Pura Belpré Award
Titles Owned by the Kathryn A. Martin Library

The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA), an ALA affiliate.

It has been given every other year since 1996. Beginning with the 2009 award, it will be given annually.


Narrative Award: Engle, Margarita. (2015). Enchanted air : two cultures, two wings : a memoir. New York, NY : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 811 E58en

In this poetic memoir Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. Her heart was in Cuba, her mother's tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lived in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupted at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Engle's worlds collided in the worst way possible. Would she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?

Illustration Award: Engle, Margarita. (2015). Drum dream girl : how one girl's courage changed music. (Illustrations by Rafael López). Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. PRIM-FIC E578dr

Follows a girl in the 1920s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there has never been a female drummer in Cuba. Includes note about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who inspired the story, and Anacaona, the all-girl dance band she formed with her sisters.


Narrative Award: Agosín, Marjorie. (2014). I lived on Butterfly Hill. (Illustrated by Lee White; translated by E.M. O'Connor). New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC A2757Li 

When her beloved country, Chile, is taken over by a militaristic, sadistic government, Celeste is sent to America for her safety and her parents must go into hiding before they "disappear."

Illustration Award: Morales, Yuyi. (2014). Viva Frida! (Photography by Tim O'Meara). New York : Roaring Brook Press. 759.972 M828vi 

Via spare text, examines Kahlo's creative process.


Narrative Award: Medina, Meg. (2013). Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass. Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC M4911ya  

"One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn't even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she's done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn't Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn't kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she's never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy's life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away?" -- from publisher's web site.

Illustration Award: Morales, Yuyi. (2013). Niño wrestles the world. New York : Roaring Brook Press. PRIM-FIC M828ni

Lucha Libre champion Niño has no trouble fending off monstrous opponents, but when his little sisters awaken from their naps, he is in for a no-holds-barred wrestling match that will truly test his skills.


Narrative Award: Sáenz, Benjamin Alire. (2012). Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe. New York : Simon & Schuster BFYR. INTR-FIC S127ar

Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

Illustration Award: Schmidt, Gary D. (2012). Martín de Porres : the rose in the desert. (Illustrated by David Diaz). Boston : Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 921 P838s

The story of Saint Martin de Porres--an endearing tale of perseverance, faith, and triumph over racial and economic prejudice.


Narrative Award: McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. (2011). Under the mesquite. New York : Lee & Low Books. PRIM-FIC M1221un

Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry.

Illustration Award: Tonatiu, Duncan. (2011). Diego Rivera : his world and ours. New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers. 759.972 T663d

An introduction to the life, career, and influence of the Mexican painter Diego Rivera.


Narrative Award: Ryan, Pam Muñoz. (2010). The dreamer. (Drawings by Peter Sís). New York : Scholastic Press. INTR-FIC R9893dr

A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.

Illustration Award: Velasquez, Eric. (2010). Grandma's gift. New York : Walker. PRIM-FIC V4348gr

The author describes Christmas at his grandmother's apartment in Spanish Harlem the year she introduced him to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Diego Velazquez's portrait of Juan de Pareja, which has had a profound and lasting effect on him.


Narrative Award: Alvarez, Julia. (2009). Return to sender. New York : Alfred A. Knopf. INTR-FIC A473re

After his family hires migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure, eleven-year-old Tyler befriends the oldest daughter, but when he discovers they may not be in the country legally, he realizes that real friendship knows no borders.

Illustration Award: Mora, Pat. Book fiesta! : celebrate Children's Day/Book Day = celebremos El diŽa de los nin~os/El diŽa de los libros. (Illustrated by Rafael LoŽpez). New York, NY : Rayo. PRIM-FIC M827bo

Children read aloud in various settings to celebrate of El diŽa de los nin~os, or Children's Day, in this bilingual story. Includes facts about Mexico's annual celebration of children and the book fiestas that are often included.


Narrative Award: Engle, Margarita. (2008). The surrender tree : poems of Cuba's struggle for freedom. New York : Henry Holt and Co. 811.54 E58s

Cuba has fought three wars for independence, and still she is not free. This history in verse creates a lyrical portrait of Cuba. The names of the flowers, 1850-51 -- The Ten Years War, 1868-78 -- The Little War, 1878-80 -- The War of Independence, 1895-98 -- The surrender tree, 1898-99.

Illustration Award: Morales, Yuyi. (2008). Just in case : a trickster tale and Spanish alphabet book. New York : Roaring Brook Press. PRIM-FIC M828jc 

As Señor Calavera prepares for Grandma Beetle's birthday he finds an alphabetical assortment of unusual presents, but with the help of Zelmiro the Ghost, he finds the best gift of all.


