Honor roll: Pura Belpré Award for Narrative

Each of these books has been nominated for a Pura Belpré Award for Narrative. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Doña Flor

Doña Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart

Pat Mora, Raúl Colón

Doña Flor is a giant woman who lives in a puebla with lots of families. She loves her neighbors–she lets the children use her flowers for trumpets, and the families use her leftover tortillas for rafts. So when a huge puma is terrifying the village, of course Flor is the one to investigate.

Featuring Spanish words and phrases throughout, as well as a glossary, Pat Mora's story, along with Raúl Colón's glorious artwork, makes this a treat for any reader, tall or small.

Book:Parrot in the Oven

Parrot in the Oven: Mi vida

Victor Martinez

Perico, or parrot, was what Dad called me sometimes. It was from a Mexican saying about a parrot that complains how hot it is in the shade, while all along he’s sitting inside an oven and doesn’t know it….

For Manuel Hernandez, the year leading up to his test of courage, his initiation into a gang, is a time filled with the pain and tension, awkwardness and excitement of growing up in a crazy world. His dad spends most of his time and money at the local pool hall; his brother flips through jobs like a thumb through a deck of cards; and his mom never stops cleaning the house, as though one day the rooms will be so spotless they’ll disappear into a sparkle, and she’ll be free.

Manny’s dad is always saying that people are like money—there are million- and thousand- and hundred-dollar people out there, and to him, Manny is just a penny. But Manny wants to be more than a penny, smarter than the parrot in the oven. He wants…[more]

Book:Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Book:The Dreamer (Ryan & Sís)

The Dreamer

Pam Muñoz Ryan, Peter Sís

From the time he is a young boy, Neftalí hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftalí knows he cannot ignore the call. Under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, he listens and he follows…Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and sensorial, transporting illustrations, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination.

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:Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising

Pam Muñoz Ryan

When Esperanza and Mama are forced to flee to the bountiful region of Aguascalientes, Mexico, to a Mexican farm labor camp in California, they must adjust to a life without fancy dresses and servants they were accustomed to on Rancho de las Rosas. Now they must confront the challenges of hard work, acceptance by their own people, and economic difficulties brought on by the Great Depression. When Mama falls ill and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperana must relinquish her hold on the past learn to embrace a future ripe with the riches of family and community.

Book:Under the Mesquite

Under the Mesquite

Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Lupita, a budding actor and poet in a close-knit Mexican American immigrant family, comes of age as she struggles with adult responsibilities during her mother’s battle with cancer in this young adult novel in verse.

When Lupita learns Mami has cancer, she is terrified by the possibility of losing her mother, the anchor of her close-knit family. Suddenly, being a high school student, starring in a play, and dealing with friends who don’t always understand, become less important than doing whatever she can to save Mami’s life.

While her father cares for Mami at an out-of-town clinic, Lupita takes charge of her seven younger siblings. As Lupita struggles to keep the family afloat, she takes refuge in the shade of a mesquite tree, where she escapes the chaos at home to write. Forced to face her limitations in the midst of overwhelming changes and losses, Lupita rediscovers her voice and finds healing…[more]

Book:Return to Sender

Return to Sender

Julia Alvarez

After Tyler’s father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure. Tyler isn’t sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented? And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected her American life. Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico. Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences?

In a novel full of hope, but no easy answers, Julia Alvarez weaves a beautiful and timely story that will stay with readers long after they finish it.

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:Los Gatos Black on Halloween

Los Gatos Black on Halloween

Marisa Montes, Yuyi Morales

Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party

Under October’s luna, full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujas come on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from their coffins to join in the fun. Los esqueletos rattle their bones as they dance through the door. And the scariest creatures of all aren’t even there yet!

This lively bilingual Halloween poem introduces young readers to a spooky array of Spanish words that will open their ojos to the chilling delights of the season.

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