Skip to main content

Pura Belpre Award Winners


The Pura Belpre Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.






Medina, Juana
J MEDIN

A spunky young girl from Colombia loves playing with her canine best friend and resists boring school activities, especially learning English, until her family tells her that a special trip is planned to an English-speaking place.
Camper, Cathy
J COMICS GRAPHICS LOWRI, V.2

"Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria are living the dream--they are the proud owners of their very own garage. But when their beloved cat, Genie, goes missing, they must embark on a wild road trip through a mysterious corn maze, into the center of the earth, and down to the realm of Mictlantecuhtli. Mic's the Aztec god of the Underworld, but even worse: he's a catnapper! Now it's three clever compadres against one angry, all-powerful god. How will the Lowriders ever save their cat--or themselves?" -- Provided by publisher.
Engle, Margarita
J811.54 ENGLE

"In this ... memoir, Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War"--Amazon.com.
Engle, Margarita
JE ENGLE

Follows a young Cuban girl in the 1930s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there's never been a female drummer in Cuba. Includes note about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who inspired the story, and Anacaona, the all-girl dance band she formed with her sisters.
Agosin, Majorie
J AGOSI

When her beloved country, Chile, is taken over by a militaristic, sadistic government, Celeste is sent to America for her safety and her parents must go into hiding before they "disappear."
Morales, Yuyi
S JB K121MO

â??Viva Fridaâ? uses rich, vibrant color photographs and minimal evocative text to beautifully portray the unique imagination and creativity of an iconic Latina artist.
Medina, Meg
YA FICTION MEDIN

A Latina teen is targeted by a bully at her new school -- and must discover resources she never knew she had.
Morales, Yuyi
JE MORAL

Lucha Libre champion Nino has no trouble fending off monstrous opponents, but when his little sisters awaken from their naps, he is in for a no-holds-barred wrestling match that will truly test his skills.
Saenz, Benjamin Alire
YA FICTION SAENZ

Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.
Schmidt, Gary D.
JB M365SC

The story of Saint Martin de Porres--an endearing tale of perseverance, faith, and triumph over racial and economic prejudice.
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia
YA FICTION MCCALL

Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry.
Ryan, Pam Munoz
J RYAN

A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.
Velasquez, Eric
JE VELAS

The author describes Christmas at his grandmother's apartment in Spanish Harlem the year she introduced him to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Diego Velazquez's portrait of Juan de Pareja, which has had a profound and lasting effect on him.
Alvarez, Julia
J ALVAR

After his family hires migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure, eleven-year-old Tyler befriends the oldest daughter, but when he discovers they may not be in the country legally, he realizes that real friendship knows no borders.
Mora, Pat
S JE MORA

Children read aloud in various settings to celebrate of El dia de los ninos, or Children's Day, in this bilingual story. Includes facts about Mexico's annual celebration of children (April 30) and the book fiestas that are often included.
Engle, Margarita
J811.54 ENGLE

Cuba has fought three wars for independence, and still she is not free. This history in verse creates a lyrical portrait of Cuba.
Morales, Yuyi
JE MORAL

As Senor Calavera prepares for Grandma Beetle's birthday he finds an alphabetical assortment of unusual presents, but with the help of Zelmiro the Ghost, he finds the best gift of all.
Engle, Margarita
J811.54 ENGLE

Juan Francisco Manzano was born in 1797 into the household of wealthy slaveowners in Cuba. He spent his early years at the side of his owner's wife, entertaining her friends. His poetry was his outlet, reflecting the beauty and cruelty of his world. Written in verse.
Montes, Marisa
JE MONTE

Easy to read, rhyming text about Halloween night incorporates Spanish words, from las brujas riding their broomsticks to los monstruos whose monstrous ball is interrupted by a true horror.
Canales, Viola
J CANAL

Sofia grows up in the close-knit community of the barrio in McAllen, Texas, then finds that her experiences as a scholarship student at an Episcopal boarding school in Austin only strengthen her ties to family and her "comadres."
Mora, Pat
JE MORA

Dona Flor, a giant lady with a big heart, sets off to protect her neighbors from what they think is a dangerous animal, but soon discovers the tiny secret behind the huge noise.
Morales, Yuyi
J398.20972 MORAL

In this version of a traditional tale, Senor Calavera arrives at Grandma Beetle's door, ready to take her to the next life, but after helping her count, in English and Spanish, as she makes her birthday preparations, he changes his mind.
Alvarez, Julia
YA FICTION ALVAR

In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo.
Ryan, Pam Munoz
J RYAN

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
Soto, Gary
JE SOTO

Chato decides to throw a "pachanga" for his friend Novio Boy, who has never had a birthday party.
Lomas Garza, Carmen
S J306.85 LOMAS

In Spanish and English, Carmen Lomas Garza portrays her family's Mexican customs through cut-paper work.
Ada, Alma Flor
J ADA

The author recalls her life and impressions growing up in Cuba.
Soto, Gary
JE SOTO

Maya, the flower girl, describes a Mexican American wedding through snapshots of the day's events, beginning with the procession to the altar and ending with her sleeping after the dance.
Martinez, Victor
J PAPERBK MARTI

Manny relates his coming of age experiences as a member of a poor Mexican American family in which the alcoholic father only adds to everyone's struggle.
Soto, Gary
JE SOTO

To get the "ratoncitos," little mice, who have moved into the barrio to come to his house, Chato the cat prepares all kinds of good food: fajitas, frijoles, salsa, enchiladas, and more.
Cofer, Judith Ortiz
J PAPERBK ORTIZ

Twelve stories about young people caught between their Puerto Rican heritage and their American surroundings.