Narrative Award: Engle, Margarita. (2006). The poet slave of Cuba : a biography of Juan Francisco Manzano. (Art by Sean Qualls). New York : Henry Holt. 811.54 E58p 

Juan Francisco Manzano was born in 1797 into the household of wealthy slaveowners in Cuba. He spent his early years at the side of his owner’s wife, entertaining her friends. His poetry was his outlet, reflecting the beauty and cruelty of his world. Written in verse.

Illustration Award: Montes, Marisa. (2006). Los gatos black on Halloween. (Illustrated by Yuyi Morales). New York : Henry Holt and Company. PRIM-FIC M779ga 

Easy to read, rhyming text about Halloween night incorporates Spanish words, from las brujas riding their broomsticks to los monstruos whose monstrous ball is interrupted by a true horror.


Narrative Award: Canales, Viola. (2007). The tequila worm. New York : Wendy Lamb Books. INTR-FIC C212te 

Sofia grows up in the close-knit community of the barrio in McAllen, Texas, then finds that her experiences as a scholarship student at an Episcopal boarding school in Austin only strengthen her ties to family and her "comadres."

Illustration Award: Mora, Pat. (2005). Doña Flor : a tall tale about a giant woman with a great big heart. (Illustrated by Raul Colón). New York : Knopf. PRIM-FIC M827do 

Doña Flor, a giant lady with a big heart, sets off to protect her neighbors from what they think is a dangerous animal, but soon discovers the tiny secret behind the huge noise.


Narrative Award: Alvarez, Julia. (2002). Before we were free. New York : A. Knopf. INTR-FIC A473be 

In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo.

Illustration Award: Morales, Yuyi. (2003). Just a minute : a trickster tale and counting book. San Francisco : Chronicle Books.

In this version of a traditional tale, Senor Calavera arrives at Grandma Beetle’s door, ready to take her to the next life, but after helping her count, in English and Spanish, as she makes her birthday preparations, he changes his mind.


Narrative Award: Ryan, Pam Muñoz. (2000). Esperanza rising. New York : Scholastic Press. INTR-FIC R9893es 

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

Illustration Award: Soto, Gary. (2000). Chato and the party animals. (Illustrated by Susan Guevara). New York : Putnam.
PRIM-FIC S7184ch

Chato decides to throw a "pachanga" for his friend Novio Boy, who has never had a birthday party, but when it is time to party, Novio Boy cannot be found.


Narrative Award: Ada, Alma Flor. (1998). Under the royal palms : a childhood in Cuba. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 921 A191a 

The author recalls her life and impressions growing up in Cuba.

Illustration Award: Garza, Carmen Lomas. (1999). Magic windows. San Francisco, Calif. : Children’s Book Press. 306.85 L839m 

In Spanish and English, Carmen Lomas Garza portrays her family’s Mexican customs through cut-paper work.


Narrative Award: Martinez, Victor. (1996). Parrot in the oven : mi vida : a novel. New York : HarperCollins Publishers. INTR-FIC M3858pa 

Manny relates his coming of age experiences as a member of a poor Mexican American family in which the alcoholic father only adds to everyone’s struggle.

Illustration Award: Soto, Gary. (1997). Snapshots from the wedding. (Illustrated by Stephanie Garcia). New York : G.P. Putnam’s. PRIM-FIC S7184sn 

Maya, the flower girl, describes a Mexican American wedding through snapshots of the day’s events, beginning with the procession to the altar and ending with her sleeping after the dance.


Narrative Award: Ortiz Cofer, Judith. (1996). An island like you : stories of the barrio. New York : Puffin Books. INTR-FIC C674is & 861 O77i

Twelve stories about young people caught between their Puerto Rican heritage and their American surroundings. Day in the barrio -- Bad influence -- Arturo’s flight -- Beauty lessons -- Catch the moon -- An hour with Abuelo -- The one who watches -- Matoa’s mirror -- Don Jose of La Mancha -- Abuela invents the zero -- A job for Valentin -- Home to El Building -- White balloons.

Illustration Award: Soto, Gary. (1995). Chato's kitchen. (Illustrated by Susan Guevara). New York : Putnam’s. PRIM-FIC S7184ki 

To get the "ratoncitos," little mice, who have moved into the barrio to come to his house, Chato the cat prepares all kinds of good food: fajitas, frijoles, salsa, enchiladas, and more.


For more information, contact:
Tom Ambrosi, Reference Librarian
Email: tambrosi@d.umn.edu
Phone: 218-726-7861
Fax: 218-726-7481
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

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