In the U.S., National Hispanic American Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15th. This is a time for recognizing and honoring the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. We’re proud to highlight some of the influences, achievements, and experiences of the American Latinx community—join the celebration and share these books with young readers during Hispanic American Heritage Month.
You may know Larry Dane Brimner as the author of several award-winning nonfiction civil rights titles, including the 2018 Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner Twelve Days in May and the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Honor Black & White. In Without Separation, Brimner dives into the historical fiction genre to chronicle the true story of Roberto Alvarez, whose court battle against racism and school segregation in Lemon Grove, CA, is considered the first time an immigrant community used the courts to fight injustice successfully.
Books are a tool that can show and support agents of change and healing—a philosophy found throughout Without Separation’s illustrator Maya Gonzalez’s work in her community and as an award-winning children’s book illustrator and author. She has helped develop several curriculum lines for children in public schools that offer a holistic approach to learning and open doors to new ways of thinking and relating in the world. Gonzalez also co-founded Reflection Press in 2009, an independent press that publishes radical and revolutionary children’s books along with works that expand spiritual and cultural awareness.
Without Separation emphasizes that, like Roberto, young readers’ voices can make a critical difference.
Like so many people worldwide facing difficult times, a little girl and her family in this eye-catching and emotionally satisfying picture book have had to leave their home. Antonia tells the story of this displaced family and the little girl main character who loses her dog, Antonia, on the journey. But, she ends up gaining a friend in the process, making Antonia a great book for empathy-building, as it features the message of making friends and reaching out to others even in the toughest circumstances.
Written in both Spanish and English, the poems in this timely book for young readers are told from the point of view of Jorge, a young immigrant from Mexico who struggles to make a new life in a new country. From learning a new language, to getting a library card, taking tests, and making friends, Jorge wants to fit in at school, but he doesn’t want to forget his homeland.
On the 2020 list of Outstanding International Lit by USBBY, in A Sky Without Lines, Arturo and Antonio, two brothers who did everything together, are torn apart by lines on a map. Or, as Arturo’s mother explains when she and Aturos are separated from his father and Antonio, separated by country borders meant to keep people from moving freely across the land. Artful, moving watercolor illustrations express a young boy’s sorrow at separation and his joyful dreams of a world without lines.
Discover the important history of California’s migrant workers and their strike for fair wages during the Delano grape strike in the 1960s in this nonfiction middle-grade book. Award-winning author Larry Dane Brimner’s riveting text, complemented by black-and-white archival photographs and the words of workers, organizers, and growers, tells the powerful history.