5 Kids Books Honoring Puerto Ricans

For Hispanic Heritage Month, we honor the courage, determination and creativity of the Puerto Rican people to reimagine and rebuild their island after Hurricane Maria by highlighting five kids books that capture their vibrant culture and rich history. 

Schomburg introduces readers to Afro-Puerto Rican scholar and collector Arturo Schomburg. Schomburg began a lifelong quest to discover the truth behind "Africa's sons and daughters," after his elementary teacher remarked that there were no African heroes or history worth noting. Working as a mailer by day, he traveled the world collecting artifacts that now reside in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of New York Public Library.

Rooted in the author's own teenage experience, Sonia Manzano, better known as Maria on Sesame Street, wrote The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, a beautiful coming-of-age story that includes actual news accounts. Evelyn is a 14-year-old Puerto Rican girl living in Spanish Harlem in 1969, a summer when the Puerto Rican Young Lords organized to bring change to their neighborhood. This is a Pura Belpre Honor book.

Part of the Who Was book series, Who Was Roberto Clemente?, pays homage to one of Puerto Rico's most beloved icons. Great for young readers, the book highlights his legendary baseball career and extraordinary philanthropic work in Latin American.

The autobiography of the first Latina Supreme Court justice, The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor, paints a lively picture of growing up with her extended Puerto Rican family and finding the determination and courage to make her dreams come true. Sotomayor shares her life story October 12 at Harold Washington Library Center at the event Turning Pages: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Marcus is a 14-year-old who measures 6 feet tall, weighs 180 pounds and protects his younger brother fiercely in Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish. When Marcus gets into a fight at school, his mother takes the family to Puerto Rico, leading Marcus on a journey to discover his roots and search for his long-lost father on the beautiful island. 

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