(draft) Multicultural Literature:

Books for Alaskans

Who is

ASL: Public Library Chat #14, Selecting children's literature depicting Native experiences (3/17/15)


  • Pura Belpré Award began in 1996 to acknowledge "Latino/Latina writers and illustrators representing the Latino cultural experience in literature for children and young adults" (Botelho & Rudman, 2009).
  • She was the first Latina librarian of the New York City Library.
  • Was also an author and a storyteller.
  • She enjoyed telling Puerto Rican folklore to children in the United States.
  • She was a pioneer in multicultural literature and one of the first to express the need for diversity with children's literature (Sanchez-Gonzalez, 2015).

Why should I include these books in my classroom?

  • Represent students in all Latino cultures
  • Provide authentic multicutural literature
  • Students will feel represented in the books we share with them
  • Book winners are a true representation of our students
  • Students can make connections with what they read

What Books Do I Select?

  • Vast number of books
  • Some books are for all ages
  • Some for young adults
  • Books are versitile
  • Poetry books also win awards!

Clipart: Google Images

Books Recommended for Read Aloud

Separate is Never Equal

2015 Illustrator Honor

By Duncan Tonatiuh

The story of the Mendez family going up against the Westminster school district to earn their right to attend the school closer to their home and not the "Mexican School".

Becoming Naomi Leon

2006 Author Honor

By Pam Munoz Ryan

A story about a girl from an Anglo-Mexican background, deals with daily troubles at school, questions who she is. Her mother comes back after being absent for 6 years and tries to take her away from the life she knows. She searches for her father in Mexico and finds the answers to things she always questioned.

Poetry Books

Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems

1998 Author Honor

By Francisco X. Alarcon and Maya Christina Gonzalez

Playing tribute to the children who work the fields, Alarcon does a marvelous job at humorously putting these poems about life together.

Laughing Out Loud, I Fly: Poems in English and Spanish

2000 Author Honor

By Juan Felipe Herrera

A poetry book in English and Spanish about growing up in the jumbled world of two cultures, Mexican - American.

Click on the link below for ALL Pura Belpré Award winners and honorees



Bui, Y. N., & Fagan, Y. M. (2013). The Effects of an Integrated Reading Comprehension Strategy: A Culturally Responsive Teaching Approach for Fifth-Grade Students’ Reading Comprehension. Preventing School Failure, 57(2), 59-69.

C. (2012, May 14). Pura Belpré, A Storyteller (Trailer). Retrieved February 13, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=375vw6lS4-Y

Jiménez-García, M. (2014). Pura Belpré Lights the Storyteller's Candle: Reframing the Legacy of a Legend and What it Means for the Fields of Latino/a Studies and Children's Literature. Centro Journal, 26(1), 110-147.

Morrell, E., & Morrell, J. (2012). Multicultural readings of multicultural literature and the promotion of social awareness in ELA classrooms. New England Reading Association Journal, 47(2), 10-16,81. Retrieved from https://login.ezproxy.uta.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uta.edu/docview/940889714?accountid=7117

Sanchez-Gonzalez, L. (2015). The stories I read to the children: The life and writing of pura belpre, the legendary storyteller, children's author and new york public librarian by lisa sanchez-gonzalez. Latino Studies, 13(1), 137-139. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1057/lst.2014.67