Sampler of Latino Children's and YA Authors and Illustrators
We hope you'll join us in sharing bookjoy and helping to promote the family literacy initiative El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children's Day, Book Day. Support the culminating celebrations of a year of linking all children to books, languages, and cultures on or about April 30. Consider inviting these authors and illustrators to participate in your annual Día celebrations. Click here for a Día Planning Booklet.
For more complete information on Latino writers, please consult the section "Resources for Serving Latino Children and Families" on this website. Below is but a sampling of the Latina and Latino authors and illustrators who create books for children and young adults in this country. If an author or illustrator has a website, his or her name has a direct link. Winners of the Pura Belpré Award, both Medal and Honors are included in the Sampler as well as winners of the Américas Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature (Award and Honorable Mentions) and the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award.
If you have a suggestions for the list, please email us.
Alma Flor Ada
Young Adult Authors
Mayra Lazara Dole
Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Matt de la Peña
René Saldaña, Jr.
Lila Quintero Weaver
Teens will also enjoy books by authors for adults such as Marjorie Agosín, Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ana Castillo, Denise Chávez, Sandra Cisneros, Rosario Ferré, Cristina Garcia, Ray González, Oscar Hijuelos, Alberto Rios, Esmeralda Santiago, Helena María Viramontes and poets including Lorna Dee Cervantes, Martín Espada and Virgil Suárez among others.
- The U.S. Latino population is highly diverse in race, religion and country of origin among other characteristics. This national community has strong loyalty to the Spanish language, to the preservation of culture, and to family which includes respect for the elderly and the nurturing of children.
- Many Latinas and Latinos feel a strong debt to the indigenous writers of the Americas, past and present, and to writers who published in Spanish in Spain and the Americas such as Pablo Neruda, Federico Garcia Lorca, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and Gabriela Mistral.
Statistics Worth Pondering
- One in four children born in the U.S. is Latino.
- One in four of our school-age children comes from a home in which a language other than English is spoken (Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Hmong, Russian, Arabic, Navajo, etc.) Virtually all of the world’s languages are spoken in our multicultural country.
- From a demographic though not power perspective, the terms majority and minority are becoming obsolete. Latinos comprise about 14% of the population—and growing, and 16% of the U.S. population under eighteen years of age.
- Latinos are the largest “minority.” More than 60% of Latinos are of Mexican descent. Spanish is spoken in homes whose country of origin may also be Puerto Rico, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, etc. Do our libraries, book stores, schools, and conferences, reflect these statistics?
- Latinos are younger than the U.S. population as a whole.
- Only about 2% of the 5,000 children’s books published in the U.S. annually are by or about Latinos, a sad statistic that doesn't change as the statistics above do. How can you help change this fact?