Best Hispanic Heritage Books For Kids of Every Age

If you’re looking for the best Hispanic Heritage books for kids you have come to the right place. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every year from September 15 to October 15 in the United States. During this time, people honor the cultures, traditions, and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. Connecting with their roots and learning more about their culture and the stories of Latinx people is specially important to Latinx kids like mine.

Best Hispanic Heritage books for kids

Whether you’re a parent looking for books to read with your kids, a teacher searching for materials to incorporate into your lesson plans, or a young reader eager to explore new stories, there are many great Hispanic heritage books for kids of every age.

Why It’s Important to Teach Children About Hispanic Heritage Month

It is crucial to teach children about Hispanic Heritage Month as it provides an opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural contributions of the Hispanic community. By acknowledging the historical, cultural, and societal contributions of Hispanic Americans, children can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diverse fabric of American society. It is essential to instill a sense of respect and inclusivity in young minds to promote a better understanding of the world around them.

For us Hispanic Heritage month is specially important and we kick it off by celebrating Guatemala’s independence. Every year we make Guatemalan crafts for 15 de septiembre and lots of other activities from watching movies like Ixcanul to helping the kids learn more about their country and Guatemala City, where they were born.

boy reading books in Spanish

Learning about Hispanic Heritage Month can help promote cultural awareness and tolerance. Children who are exposed to different cultures and perspectives at an early age are more likely to develop empathy, respect, and understanding for others. This can lead to a more cohesive and accepting society where individuals are valued for their differences rather than being judged or discriminated against. By teaching children about the contributions of Hispanic Americans, we can promote diversity a more inclusive society where  everyone is valued.

One of our favorite ways to celebrate this month is by reading books that showcase the diversity and richness of Hispanic heritage. We also love to cook traditional Guatemalan recipes. Their favorite of coarse are Guatemalan desserts and candy like canillitas de leche

The Importance of Teaching Latinx Children About Hispanic Heritage Month

As a proud Latinx mom of Latinx children, I believe it’s crucial to teach my kids about our Hispanic heritage and the significance of Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s essential for our family to celebrate our culture and honor our roots, and reading books that showcase the beauty and diversity of the Latinx community is one of the best ways to achieve that. These books help our children connect with their heritage and embrace their identity, which is critical for building their self-esteem and confidence.

Learning about Hispanic culture and heritage through literature is also an excellent way to open up conversations about our family’s history and traditions. Through these discussions, our children can gain a better understanding of their place in the world and the value of their cultural heritage. Additionally, reading books about famous Latinx figures like Celia Cruz and Sonia Sotomayor allows our children to see people who look like them achieving great things and making significant contributions to society.

girl reading bilingual Curious George book
My daughter reading a bilingual book.

Introducing our children to Hispanic heritage through literature is a way to instill pride in their identity, promote cultural understanding and appreciation, and encourage them to embrace the diversity that makes the Latinx community so vibrant and unique. It’s a vital part of our family’s legacy, and I am proud to share it with my children.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage with These Must-Read Children’s Books

From picture books for preschoolers to chapter books for middle-grade readers, there are books that celebrate Hispanic culture, history, and achievements. Some books tell stories of immigration, family, and community, while others highlight the contributions of Hispanic Americans in art, music, science, and politics. Whether you’re looking for bilingual books, stories about famous figures like Celia Cruz and Sonia Sotomayor, or books that introduce Hispanic culture to young readers, this list of the best Hispanic heritage books for kids is sure to have something for everyone.

Best Hispanic Heritage Books For Kids of Every Age

Reading books to children is an essential part of their early development, and introducing them to stories that celebrate diversity and cultural heritage is crucial. For Latinx families, sharing books about Hispanic heritage is an excellent way to instill pride in their children’s culture and provide representation in literature.

In this age group, board books and picture books are perfect for introducing little ones to different cultures and languages. These books can also help promote early literacy skills while celebrating Latinx culture. The following are some of the best Hispanic heritage books for babies and preschoolers.

