Latino Children’s Titles…for GIRLS

20 Books for Latina Girls

Do you know a smart, creative, kind, thoughtful, inventive, and/or driven young girl? Then here is a list you shouldn’t miss! Enjoy our 20 books for Latina girls.

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Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina
by Monica Brown
Marisol McDonald has flaming red hair and nut-brown skin. Polka dots and stripes are her favorite combination. She prefers peanut butter and jelly burritos in her lunch box. And don t even think of asking her to choose one or the other activity at recess—she ll just be a soccer playing pirate princess, thank you very much. To Marisol McDonald, these seemingly mismatched things make perfect sense together.

Good Night, Captain Mama
By Graciela Tiscareno-Sato
A little boy named Marco is walking to his bedroom in pajamas carrying his stuffed puppy dog when he notices his mommy in an olive-green military flight suit. His curiosity about the colorful patches on her uniform evolves into a sweet, reassuring bedtime conversation between a military mother and her child about why she serves and what she does in the unusual KC-135R aerial refueling airplane. He drifts off to sleep with thoughts of his mommy in the airplane and the special surprise she gave him stuck to his fleece pajamas.

My Very Own Room/Mi propio cuartito 
By Amada Irma Perez
The young Mexican American girl at the center of this charming book loves her family — five younger brothers, her two parents, and several visiting relatives — but in such a crowded house, she can never seem to find a moment alone. Told in both English and Spanish, this boldly illustrated title delivers the inspiring story of a California family that pulled together to give a young girl her own corner of the world. Imparting lessons about collective problem solving, the unshakable bonds of familial love, and the possibilities that arise when you dream big, this book is one for every child’s shelf.

Milagros: Girl from Away
By Meg Medina
Milagros de le Torre hasn’t had an easy life: ever since her father sailed away with pirates she’s been teased at school, and her family struggles to make ends meet. Still, Milagros loves her small island in the Caribbean, and she finds comfort in those who recognize her special gifts. But everything changes when marauders destroy Milagros’s island and with it, most of the inhabitants. Milagros manages to escape in a rowboat where she drifts out to sea with no direction, save for the mysterious manta rays that guide her to land. In stunning prose, Pura Belpré award-winning author Meg Medina creates a fantastical world in which a young girl uncovers the true meaning of family, the significance of identity, and, most important, the power of a mother’s love.

The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba
By Margarita Engle
The freedom to roam is something that women and girls in Cuba do not have. Yet when Fredrika Bremer visits from Sweden in 1851 to learn about the people of this magical island, she is accompanied by Cecilia, a young slave who longs for her lost home in Africa. Soon Elena, the wealthy daughter of the house, sneaks out to join them. As the three women explore the lush countryside, they form a bond that breaks the barriers of language and culture.

Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart
By Pat Mora
Doña Flor is a giant lady who lives in a tiny village in the American Southwest. Popular with her neighbors, she lets the children use her flowers as trumpets and her leftover tortillas as rafts. Flor loves to read, too, and she can often be found reading aloud to the children. One day, all the villagers hear a terrifying noise: it sounds like a huge animal bellowing just outside their village. Everyone is afraid, but not Flor. She wants to protect her beloved neighbors, so with the help of her animal friends, she sets off for the highest mesa to find the creature.

Becoming Naomi Leon
By Pam Munoz Ryan
Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw has had a lot to contend with in her young life, her name for one. Then there are her clothes (sewn in polyester by Gram), her difficulty speaking up, and her status at school as “nobody special.”

But according to Gram, most problems can be overcome with positive thinking. And with Gram and her little brother, Owen, Naomi’s life at Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho in California is happy and peaceful…until their mother reappears after seven years of being gone, stirring up all sorts of questions and challenging Naomi to discover and proclaim who she really is.

My Name is Celia/Me llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/la vida de Celia Cruz
By Monica Brown
This bilingual book allows young readers to enter Celia Cruz’s life as she becomes a well-known singer in her homeland of Cuba, then moves to New York City and Miami where she and others create a new type of music called salsa.

