Belpre 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: 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.

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Author: Marjorie Agosin
2015 Belpre Author Award - Winner

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.

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Author: Juan Felipe Herrera
2015 Belpre Author Award - Honor

Twenty Hispanic American artists, scientists, athletes, activists and political leaders are profiled...complete with inspirational quotes and distinctive expressionist portraits

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Author: Meg Medina
2014 Belpre Author Award - Winner

In the compelling new novel by the author of The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, a Latina teen is targeted by a bully at her new school and must discover resources she never knew she had.

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Author: Duncan Tonatiuh
2014 Belpre Author Award - Honor

When Papa Rabbit does not return home as expected from many seasons of working in the great carrot and lettuce fields of El Norte, his son Pancho sets out on a dangerous trek to find him, guided by a coyote. Includes author's note.

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Author: Margarita Engle
2014 Belpre Author Award - Honor

In free verse, evokes the voice of Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, a book-loving writer, feminist, and abolitionist who courageously fought injustice in nineteenth-century Cuba. Includes historical notes, excerpts from her writings, biographical information, and source notes.

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Author: Matt de la Pena
2014 Belpre Author Award - Honor

After an earthquake destroys California and a tsunami wrecks the luxury cruise ship where he is a summer employee, high schooler Shy confronts another deadly surprise.

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Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
2013 Belpre Author Award - Winner

Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.