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Pura Belpré Award

The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.


Efrén Divided

by Ernesto Cisneros
Published in 2020 by Harper
ISBN: 9780062881687

While his father works two jobs, seventh-grader Efrén Nava must take care of his twin siblings, kindergartners Max and Mia, after their mother is deported to Mexico. Includes glossary of Spanish words.

2021 Pura Belpré Award - Author

Vamos! Let's Go Eat

by Raúl Gonzalez
Published in 2020 by Children’s Book Press
ISBN: 9781328557049

Little Lobo, a Mexican American, and Bernabe, his dog, gather tacos, frutas picadas, cuernos, and more and deliver them to los luchadores preparing for Lucha Libre 5000.

2021 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

by Carlos Hernandez
Published in 2019 by Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 9781368023627

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe brings us a story about thirteen-year-old magician Sal Vidón as he moves to Florida where he meets Gabi Reál, an aspiring journalist and student council president. Together they try to solve the mystery of how Sal “breaks the universe” and why they are the only ones who can see the hole.

2020 Pura Belpré Award - Author

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln

by Margarita Engle
Published in 2019 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781481487405

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln is a story about Venezuelan born Teresa Carreño who started playing the piano as a very young girl and was writing songs by age six. Forced to flee Venezuela, she moved to New York, traveled to other cities to play the piano, and was invited to play for President Abraham Lincoln.

2020 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo
Published in 2018 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062662804

The Poet X is a tale about Xiomara, an "unhide-able" Dominican who "…was a little too much body for such a young girl," according to Mami. As she deals with her extremely religious mother and other challenges, Xiomara writes poetry, which becomes "the most freeing experience of [her] life."

2019 Pura Belpré Award - Author


by Yuyi Morales
Published in 2018 by Holiday House
ISBN: 9780823440559

In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn't come empty-handed.

2019 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Lucky Broken Girl

by Ruth Behar
Published in 2017 by Nancy Paulsen Books
ISBN: 9780399546440

A semi-autobiographical story about a multicultural girl's coming-of-age in the 1960s describes how Cuban-Jewish Ruthie Mizrahi emigrates with her family from Castro's Cuba to New York, where a devastating accident challenges her perceptions about mortality and strength.

2018 Pura Belpré Award - Author

La Princesa and the Pea

by Susan Middleton Elya
Published in 2017 by G. P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN: 9780399251566

A rhyming twist on a classic fairy tale in which a queen places a pea under a young lady's mattress to see if she is truly a princess. Incorporates Spanish words and Includes a glossary.

2018 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Juana & Lucal

by Juana Medina
Published in 2016 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781481435222

Candlewick Press

2017 Pura Belpré Award - Author

Lowriders to the Center of the Earth

by Cathy Camper
Published in 2016 by Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9781452123431

Lupe Impala, Elirio Malaria, and El Chavo Octopus are now the proud owners of their own garage--but when a series of earthquakes hit their town and Genie, their beloved cat, disappears they find themselves traveling to the realm of Mictlantecuhtli, Aztec god of the Underworld, who is keeping Genie prisoner.

2017 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir

by Margarita Engle
Published in 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781481435222

In this ... memoir, Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.

2016 Pura Belpré Award - Author

The Drum Dream Girl

by Margarita Engle
Published in 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780544102293

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.

2016 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

I Lived on Butterfly Hill

by Marjorie Agosín
Published in 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781416953449

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."

2015 Pura Belpré Award - Author

Viva Frida

by Yuyi Morales
Published in 2014 by Roaring Brook Press
ISBN: 9781596436039

“Viva Frida” uses rich, vibrant color photographs and minimal evocative text to beautifully portray the unique imagination and creativity of an iconic Latina artist. Morales blends a wide variety of mediums - stop-motion puppets, acrylic paints and digital manipulation - to create a whimsical picture book that will inspire your artistic sensibilities.

2015 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass

by Meg Medina
Published in 2013 by Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763658595

Piedad “Piddy” Sanchez’s life is turned upside down when she finds out that Yaqui Delgado wants to kick her ass. While struggling to deal with the threat on her own, Piddy is forced to explore her identity, her culture and the role of others in her life. Meg Medina writes a powerful story about bullying and resilience.

2014 Pura Belpré Award - Author

Nino Wrestles the World

by Yuyi Morales
Published in 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
ISBN: 9781596436046

“Yuyi Morales does it again with the rollicking story of Niño, a boy who battles icons from Mexican popular culture in the lucha libre ring,” said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Ruth Tobar.

2014 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert

by Gary D. Schmidt; illustrated by David Diaz
Published in 2012 by Clarion Books
ISBN: 9780547612188

Shares the story of the mixed-race saint known for his healing miracles and advocacy of orphaned children, tracing his rise from slavery to becoming an esteemed member of the Dominican Order.

2013 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Under the Mesquite

by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Published in 2011 by Lee & Low Books
ISBN: 9781600604294

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. Includes glossary of Spanish terms.

