Established in 1996, the Pura Belpré Award is named after a pioneer in Latino librarianship. Pura Belpré revolutionized the role of Latinos and people of color in the library field and empowered the Puerto Rican community through her work. Pura Belpré Award-winning titles are highly recommended for use by librarians, educators and parents, and so it is our pleasure to feature this year’s winning and honor books. A teaching guide and an online video about Pura Belpré are available through Hunter College’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies at https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/research-education/education/pura-belpr%C3%A9-documentary-teaching-guide
“JUANA & LUCAS”
by Juana Medina
illustrated by Juana Medina
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Juana loves many things—drawing; eating Brussels sprouts; living in Bogotá, Colombia; and especially her dog, Lucas, the best amigo ever. She does not love wearing her itchy school uniform, solving math problems or going to dance class. And she especially does not love learning the English. Why is it so important to learn a language that makes so little sense? But when Juana’s abuelos tell her about a special trip they are planning—one that Juana will need to speak English to go on—Juana begins to wonder whether learning English might be a good use of her time after all.
“LOWRIDERS TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH”
by Cathy Camper
illustrated by Raúl Gonzalez
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack and Elirio Malaria are living the dream—they are the proud owners of their very own garage. Lupe is a master mechanic, Flappy is a dynamo of a car washer and Elirio is a skilled detailer. 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 is the Aztec god of the Underworld, but even worse: he’s the catnapper who took Genie! Now it’s three clever compadres against one angry, all-powerful god.
“THE ONLY ROAD”
by Alexandra Diaz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
The train heading to Cuidad Juárez came later that afternoon. Jaime shifted his weight from one foot to the other as he crouched near the tracks. He’d never gotten on a moving train before or any moving vehicle. Scenarios filled his head. The worse: he could trip and get swallowed by the train. He could trip and have the train bite off his arms or legs. He could trip and get left behind. They weren’t just horror stories. They were events that happened to real people. But he and his cousin, Ángela, had no choice—not after a gang threatened their family.
“ESQUIVEL! SPACE-AGE SOUND ARTIST”
by Susan Wood
illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
This biographical picture book tells the story of Juan García Esquivel. As a child growing up in Tampico, Mexico, Juan was surrounded with music and loved playing the piano. When his family moved to Mexico City, Juan got his first job in the music industry at age 15, playing for 15 minutes a day at a radio station for two pesos a show. Determined to develop his skills but with no music teachers, classes or schools to help him, Juan focused on sounds rather than notes and became a self-taught musician who would go on to become a pioneer in the industry.
“THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR: A TALE OF TWO VOLCANOES”
by Duncan Tonatiuh
illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Izta was the most beautiful princess in the land; suitors traveled from far and wide to woo her. Even though she was the emperor’s daughter, Izta had no desire to marry a man of wealth and power. Instead, she fell in love with Popoca, a brave warrior who did not offer her riches but a promise to stay by her side forever. The emperor did not want his daughter to marry a mere warrior, but he recognized Popoca’s bravery. He offered Popoca a deal: if the warrior could defeat their enemy, Jaguar Claw, then he would permit Popoca and Izta to wed.
“THE FINANCIAL AID HANDBOOK: GETTING THE EDUCATION YOU WANT FOR THE PRICE YOU CAN AFFORD”
by Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik
Publisher: Career Press
In today’s tough economy, a college degree is more important—and more expensive—than ever before. “The Financial Aid Handbook” is a one-stop guide to the college selection and payment process, covering everything from basic timelines and tuition costs to predicting your scholarship award and taking ownership of student debt after graduation. Families and students will appreciate the hundreds of tips to maximize the financial aid, including a guide to federal, state and private student loans. It also goes into the seven biggest myths about paying for college, as well as information on how to find real, four-year scholarships and land them.
“THE COLLEGE SOLUTION: A GUIDE FOR EVERYONE LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT SCHOOL AT THE RIGHT PRICE (2ND EDITION)”
by Lynn O’Shaughnessy
Publisher: FT Press
Billions of dollars are available to pay for college, but not everybody gets their share. The second edition of this bestseller, which contains approximately 90 percent new material, is aimed at helping parents and teenagers become empowered consumers as they navigate through the college process. It provides advice on topics including financial aid, merit scholarships, athletic scholarships, admission hooks, the important differences between colleges and universities, college rankings, the best student loans and the latest online tools to evaluate the generosity of schools. O’Shaughnessy presents an easy-to-use, proven road map for getting past the ratings and finding the right schools at the right price.
“RIGHT COLLEGE, RIGHT PRICE: THE NEW SYSTEM FOR DISCOVERING THE BEST COLLEGE FIT AT THE BEST PRICE PAPERBACK”
by Frank Palmasani
Going to a great college shouldn’t mean a lifetime of debt, but for many families today, it does. “Right College, Right Price” offers readers and their families a method of how to find out what a college will really cost (not the tuition sticker price), how to factor cost into searching for college, how to maximize their benefits and everything else needed to get accepted at an affordable price. This method called Financial FitTM helps readers understand the financial aid process and also analyze their financial circumstances, so they can choose the right college for their individual needs while avoiding excessive debt.
“PAY FOR COLLEGE WITHOUT SACRIFICING YOUR RETIREMENT: A GUIDE TO YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE”
by Tim Higgins
Publisher: Bay Tree Publishing
For most families, paying for college is one of the largest expenses they will ever have and can greatly impact retirement planning. This book looks at how to meet those costs within the context of an entire financial plan that considers income level, age, investments, retirement accounts and business holdings, as well as the student’s level of achievement, skills and expectations. It explores: financial aid and how to figure expected family contributions; academic, athletic and need-based scholarships; tax sheltered savings plans; the use of business assets; loans; home equity; retirement savings; potential help from grandparents; and how to choose the best college.