Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
First Let me start with the why…
Each year in the United States, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. The reason for this is to celebrate the contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean , Central America , and South America.. The Hispanic Heritage observance began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation.”
Ideally, every day, we are celebrating our identities and our cultures. I believe that Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month began with great intentions. However, it’s up to us to RETHINK this celebration and extend it to a year long discovery and celebration of history, culture and language. Celebrating our identities should NOT be framed as a once a year event but only as the beginning of a long conversation of who we are, what we believe, and what we represent.
So, as I put this list of books together for Hispanic Heritage Month, I invite parents, families and teachers to make sure that we celebrate ALL year long. And I believe these books do a wonderful job representing our diverse cultures and it can be the used as a bridge to deeper conversations on values and beliefs.
Happy reading and happy year long celebration!
Alma y Como Obtuvo Su Nombre por Juana Martinez-Neal (also available in English)
Soñadores por Yuyi Morales (also available in English)
La Frontera: El Viaje con Papa /My Journey with Papa by Deborah Mills
Mango, Abuela y Yo by Meg Medina
Me Llamo Maria Isabel por Alma Flor Ada (also available in English)
Pasando Páginas: La Historia de mi Vida por Sonia Sotomayor (also available in English)
My Name is Celia/Me Llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz by Monica Brown
Pio, Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes by Alma Flor Ada
Con Cariño, Amalia por Alma Flor Ada
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
In My Family/ En mi Famlia by Carmen Lomas Garza
Family Pictures, Cuadros de Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza
The Upside Down Boy/ El Niño de Cabeza by Juan Felipe Herrera
My Very Own Room/Mi Propio Cuarto by Amada Irma Perez
What Can You Do With a Rebozo?/Que puedes hacer con el rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla
My Diary From Here to There/ Mi Diario de Aqui a Alla by Amada Irma Perez
Growing up with Tamales/Los Tamales de Ana by Gwendolyn Zepeda