-founder of Reflection Press. As part of the Press' mission to uplift new voices, she served as mentor for the writing of this book.

High School

Don't Date Rosa Santos

Rosa is cursed by the sea - at least, that's what they say. Dating her is bad news. But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, Florida, and Cuba. As her college decision looms, Rosa collides - literally - with Alex, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

The Grief Keeper

This stunning YA debut is a timely and heartfelt speculative narrative about healing, faith, and freedom. Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American, learning what Americans and the US are like from television and Mrs. Rosen, an elderly expat who had employed Marisol's mother as a maid. When she pictured an American life for herself, she dreamed of a life like Aimee and Amber's, the title characters of her favorite American TV show. She never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as "an illegal", but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi's, life is also placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice, especially because she knows everything is her fault. If she had never fallen for the charms of a beautiful girl named Liliana, Pablo might still be alive, her mother wouldn't be in hiding and she and Gabi wouldn't have been caught crossing the border. But they have been caught and their asylum request will most certainly be denied. With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She's asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It's a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief. The Grief Keeper is a tender tale that explores the heartbreak and consequences of when both love and human beings are branded illegal.

Five Midnights

Ann Dávila Cardinal'sFive Midnights is a "wickedly thrilling" (William Alexander) and "flat-out unputdownable" (Paul Tremblay) novel based on the el Cuco myth set against the backdrop of modern day Puerto Rico. 2019 Digital Book World Award Winner for best Suspense/Horror Book Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución. If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other's company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they'll have to step into the shadows to see what's lurking there--murderer, or monster? "A frightening, fast-paced thriller." --Julianna Baggott, Alex Award-winning author ofPure

Blanca and Roja

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know. The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they're also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan. But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans' spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them.Blanca & Rojais the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

We Set the Dark on Fire

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband's household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school's top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society.

Undocumented: A Worker's Fight

Undocumented is the story of immigrant workers who have come to the United States without papers. Every day, these men and women join the work force and contribute positively to society. The story is told via the ancient Mixtec codex--accordion fold--format. Juan grew up in Mexico working in the fields to help provide for his family. Struggling for money, Juan crosses over into the United States and becomes an undocumented worker, living in a poor neighborhood, working hard to survive. Though he is able to get a job as a busboy at a restaurant, he is severely undercompensated--he receives less than half of the minimum wage! Risking his boss reporting him to the authorities for not having proper resident papers, Juan risks everything and stands up for himself and the rest of the community.  

Barely Missing Everything

"There are moments when a story shakes you...Barely Missing Everything is one of those stories, and Mendez, a gifted storyteller with a distinct voice, is sure to bring a quake to the literary landscape." --Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author of Long Way Down In the tradition of Jason Reynolds and Matt de la Peña, this heartbreaking, no-holds-barred debut novel told from three points of view explores how difficult it is to make it in life when you--your life, brown lives--don't matter. Juan has plans. He's going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and make something of himself--or at least find something better than his mom Fabi's cruddy apartment, her string of loser boyfriends, and a dead dad. Basketball is going to be his ticket out, his ticket up. He just needs to make it happen. His best friend JD has plans, too. He's going to be a filmmaker one day, like Quinten Tarantino or Guillermo del Toro (NOT Steven Spielberg). He's got a camera and he's got passion--what else could he need? Fabi doesn't have a plan anymore. When you get pregnant at sixteen and have been stuck bartending to make ends meet for the past seventeen years, you realize plans don't always pan out, and that there some things you just can't plan for... Like Juan's run-in with the police, like a sprained ankle, and a tanking math grade that will likely ruin his chance at a scholarship. Like JD causing the implosion of his family. Like letters from a man named Mando on death row. Like finding out this man could be the father your mother said was dead. Soon Juan and JD are embarking on a Thelma and Louise­-like road trip to visit Mando. Juan will finally meet his dad, JD has a perfect subject for his documentary, and Fabi is desperate to stop them. But, as we already know, there are some things you just can't plan for...