What is National Hispanic Heritage Month? It is the celebration and observance of Hispanic heritage. It is 30 days of celebration, and it is observed from September 15th to October 15th every year. The month is meant to recognize the contributions and achievements of the Hispanic community. We use this celebration to commemorate all the Hispanic Americans and to embrace their culture. National Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated since 1968 when President Lendon Johnson first recognized this as a week-long celebration of Hispanic culture and heritage. The week was then extended to a month-long celebration by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The dates were chosen also share the dates of many Latin American countries gaining their independence this including Nicaragua on September 15th, Mexico on September 16th, and Chile on September 18th along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. There are many ways to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month as there are nationwide festivals, art shows, conferences, community gatherings, and much more to show your support to the community. We put together a list of a few children’s books that celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:
How Favio Chávez Taught Children to Make Music from Trash
Written by Carmen Oliver
Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
An exuberantly illustrated true story about innovation,
community, and the power of music.
In Cateura, Paraguay, a town built on a landfill, music teacher Favio Chávez longed to help the families living and working amid the hills of trash. How could he help them find hope for the future? Favio started giving music lessons to Cateura’s children, but soon he encountered a serious problem. He had more students than instruments!
But Favio had a strange and wonderful idea: what if this recyclers’ town had its own recycled orchestra? Favio and Colá, a brilliant local carpenter, began to experiment with transforming garbage into wonder. Old glue canisters became violins; paint cans became violas; drainpipes became flutes and saxophones. With repurposed instruments in their hands, the children of Cateura could fill their community—and the world—with the sounds of a better tomorrow.
Based on an incredible true story, Building an Orchestra of Hope offers an unforgettable picture of human dignity reclaimed from unexpected sources. Carmen Oliver’s inviting words and Luisa Uribe’s dynamic illustrations create a stirring tribute to creativity, resilience
A Story of the Spanish Civil War
Written by Mónica Montañés
Illustrated by Eva Sánchez Gómez
Translated by Lawrence Schimel
A resonant, captivating book about a brother and sister caught in a dark chapter of world history.
From 1936 to 1939, a civil war raged across Spain. When fascist dictator Francisco Franco declared victory, his forces began to persecute anyone who had once opposed him.
Different follows siblings Paco and Socorro as they come
of age in this time of secrets and danger. When the siblings’ father flees the country because of his political beliefs, their family must hide the truth in order to survive. At last a letter arrives, with a chance for them to reunite in Venezuela…
With extensive back matter on the period, this middle grade story is a stirring depiction of the Spanish Civil War, its tragic aftermath, and the timeless struggle for freedom from political violence.
Written by Karen Lynn Williams
Illustrated by Sara Palacios
Enrique can’t believe his father won’t let him travel to his team’s big soccer tournament. Papi says going across the checkpoint is too risky. Even though Enrique is a U.S. citizen, the rest of the family isn’t—and if the border police stop them, the family might be split up. The next morning Enrique decides he’s going to his big game, no matter what. But the day ahead will change how he sees his dad and how he defines courage…
This book is a powerful depiction of the everyday struggles faced by undocumented immigrants and their families. Sensitively told with expressive illustrations, Facing Fear explores the meaning of bravery and the strength of a community.
A Refugee Story from the Spanish Civil War
Written by María José Ferrada
Illustrated by Ana Penyas
On May 27, 1937, over four hundred children sailed for Morelia, Mexico, fleeing the violence of the Spanish Civil War. Home was no longer safe, and Mexico was welcoming refugees by the thousands. Each child packed a suitcase and boarded the Mexique, expecting to return home in a few months. This was just a short trip, an extra-long summer vacation, they thought. But the war did not end in a few months, and the children stayed, waiting and wondering, in Mexico. When the war finally ended, a dictator—the Fascist Francisco Franco—ruled Spain. Home was even more dangerous than before.
“Birds pray, trees pray, flowers pray, mountains pray, the winds and rain pray, rivers and the little insects pray as well. The whole earth is in constant prayer, and we can join with its great prayer,” says award-winning author and illustrator Paul Goble.
Every element of creation — from the magpie to the minnow — glorifies God in its own way in this bold and brightly illustrated work, adapted from The Book of Common Prayer. Goble invites readers to join with the land and the animals in singing praise to God.
Releases April 26
Written and illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson
Translated by Lawrence Schimel
One night under the acacia trees, Kibo writes a story about home. His neighbor Naki reads his words, binds them into a book, and brings it to the city. There Camilo devours Kibo’s story, remembering his childhood in the savannah. The next day he shares the book and his memories with his friend Simon. Soon Simon starts writing new songs about distant lands. Where will Kibo’s book go next, and what will it spark for its next reader?
Featuring a charming cast of animal characters, The Book that Kibo Wrote showcases the power of stories to connect readers across the globe.
A heartfelt book featuring a neighborhood soccer team and its determined young star, who has a secret plan even more impressive than his bicycle kicks.
No one plays soccer like Madani. When the ball lands on his bare feet, the whole town stops to watch. Even Madani’s mother—still sewing the day’s work at home—can hear the crowds cheer when he scores. His teammates wonder what their best player could do, if he only had a proper pair of cleats. As Madani saves up money, bit by bit, his team’s rivalry match approaches. Maybe he’ll have new cleats in time for the big day! Or maybe Madani has a different goal in mind…
Told with gentle humor and lively illustrations, Madani’s Best Game is a refreshing story about the joys of sports, teamwork, and family.
Hispanic Heritage Month