The 9 Books by Hispanic Authors to Win 2016 ALA Awards

The 2016 Hispanic ALA Award Winners

What an incredible week! Yesterday at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, something amazing happened. Eight Hispanic authors or illustrators won or were recognized by no less than seven different awards, most of whom have not traditionally recognized the works of Hispanic authors or illustrators. It was an emotional moment celebrated by Latino authors, illustrators, publishers, agents, librarians, literary/diversity activists, and readers everywhere.

The most jaw-dropping moment occurred when Matt de la Peña received the John Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award in the realm of children’s literature. His beautifully written book “Last Stop on Market Street” isn’t about the Latino experience, but rather about the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild, and how growing up poor gives us a unique opportunity to perceive the beauty in our surroundings. It is certainly worthy of the Newbery Medal.

In addition, well-known author Pam Muñoz Ryan was also recognized by the Newbery Medal committee. Her latest book “Echo” was named a Newbery Honor Book. Until yesterday, Margarita Engle’s verse novel “The Surrender Tree” was the only Newbery Honor-winning book by a Latino author. And NO Hispanic authors had ever received the coveted Newbery Medal.

Several other authors and illustrators were recognized by other awards (see image above), including the beloved Pura Belpré Award.

If you’d like to check out these wonderful books and read others by these talented authors and illustrators, you can purchase them below using our Amazon affiliate links.

Last Stop on Market Street
Newbery Medal Winner &
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book
Last Stop on Market Street
written by Matt de la Peña
illustrated by Christian Robinson

Newbery Honor Book &
Odyssey Honor Recording
written by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Funny Bones
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award &
Belpré Illustrator Honor Book
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Out of Darkness
Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award
Out of Darkness
by Ashley Hope Pérez

Alex Award
Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League
by Dan-el Padilla Peralta

Enchanted Air
Belpré Author Award &

YASLA finalist
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
written by Margarita Engle

Drum Dream Girl
Pura Belpré Illustrator Award
Drum Dream Girl
illustrated by Rafael López
written by Margarita Engle

My Tata’s Remedies
Belpré Illustrator Honor Book
My Tata’s Remedies / Los remedios de mi tata
illustrated by Antonio Castro L.
written by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

Mango, Abuela, and Me
Belpré Author & Illustrator Honor Book
Mango, Abuela, and Me
written by Meg Medina
illustrated by Angela Dominguez

The Smoking Mirror
Belpré Illustrator Honor Book
The Smoking Mirror
written by David Bowles


  1. says

    My name is Ed Greene; I’m working with the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network ( and we are involved in a brand partnership with Highlights for Kids and their newest publication High Five Bilingüe. We would like the opportunity to see how we might collaborate. HITN is also completing a series on Alma Flor Ada that we hope to make available as part of a video and book project. We’ll look forward to learning more about Latinas for Latino Lit. Thanks, Ed

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