Esperanza Rising
By Pam Munoz Ryan
Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

Adelita
By Tomie dePaola
Hace mucho tiempo- a long time ago – there lived a beautiful young woman named Adelita. So begins the age-old tale of a kind-hearted young woman, her jealous stepmother, two hateful stepsisters, and a young man in search of a wife. The young man, Javier, falls madly in love with beautiful Adelita, but she disappears from his fiesta at midnight, leaving him with only one clue to her hidden identity?a beautiful rebozo? shawl. With the rebozo in place of a glass slipper, this favorite fairy tale takes a delightful twist.

My Name Is Maria Isabel
By Alma Flor Ada
For María Isabel Salazar López, the hardest thing about being the new girl in school is that the teacher doesn’t call her by her real name. “We already have two Marías in this class,” says her teacher. “Why don’t we call you Mary instead?”

But María Isabel has been named for her Papá’s mother and for Chabela, her beloved Puerto Rican grandmother. Can she find a way to make her teacher see that if she loses her name, she’s lost the most important part of herself?

Under the Lemon Moon
by Edith Hope Fine
One evening, young Rosalinda discovers that someone is stealing the lemons from her lemon tree. Outraged, she becomes determined to find out the culprit. But when she does, she is faced with a moral dilemma. What should she do?

Elena’s Serenade
By Campbell Geeslin
In Mexico, where the sun is called el sol and the moon is calledla luna, a little girl called Elena wants to blow into a long pipe…and make bottles appear, like magic.

But girls can’t be glassblowers. Or can they?

Frida
By Jonah Winter
Over and over again, Frida Kahlo turned the challenges of her life into art. Now Jonah Winter and Ana Juan have drawn on both the art and the life to create a playful, insightful tribute to one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists. ¡Viva Frida!

Fiesta Feminina: Celebrating Women in Mexican Folktale
By Mary-Joan Gerson
Drawing from Mexico’s rich cultural heritage, this book celebrates the courage and resilience of the feminine spirit through the stories of seven extraordinary Mexican women.

Super Cilantro Girl/La Superniña del Cilantro
By Juan Felipe Herrera
What happens when a small girl suddenly starts turning green, as green as a cilantro leaf, and grows to be fifty feet tall? She becomes Super Cilantro Girl, and can overcome all obstacles, that’s what! Esmeralda Sinfronteras is the winning super-hero in this effervescent tale about a child who flies huge distances and scales tall walls in order to rescue her mom.

Magda’s Pinata Magic / Magda y la Pinata Magica
By Becky Chavarria-Chairez
With the help of her abuela’s resourceful little cat, Tita, Magda works some midnight magic and engineers an ingenious solution to save the party and the piñata.

La mujer que brillaba aún más que el sol / The Woman Who Outshone the Sun
By Alejandro Cruz Martinez
A lively tale that retells the Zapotec legend of Lucia Zenteno, a beautiful woman with magical powers who is exiled from a mountain village and takes its water away in punishment.

My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral/la vida de Gabriela Mistral
By Monica Brown
Gabriela Mistral loved words and sounds and stories. Born in Chile, she would grow to become the first Nobel Prize-winning Latina woman in the world.

A Library for Juana: The World of Sor Juana Ines
By Pat Mora
Though she died in 1695, Sor Juana Inés is still considered one of the most brilliant writers in Mexico’s history: her poetry is recited by schoolchildren throughout Mexico and is studied at schools and universities around the world. Here is the story of her life, an incredible one full of knowledge, achievement, and inspiration, lovingly told by the renowned children’s book author Pat Mora and gorgeously illustrated by Beatriz Vidal.

Video of the Week: Carmen Tafolla Reads What Can You Do with a Paleta?

Video-of-Week-Summer

*This post contains affiliates links.

This week’s DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is SUMMER/VERANO, and one of the books recommended in this camp is Carmen Tafolla‘s What Can You Do with a Paleta? (affiliate link). We thought it would be great to share with you this video of Dr. Tafolla reading her book aloud. So grab your nene and enjoy learning all about what you can do with a paleta!