Best Hispanic Heritage Books for Preschoolers (Ages 0-4):

  1. Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses” by Jen Arena – This bilingual board book features adorable illustrations and introduces babies to common Spanish words for love and affection.
  2. “Fiesta Babies” by Carmen Tafolla – Another bilingual board book, “Fiesta Babies” celebrates the joy of a fiesta, complete with dancing, singing, and tasty food.
  3. “Islandborn” by Junot Díaz – A young girl named Lola learns about her heritage and the island where she was born through the stories of her community.
  4. “Dreamers” by Yuyi Morales – A memoir of a mother and her young son who leave Mexico and immigrate to the United States.
  5. “Mango, Abuela, and Me” by Meg Medina – A heartwarming story of a young girl who learns to communicate with her grandmother, who only speaks Spanish, through the help of a pet parrot named Mango.

Best Hispanic Heritage Books for Kids Ages 5-8:

Welcome to our guide on the best Hispanic Heritage books for young elementary school children. This age group is full of curious and eager young readers who are ready to learn more about different cultures and traditions. The books on this list provide a great opportunity for children to explore Hispanic culture, language, and history through engaging stories and colorful illustrations.

Whether you are looking for bilingual books, tales of famous figures, or stories that introduce Hispanic culture to young readers, this list has got you covered. Let’s dive in and discover some of the best Hispanic Heritage books for kids aged 5-8.

  1. “The Upside Down Boy” by Juan Felipe Herrera – A memoir of the author’s childhood experiences as the son of migrant workers in California.
  2. “Salsa” by Jorge Argueta – A celebration of the joys of cooking Mexican dishes, written in both English and Spanish.
  3. “Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You” by Sonia Sotomayor – A picture book that promotes empathy and understanding of people with disabilities and differences.
  4. “Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx/La juez que creció en el Bronx” by Jonah Winter – This bilingual picture book tells the inspiring story of Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice.
  5. “Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa” by Veronica Chambers – This picture book biography introduces young readers to the life of Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa.

Best Hispanic Heritage Books for Tweens Ages 9-12:

Reading books about Hispanic Heritage is a great way to expose kids to the rich and diverse cultures of Hispanic and Latino people. Our list of the best Hispanic Heritage books for kids aged 9-12 includes a variety of genres and topics. Historical fiction books  provide a glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of Hispanic families during challenging times in history. Meanwhile, poetry books introduce kids to contemporary poetry and stories that celebrate Hispanic identity and culture.

The list also includes biographies such which tells the inspiring story of the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice in the United States. Novels are perfect for tweens who want to read fun and engaging stories that feature Hispanic characters and themes.

These books not only entertain but also educate and inspire tweens to appreciate and respect diversity. By reading about different cultures and experiences, kids can develop empathy and a deeper understanding of the world around them. So, whether you’re looking for a book to read during Hispanic Heritage Month or year-round, our list of the best Hispanic Heritage books for tweens has something for every reader. And when it comes to Latinx children these books provide representation, validation, and inspiration. These books can have a profound impact on the personal and social development of young Hispanic readers.

  1. “The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora” by Pablo Cartaya – A coming-of-age story about a young boy who discovers the importance of community and family while trying to save his family’s restaurant.
  2. “Esperanza Rising” by Pam Muñoz Ryan – This middle-grade novel tells the story of Esperanza, a young girl who must leave her privileged life in Mexico for the United States during the Great Depression.
  3. “Sofia Martinez” series by Jacqueline Jules – A chapter book series that follows the adventures of a spunky young girl and her big, lively family.
  4. “The Dreamer” by Pam Muñoz Ryan – Another middle-grade novel, “The Dreamer” is a fictionalized biography of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, celebrating creativity and the power of imagination.
  5. “The First Rule of Punk” by Celia C. Perez is a fun and empowering coming-of-age novel about a Mexican-American girl named Malú who navigates middle school, punk rock music, and her own cultural identity.

