Américas Award

By bvaldez
  • Veijante Masquerader

    Veijante Masquerader
    by Lulu Delacre (Scholastic 1993)Young Ramon has dreamed of becoming a vejigante , one of the many men and boys who dress up in clownlike costumes and devilish masks. Unbeknownst to his mother, the lad has saved up his money and has used his sewing skills to make his own costume. As he joins the other vejigantes , readers get a tour of the streets of Ponce and of the festival atmosphere. Ramon finally attains his greatest goal--to become part of El Gallo's pranksterish vejigante band.
  • The Mermaid’s Twin Sister

    The Mermaid’s Twin Sister
    by Lynn Joseph (Clarion, 1994) Tantie, Amber's great-aunt, passes the traditions and values of their Trinidad culture to the many children in the extended family. She has chosen Amber to be her successor, and it is Amber who faithfully records these stories, giving them the flavor of the Trinidad patois but keeping them completely intelligible to the American reader. Tantie's stories all have a tinge of the supernatural.
  • Tonight by Sea

    Tonight by Sea
    by Frances Temple Governmental oppression has created dire conditions for Paulie and her relatives, who are followers of ousted president Aristide. They plan to leave their beloved town of Belle Fleuve for ``Mee-ya-mee, U.S.A.'' as soon as Uncle completes work on their boat, the Chache Lavi (Seek Life). But when the brutal macoute regime kills her friend Jean-Desir, Paulie realizes that she must do more than flee, and she sets upon a dangerous course to make her community's plight known.
  • In My Family/En mi familia

    In My Family/En mi familia
    by Carmen Lomas Garza In My Family/En mi familia, internationally-renowned artist Carmen Lomas Garza takes us once again to her hometown of Kingsville, Texas, near the border with Mexico. Through vibrant paintings and warm personal stories, Carmen brings to life more loving memories of growing up in a traditional Mexican American community: eatingempanadas, witnessing the blessing on her cousin's wedding day, and dancing to theconjuntoband at the neighborhood restaurant.
  • Parrot in the Oven

    Parrot in the Oven
    by Victor Martínez
    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
    Other awards:
    1998 Pura Belpre Author Award
    1997 Books for the Teen Age (NY Public Library)
    1996 National Book Award for Young People’ s Literature
  • The Circuit

    The Circuit
    by Francisco Jiménez
  • The Face at the Window

    The Face at the Window
    by Regina Hanson illustrated by Linda Saport
    Dora learns to overcome her fears of a mentally ill woman who lives in her community in this gentle and compassionate story set in contemporary Jamaica, West Indies
  • Barrio: José’s Neighborhood

    Barrio: José’s Neighborhood
    by George Ancona
    In his barrio, people speak an easy mix of Spanish and English and sometimes even Chinese. The masked revelry of Halloween leads into the festive remembrances of the Day of the Dead. And murals on the walls and buildings sing out the stories of the people who live here. As familiar as any neighborhood yet as strange as a foreign country, Jose's barrio isn't in Mexico or Argentina; it's in San Francisco.
  • Mama and Papa Have a Store

    Mama and Papa Have a Store
    by Amelia Lau Carling
    On an average day in her parents' store in Guatemala City, a Chinese girl watches Indians buy thread, listens to stories about China during lunch, and plays with her brothers and sisters in their home behind the store.
  • Crash Boom Love

    Crash Boom Love
    by Juan Felipe Herrera
    Drawn from his own life as well as a lifetime of dedication to young people, "CrashBoomLove" helps readers understand what it is to be a teen, a migrant worker, and a boy wanting to be a boy.
    Sixteen-year-old Csar Garca is careening. His father, Papi Csar, has left the migrant circuit in California for his other wife and children in Denver. Sweet Mama Lucy tries to provide for her son with dichos and tales of her own misspent youth.
  • The Composition