2012 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours

by Duncan Tonatiuh
Published in 2011 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780810997318

Tells the story of Diego as a young, mischievous boy who demonstrated a clear passion for art and then went on to become one of the most famous painters in the world.

2012 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Grandma’s Gift

by Eric Velasquez
Published in 2010 by Walker & Co
ISBN: 9780802720825

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.

2011 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

The Dreamer

by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Published in 2010 by Scholastic Press
ISBN: 9780439269704

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.

2011 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative 

Book Fiesta! : Celebrate Children’s Day / Celebremos El día de los niños

by Rafael López
Published in 2009 by Rayo
ISBN: 9780061288777

Children read aloud in various settings to celebrate of El día de los niños, 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.

2010 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Return to Sender

by Julia Alvarez
Published in 2009 by Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN: 9780375858383

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.

2010 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom

by Margarita Engle
Published in 2008 by Henry Holt & Company
ISBN: 9780805086744

It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free. People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness. Rosa is a nurse, but she dares not go to the camps. So she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her.

2009 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative

Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book

by Yuyi Morales
Published in 2008 by Roaring Brook Press
ISBN: 9781596433298

In this companion to her award-winning "Just a Minute," Morales brings back Seor Calvera, the skeleton from Day of the Dead celebrations. This stunning picture book functions both as a Spanish alphabet book and an engaging story about finding a birthday gift for Grandma Beetle.

2009 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano

by Margarita Engle
Published in 2006 by Henry Holt & Company
ISBN: 9780805077063

A lyrical biography of a Cuban slave who escaped to become a celebrated poet. Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own.

2008 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative

Los Gatos Black on Halloween

by Marisa Montes
Published in 2006 by Henry Holt & Company
ISBN: 9780805074291

Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party Under October's "luna," full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. "Las brujas" come on their broomsticks. "Los muertos" rise from their coffins to join in the fun.

2008 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Tequila Worm

by Viola Canales
Published in 2005 by Wendy Lamb Books
ISBN: 9780385746748

Sofia comes from a family of storytellers. Here are her tales of growing up in the barrio in McAllen, Texas, full of the magic and mystery of family traditions: making Easter "cascarones," celebrating "el Dia de los Muertos," preparing for "quinceanera," rejoicing in the Christmas "nacimiento," and curing homesickness by eating the tequila worm.

2006 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative

Dona Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart

by Pat Mora
Published in 2005 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780375823374

Dona Flor is a giant who lets children use her flowers for trumpets, and their families use her leftover tortillas for rafts. When a huge puma terrifies the village, Flor is the one to investigate. This charming story features Spanish words and phrases as well as a glossary. Illustrations. More...

2006 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Before We Were Free

by Julia Alvarez
Published in 2002 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780375915444

By 1960, most of 12-year-old Anita de la Torre's relatives have emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States. But her Tio Toni has disappeared, and the government's secret police terrorize her remaining family because of their suspected opposition of el Trujillo's dictatorship.

2004 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative

Just a Minute!: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book

by Yuyi Morales
Published in 2003 by Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9780811837583

This bilingual English-Spanish counting book reveals Mexican traditions sure to be adored by kids everywhere. Full color. In this original trickster tale, Senor Calavera arrives unexpectedly at Grandma Beetle's door. He requests that she leave with him right away.

2004 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Esperanza Rising

by Pam Munoz Ryan
Published in 2002 by Scholastic
ISBN: 9780439120425

Esperanza Ortega possesses all the treasures a young girl could want: fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and the promise of one day rising to Mama's position and presiding over all of Rancho de las Rosas.

2002 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative

Chato and the Party Animals

by Gary Soto
Published in 2000 by Putnam Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780399231599

This ALA Notable Book, which tells the story of a jazzy, party-loving homecat who throws a birthday party for his best friend, was named the winner of the 2002 Pura Belpr Award for full-color illustrations by Susan Guevera. Chato, the coolest cat in el barrio, has a problem.

2002 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

Under the Royal Palms: A Childhood in Cuba

by Alma Flor Ada
Published in 1998 by Atheneum Books
ISBN: 9780689806315

In this companion volume to Alma Flor Ada's "Where the Flame Trees Bloom, " the author offers young readers another inspiring collection of stories and reminiscences drawn from her childhood on the island of Cuba. Through those stories we see how the many events and relationships she enjoyed helped shape who she is today.

2000 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative

Magic Windows

by Carmen Lomas Garza
Published in 1999 by Children's Book Press
ISBN: 9780892391578

Through the magic windows of her cut-paper art, Garza shows us her family, her life as an artist, and the legends of her Aztec past. In her third book, Magic Windows/Ventanas magicas, Carmen Lomas Garza takes readers on a fascinating journey that explores her family, community, and ancestors through the traditional folk art form of papel picado (cut-paper art)

2000 Pura Belpré Award - Illustration

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