Best Hispanic Heritage Books for Teens Ages 13+:

For teens aged 13 and up, reading books that highlight the experiences, struggles, and achievements of Hispanic and Latino people can be a powerful way to learn and appreciate the richness and complexity of this community. Our list of the best Hispanic Heritage books for teens aged 13+ includes a variety of genres and styles, from memoirs to graphic novels, from historical fiction to contemporary poetry, and more. These books not only entertain but also educate and inspire teens to develop empathy, broaden their perspectives, and advocate for social justice.

These books can provide a sense of pride, identity, and validation for Latinx teens who may have felt marginalized or invisible in mainstream culture. Reading stories about characters who share their heritage, language, and experiences can help teens connect with their roots, appreciate their cultural heritage, and build a stronger sense of self-esteem and resilience. Furthermore, these books can empower Latinx teens to challenge stereotypes, celebrate their diversity, and advocate for social justice and equity in their communities. 

Whether you’re looking for a book to read during Hispanic Heritage Month or any other time of the year, our list has something for every reader.

  1. “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya – This classic novel tells the coming-of-age story of Antonio, a young Chicano boy growing up in New Mexico during World War II.
  2. “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros – This novel, told in a series of vignettes, follows the life of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago.
  3. “Before We Were Free” by Julia Alvarez – A novel set in the Dominican Republic during a time of political upheaval, following the story of a young girl whose family is involved in the resistance movement.  
  4. “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass” by Meg Medina – A novel that explores the challenges of bullying and the complexity of cultural identity through the story of a teenage girl living in Queens, New York.
  5. “Citizen Illegal” by José Olivarez – This contemporary poetry collection explores themes of identity, race, and politics through the lens of a Mexican-American writer grappling with questions of belonging, displacement, and cultural heritage in the United States.
  6. “Enrique’s Journey” by Sonia Nazario – This non-fiction book tells the story of a Honduran boy’s dangerous and difficult journey to reunite with his mother in the United States, shedding light on the human costs and complexities of immigration.
  7. “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo – This novel in verse follows a Dominican-American girl named Xiomara who discovers her love for slam poetry and grapples with conflicts between her faith, her family, and her own desires.
  8. “The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande – This memoir tells the story of a young Mexican girl who crosses the border into the United States to reunite with her parents and siblings, and the challenges and opportunities she faces as she adapts to a new life in a new country.
  9. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz – This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of a nerdy Dominican-American teenager named Oscar and his family, spanning generations and exploring themes of identity, love, and the immigrant experience.

These books offer a range of experiences and stories that celebrate Hispanic culture, introduce young readers to influential Hispanic figures, and offer bilingual options for language exposure.

Other ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Kids

Latin American Crafts for Kids to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Enjoy time together planning and creating these beautiful Hispanic Heritage Month crafts. From art inspired by the Peruvian Nasca lines to Puerto Rico’s homemade güiro musical instrument, there are lots of art projects to choose from. You and your kids will have a blast making these fun crafts to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Latina American crafts to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Free Party Printables And Cake Banner For All Central American Countries

This Guatemala Independence Day printable includes Guatemalan flags and cupcake liners and would look super cute as cupcake toppers. And if you are from Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, or Costa Rica, we have also made similar party printables for each Latin American country


Traditional Latin American Recipes To Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

You’ll love these delicious recipes from many Latin American countries! These easy recipes are a fantastic way to start conversations about Latino culture and learn more about each of these countries.

Latina American Recipes for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Best Guatemalan Traditional Recipes For Celebrating Guatemala’s Independence Day

These easy Guatemalan traditional recipes are ideal for making your 15 de Septiembre or Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. I have included some of my favorite recipes, from savory traditional Guatemalan dishes like tamales colorados, enchiladas, to Guatemala’s national dish pepián and delicious Guatemalan desserts like buñuelos, champurradas and rellenitos de platano.

Best Guatemalan Traditional Recipes

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

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