Belpré Author Award

Kids and/or Teens

Recognizing outstanding work by a Latino/latina writer

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The award is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Award Web Site: Belpré Award

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Author: Carlos Alberto Pablo Hernandez
2020 Belpré Author Award - Winner

In order to heal after his mother's death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things--and people--from other universes.                                                                                                                           

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Author: Angela Cervantes
2020 Belpré Author Award - Honor

When Lety jumps at the chance to write animal profiles for the Furry Friends Animal Shelter, she is forced to team up with a grumpy classmate named Hunter, who devises a contest to decide who gets to be the official shelter scribe.        

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Author: Anika Denise
2020 Belpré Author Award - Honor

From the author of MONSTER TRUCK and STARRING CARMEN comes a gorgeous and lyrical story about Pura Belpré, a Puerto Rican librarian who changed the world

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Author: Duncan Tonatiuh
2020 Belpré Author Award - Honor

Describes the life and accomplishments of José de la Luz Sáenz, who helped create the League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest Latino civil rights organization.        

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Author: Rebecca Balcarcel
2020 Belpré Author Award - Honor

This immersive and beautifully written novel follows the story of Quijana, a girl in pieces. Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. This is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong. 

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Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
2019 Belpré Author Award - Winner

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.” 

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Author: David Bowles
2019 Belpré Author Award - Honor

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems is a tale about a 12-year-old, red-headed, freckled Mexican-American boy’s daily adventures. Through poetry, Bowles chronicles Güero’s middle school journey as he deals with bullies, girls, and the perils of being a misfit. Life can be tough for a pale-skinned border kid, but Güero learns to cope by embracing rich family traditions. 

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Author: Ruth Behar
2018 Belpré Author Award - Winner
In 1960s New York, fifth-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast.
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Author: Pablo Cartaya
2018 Belpré Author Award - Honor

In The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, Arturo spends the summer working at his beloved Abuela’s Cuban restaurant in a Miami neighborhood. When Arturo learns of a greedy land developer’s plans to tear down the building, he enlists the help of his friends to save the restaurant. This humorous coming-of-age tale celebrates family, music and poetry, and embraces failure as a springboard to growth. 

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Author: Celia Perez
2018 Belpré Author Award - Honor

12-year-old Malú O’Neill-Morales is biracial, Latinx, and punk. Tasked with being a “señorita,”she instead follows the first rule of punk: “Be Yourself.” Malú creates zines about her inner thoughts while navigating a new school where she’s not seen as Latinx enough, starting a punk band along the way. 

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Author: Juana Medina
2017 Belpré Author Award - Winner

A spunky young girl from Colombia loves playing with her canine best friend and resists boring school activities, especially learning English, until her family tells her that a special trip is planned to an English-speaking place.

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Author: Alexandra Diaz
2017 Belpré Author Award - Honor

Twelve-year-old Jaime makes the treacherous journey from his home in Guatemala to his older brother in New Mexico after his cousin is murdered by a drug cartel.

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Author: Margarita Engle
2016 Belpré Author Award - Winner
Margarita is a girl from two worlds. Her heart lies in Cuba, her mother's tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lives in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. Words and images are her constant companions, friendly and comforting when the children at school are not.
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Author: Meg Medina
2016 Belpré Author Award - Honor
When a little girl's far-away grandmother comes to stay, love and patience transcend language in a tender story written by acclaimed author Meg Medina.
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Author: David Bowles
2016 Belpré Author Award - Honor

Carol and Johnny Garza are 12-year-old twins whose lives in a small Texas town are forever changed by their mother's unexplained disappearance. Shipped off to relatives in Mexico by their grieving father, the twins soon learn that their mother is a nagual, a shapeshifter, and that they have inherited her powers.