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Books About Jobs                           [back to index]

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Amelia's Road
by Linda Jacobs Altman
Amelia Martinez is the daughter of migrant farmworkers who follow the harvest to make their living.  Amelia longs for permanence, for a real house, and a tree growing in the yard. Teachers rarely bother to learn her name, so when Mrs. Ramos does so, it is special.

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The Bakery Lady / La señora de la panadería
by Pat Mora
Mónica describes the sites, smells, and customers of her grandparent’s bakery, a special place in the neighborhood.  Mónica looks forward to following in her grandparent’s footsteps and running her own bakery.

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A Day’s Work
by Eve Bunting
Francisco helps his grandfather, who recently arrived from Mexico, find work by negotiating a job as a gardener.  Francisco lies to the man hiring them and they suffer the consequences.  Francisco learns the value of honesty as well as the value of a days’ work. 

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First Day in Grapes 
by L. King Pérez

Chico and his family are migrant farm workers and move around from place to place, following the crops.  Every time they move, Chico calls the new places according to the food product that is grown there.  This time they are living in Grapes.  Chico is worried about his first day of school, but his mother reminds him that it is his job to go to school.  Chico shows good judgment as he encounters his new experiences, even befriending the grouchy school bus driver. (A Pura Belpre Honor Book)

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Juan Bobo Goes to Work: A Puerto Rican Folktale
by Marisa Montes
Juan Bobo, a well-known silly character in Puerto Rican stories, is sent to find work and runs into a number of humorous situations.

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Mama and Papa Have a Store
by Amelia Lau Carling
A young girl tells about a day in her family's store and home in Guatemala City. Every day customers of many heritages – speaking Spanish, Chinese, and Mayan – come to buy cloth, buttons, and thread. While the girl's parents and their friends talk about their hometown in China from where they emigrated many years ago, she and her siblings play games on the rooftop terrace, float paper boats, and make shadow puppets under the glow of flashlights.

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Mama Had to Work on Christmas
by Carolyn Marsden, illustrated by Robert Casilla
When nine-year-old Gloria's mama has to work at a fancy hotel on Christmas, the girl must spend the day there as well, since Papi is away picking oranges. After work, the resentful child accompanies her mother across the border into Mexico, where her grandmother lives in a ramshackle hut. How Gloria moves from disappointment to understanding makes for a beautiful story that honors the true spirit of the Christmas season.

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The Muffler Man / El hombre mofle
by Tito Campos, illustrated by Lamberto & Beto Alvarez
Young Chuy García longs to join his father, who has left Mexico in search of a better life for his family in the United States. To save money for his trip north, Chuy convinces his father's former employer and local muffler shop to hire him to do odds and ends. There, Chuy learns something new about his father: he is the artist who made the Mufler Man, a metal statue that stands in front of the shop inviting costumers inside. 

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Radio Man / Don Radio
by Arthur Dorros
Diego touts his radio as he and his family of migrant farm workers head for the fields looking for work. Though the music on his radio brings him joy, the boy is sad to bid farewell to his friend David when Diego's family takes to the road looking for more work. Wherever they go, Diego searches for David.

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The Tortilla Factory / La Tortillería
by Gary Paulsen
A description of how tortillas are made beginning with the work done by those in the fields, then by those in the factory, finally to be enjoyed by those at home.

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Xochitl and the Flowers/Xochitl, la niña de las flores
by Jorge Argueta
After moving from El Salvador to the United States, Xochitl and her family must adjust after having left their flower business behind.  While trying to sell flowers in their new home, the family encounters difficulties, but with the help of neighbors, the family is able to overcome these and is made to feel at home.  (An Americas Award commended book).

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