Annal: 2009 Pura Belpré Award for Narrative

Results of the Pura Belpré Award in the year 2009. Due to multiple honors from a single award, the following titles received no points in this category: Just In Case, The Storyteller's Candle.

Book:The Surrender Tree

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom

Margarita Engle

It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not tree. People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness. Rosa is a nurse, but she dares not go to the camps. So she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her.

Black, white, Cuban, Spanish—Rosa does her best for everyone. Yet who can heal a country so torn apart by war? Acclaimed poet Margarita Engle has created another breathtaking portrait of Cuba.

Book:Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

Yuyi Morales

Yuyi Morales takes us on a new journey with Señor Calvera, the skeleton from Day of the Dead celebrations. Señor Calvera is worried. He can’t figure out what to give Grandma Beetle for her birthday. Misunderstanding the advice of Zelmiro the Ghost, Señor Calvera decides not to get her one gift, but instead one gift for every letter of the alphabet, just in case.

Una Acordéon: An accordion for her to dance to. Bigotes: A mustache because she has none. Cosquillas: Tickles to make her laugh… only to find out at the end of the alphabet that the best gift of all is seeing her friends. Morales’s art glows in this heart-warming original tale with folklore themes, a companion book to her Pura Belpré-winning Just A Minute.

Book:Reaching Out

Reaching Out

Francisco Jiménez

From the perspective of the young adult he was then, Francisco Jiménez describes the challenges he faced in his efforts to continue his education.

During his college years, the very family solidarity that allowed Francisco to survive as a child is tested. Not only must he leave his family behind when he goes to Santa Clara University, but while Francisco is there, his father abandons the family and returns to Mexico. This is the story of how Francisco coped with poverty, with his guilt over leaving his family financially strapped, with his self-doubt about succeeding academically, and with separation. Once again his telling is honest, true, and inspiring.

Book:The Storyteller's Candle

The Storyteller's Candle

Lucía M. González, Lulu Delacre

It is the winter of 1929, and cousins Hildamar and Santiago have just moved to enormous, chilly New York from their native Puerto Rico. As Three Kings’ Day approaches, Hildamar and Santiago mourn the loss of their sunny home and wonder about their future in their adopted city. But when a storyteller and librarian named Pura Belpré arrives in their classroom, the children begin to understand just what a library can mean to a community. In this fitting tribute to a remarkable woman, Lucía González and Lulu Delacre have captured the truly astounding effect that Belpré had on the city of New York.

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