    The Composition
    by Antonio Skármeta illustrated by Alfonso Ruano
    Pedro is a nine-year-old boy whose main interest in life is playing soccer. The arrest of his friend Daniel's father and a visit to the school of an army captain who wants the children to write a composition entitled "What My Family Does at Night" suddenly force Pedro to make a difficult choice. The author's note explains what a dictatorship is and provides a context for this powerful and provocative story.
  • The Color of My Words

    The Color of My Words
    by Lynn Joseph
    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.
  • A Movie in My Pillow/Una Película en mi almohada

    A Movie in My Pillow/Una Película en mi almohada
    by Jorge Argueta illustrated by Elizabeth Gómez
    Young Jorgito has come to live in the Mission District of San Francisco, but he hasn't forgotten the unique beauty of El Salvador. In his first collection of poems for children, poet Jorge Argueta evokes the wonder of his childhood in rural El Salvador. A touching relationship with a caring father, and his confusion and delight in his new urban home. We glimpse the richness of Jorgito's inner world and dreams—the movie in his pillow.
  • Breaking Through

    Breaking Through
    by Francisco Jiménez
    At the age of fourteen, Francisco Jiménez, together with his older brother, Roberto, and his mother, is caught by la migra. Forced to leave their home in California, the entire family travels for 20 hours by bus, arriving at the U.S.-Mexican border in Nogales, Arizona. In the months and years that follow, Francisco, his mother and father, and his sister and four brothers not only struggle to keep their family together, but also face crushing poverty & long hours of labor.
  • Before We Were Free

    Before We Were Free
    by Julia Alvarez
    This book tells the story of a young girl named Anita. She lives during a period of political unrest. Her father and uncle are involved in a plot to assassinate the dictator. When the story begins, Anita is eleven years old and she lives in the Dominican Republic. Anita attends an American school and she is friends with the children of American Ambassadors and consulates. She lives on a compound with her family. Shes excited for her birthday but it's not what she expects.
  • The Meaning of Consuelo

    The Meaning of Consuelo
    by Judith Ortiz Cofer
    The Signe family is blessed with two daughters. Consuelo, the elder, is thought of as pensive and book-loving, the serious child-la niña seria-while Mili, her younger sister, is seen as vivacious, a ray of tropical sunshine. Two daughters: one dark, one light; one to offer comfort and consolation, the other to charm and delight. But for all the joy both girls should bring, something is not right in this Puerto Rican family; a tragedia is developing, like a tumor at its core
  • Just a Minute

    Just a Minute
    by Yuyi Morales
    Senor Calavera arrives unexpectedly at Grandma Beetle's door. He requests that she leave with him right away. "Just a minute," Grandma Beetle tells him. She still has one house to sweep, two pots of tea to boil, three pounds of corn to make into tortillas -- and that's just the start! Using both Spanish and English words to tally the party preparations, Grandma Beetle cleverly delays her trip and spends her birthday with a table full of grandchildren and her surprise guest.
  • My Name is Celia/Me llamo Celia

    My Name is Celia/Me llamo Celia
    by Monica Brown illustrated by Rafael López
    This bilingual book allows young readers to enter Celia Cruz's life as she becomes a well-known singer in her homeland of Cuba, then moves to New York City and Miami where she and others create a new type of music called salsa.
  • Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood

    Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood
    by Benjamin Alire Saénz
    The Hollywood where Sammy Santos lives is not one of glitz and glitter, but a barrio at the edge of a small New Mexico town. In the summer before his senior year, Sammy falls in love with the beautiful, independent, and intensely vulnerable Juliana. Sammy's chronicle of his senior year is both a love story and a litany of loss, the tale of his love not only for Juliana but for their friends, a generation from a barrio: tough, innocent, humorous, and determined to survive.
  • Cinnamon Girl: letters found inside a cereal box

    Cinnamon Girl: letters found inside a cereal box
    by Juan Felipe Herrera
    When the towers fall, New York City is blanketed by dust. On the Lower East Side, Yolanda, the cinnamon girl, makes her manda, her promise, to gather as much of it as she can. As tragedies from her past mix in the air of an unthinkable present, Yolanda searches for hope. Maybe it's buried somewhere in the silvery dust of Alphabet City.
  • Josias, Hold the Book

