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Books About Inspiring People   [back to index]

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Before We Were Free
by Julia Alvarez
An engrossing account of 12-year-old Anita's life amidst the fear that consumes her family.

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Breaking Through
by Francisco Jiménez
The autobiographical journey of the son in a family of migrant workers.

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Cuba 15
by Nancy Osa
Tells the story of Violet Paz as she prepares unwillingly for her quinceañero, the traditional Latina 15th birthday celebration. Her journey into self-discovery leads her to truly value and understand her Cuban heritage for the first time.

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Diego
by Jeanette Winter
This bilingual book tells the story of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. It explains about his life and work.

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Esperanza Rising
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Twelve-year-old Esperanza moves from Mexico to California in the 1930s to be migrant workers.

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First Day in Grapes
by L. King Pérez, illustrated by Robert Casilla
Portrays the story of a child of migrant workers and his school experiences.

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Frida
by Jonah Winter
Available in Spanish and English. A biography of some major events in artist Frida Kahlo's life (1907-1954).

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Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez / Cosechando esperanza: La historia de César Chávez
by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Yuyi Morales, translated by F. Isabel Campoy & Alma Flor Ada
The biography of Cesar Chavez, from age ten when he and his family lived happily on their Arizona ranch, to age thirty-eight when he led a peaceful protest against California migrant workers miserable working conditions.

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It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way: A Barrio Story / No tiene que ser asi: una historia del barrio
By Luis J. Rodriguez, illustrated by Daniel Galvez
Written by a former gang member, this story depicts the pain of a Mexican-American boy in L.A., who almost joins a gang but is stopped by the tragic shooting of his cousin.

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A Movie in My Pillow / Una pelicula en mi almohada
by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Elizabeth Gomez
A bilingual collection of poems for children about a young Salvadoran’s experiences in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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My Diary From Here To There / Mi diario de aquí hasta allá
by Amada Irma Pérez
A touching account of a family emigrating from Mexico to California. A bilingual picture book, this young girl's diary chronicles the family's anxiety, excitement, and uncertainty as they leave home and experience the same journey made by many families.

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The Pot that Juan Built
by Nancy Andrews-Goebel, illustrated by David Diaz
This is a picture biography of the story of Juan Quezada, who rediscovered the ancient method of pottery making in Mata Ortiz, Mexico.

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The Upside Down Boy / El nino de cabeza
by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Elizabeth Gomez
Memoir in poetry form about the year the author’s migrant family settled down so he could attend school.

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Viva Mexico!: A Story of Benito Juarez and Cinco de Mayo
by Argentina Palacios
A biography of the Zapotec Indian who grew up to become the President of Mexico and lead his country in a war for independence.

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