Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Summer Reading List 2019 for Elementary Spanish Students & Heritage Speakers

SUMMER IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, and as per my yearly tradition, I've gathered a list of book recommendations for STUDENTS IN ELEMENTARY SPANISH as good reads while they are on vacation. My hope is to keep those connections to culture and language alive over the months we are apart, and of course, at the same time, encourage kids to read some FANTASTIC books! This year I'm including books available not just in English but also in Spanish for our heritage speakers.

Summer Reading List 2019 for Spanish Students in Elementary School

To see my past Summer Reading Lists visit:
2015 Summer Reading List
2017 Summer Reading List
2018 Summer Reading List


*DREAMERS by Yuyi Morales- This is such a touching, memorable story of coming to the United States from México! Not only is the story beautiful, but so are the illustrations- I highly recommend this book. Also available in Spanish: Soñadores

*THE DAY YOU BEGIN by Jacqueline Woodson- a lovely story about celebrating who you are as a unique being! Also available in Spanish: El día en que descubres quién eres.

*ZOMBIES DON'T EAT VEGGIES by Jorge Lacera and Megan Lacera- this is the debut book of Colombian author and his wife, Jorge and Megan Lacera, and features traditional foods in a witty, fun story, sure to be enjoyed by kids! Available in Spanish: ¡Los zombis no comen verduras!

*PLANTING STORIES, the Life of Storyteller and Librarian Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise is the biography of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City, and namesake of the prestigious Pura Belpré Book Award. On my own reading list this summer! Available in Spanish: Sembrando historias.

*YO SOY MUSLIM by Mark Gonzales is on my reading list this year-I'm excited to see a book exploring cross-heritages, highlighting the complexities of identity and celebrating ones roots.


*SARAI AND THE MEANING OF AWESOME by Sarai Gonzalez (of Soy yo fame) and Monica Brown. Both inspirational and fun, this short book is perfect for upper elementary reading! Available in Spanish: Sarai y el significado de lo genial. NOTE: This is the first in a series featuring Sarai, be sure to check out all the titles!

*SOFIA MARTINEZ, Every day is Exciting by Jacqueline Jules- I LOVE this book for early emergent chapter book readers (say, around 2nd grade or so)- Sofia Martinez is getting ready for her friend's quinceañera, with mishaps galore before she finally makes it to the party. Cute and accessible! Part of a series, these are awesome books for young readers :) All books in the series are also available in Spanish.

CHAPTER BOOKS for Upper Elementary and Middle School

*THE FIRST RULE OF PUNK by Celia C Pérez is AWESOME! I loved this book so much, really fresh, relatable for kids of all backgrounds, but most especially for kids who have a mixed heritage and are struggling to figure out their identity. A Pura Belpré Honor Book. PSSST: Celia let me know via Twitter that this book will be available in Spanish this fall- ¡yupiiii!

*MARCUS VEGA DOESN'T SPEAK SPANISH by Pablo Cartaya is another book exploring one's identity in light of your heritage- I adored this book, and think ALL kids can connect with Marcus' story.

*MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS by Meg Medina won the 2019 Newberry Medal, and is on my reading list for summer. Featuring Merci Suárez, a 6th grader trying to make her way in a new school, this sounds great-I'll report back after I've read it!

*LUCKY BROKEN GIRL by Ruth Behar won the Pura Belpré Award and tells the story of a Cuban-Jewish immigrant to NYC, whose journey to belong is jeopardized by a tragic accident which leaves her bed ridden for an extended period of time. Set in the 1960s, this is another on my list TO READ!

Finally, last year I had on my list Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring, by Angela Cervantes which I LOVE LOVE LOVE and is now available in Spanish: Frida, el misterio del anillo del pavo real, y yo. A great read for heritage speakers!

Happy reading!

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