    Josias, Hold the Book
    by Jennifer Elvgren illustrated Nicole Tadgell
    Each day Chrislove asks his friend Josias when he will "hold the book," or join them at school, but Josias can only think of tending the bean garden so that his family will have enough food.
  • The Poet Slave of Cuba

    The Poet Slave of Cuba
    by Margarita Engle illustrated by Sean Qualls
    Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty.
  • Red Glass

    Red Glass
    by Laura Resau
    One night Sophie, her mother, and her stepfather are called to a hospital, where Pablo, a five-year-old Mexican boy, is recovering from dehydration. Pablo was carrying the business card of Sophie's step-father - but he doesn't recognize the boy. Crossing the border into Arizona with seven other Mexicans and a coyote, or guide, Pablo and his parents faced such harsh conditions that the boy is the only survivor.
  • Yum! MMM! Que Rico! Brotes de Las Americas

    Yum! MMM! Que Rico! Brotes de Las Americas
    by Pat Mora illustrations Rafael Lopez
    A delightful collection of haiku focused on some of the most familiar (and a few unfamiliar) foods that are native to the Americas. Blueberries, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and more, these poems capture the enduring appeal of foods that have been part of the diverse cuisines of the Americas for centuries. Each haiku is accompanied by information about the food s origins, and some fun facts about its history and current uses.
  • Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

    Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book
    by Yuyi Morales
    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.
  • Return to Sender

    Return to Sender
    by 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.
  • What Can you do with a Paleta

    What Can you do with a Paleta
    by Carmen Tafolla illustrated by Magaly Morales
    In this bilingual paperback edition, discover the joys of a paleta—the traditional Mexican popsicle treat sold from the wagon with the tinkly bell that brings children running from every direction. Create a masterpiece, make tough choices (strawberry or coconut?), or cool off on a warm summer's day—there's so much to do with a paleta.
  • Clemente

    by Willie Perdomo illustrated by Bryan Collier
    Born in Puerto Rico, Roberto Clemente was the first Latin American player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Known not only for his exceptional baseball skills but also for his extensive charity work in Latin America, Clemente was well loved during his eighteen years of playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He died in a plane crash while bringing relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua, but his legacy and inspiration live on
  • The Dreamer

    The Dreamer
    by Pam Muñoz Ryan illustrated by Peter Sís
    From the time he is a young boy, Neftali hears the call of a mysterious voice. He knows he must follow it--even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself. It leads him under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, until finally, he discovers its source.
  • Hurricane Dancers

    Hurricane Dancers
    by Margarita Engle
    Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. The sailors he toils under call him el quebrado a broken one. Now the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera uses Quebrado as a translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother’s Taíno Indian language and his father’s Spanish. But when a hurricane sinks the ship and most of its crew, it is Quebrado who escapes to safety.
  • Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People

    Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People
    by Monica Brown illustrated by Julie Paschkis
    Pablo wrote poems about the things he loved--things made by his friends in the café, things found at the marketplace, and things he saw in nature. He wrote about the people of Chile and their stories of struggle. Because above all things and above all words, Pablo Neruda loved people.
  • The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

    The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano
    by Sonia Manzano
    There are two secrets Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and Papo? her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who's come from Puerto Rico to live with them. Then, like an urgent ticking clock, events erupt that change everything.
  • Parrots over Puerto Rico

    Parrots over Puerto Rico
    By Cindy Trumbore and Susan L. Roth
    Illustrated by Susan L. Roth
    Above the treetops of Puerto Rico flies a flock of parrots as green as their island home. . . . These are Puerto Rican parrots. They lived on this island for millions of years, and then they nearly vanished from the earth forever. Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant, came perilously close to extinction in the 1960s due to centuries of foreign exploration and occupation, development, and habitat destruction.
  • Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation

    Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation
    by Duncan Tonatiuh
    Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court.
  • Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal

    Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal
    by Margarita Engle
    From the young "silver people" whose back-breaking labor built the Canal to the denizens of the endangered rainforest itself, this is the story of one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.