Book List

Co-facilitators select either three picture books or two picture books and one novel from each of the following themes:

All books are provided in English and Spanish.

For a list of books available in alternative formats (talking books and Braille), click here.

Courage: Picture Books

La Mariposa by Francisco Jiménez, illustrated by Simón Silva. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
(Reading level: Ages 4-8, 40 pages)

Starting first grade without speaking or understanding English, Francisco faces long days of confusion and misunderstandings. But slowly, change begins.

My Diary from Here to There / Mi diario desde aquí hasta allá by Amada Irma Pérez, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 2002. (Reading level: Ages 9-12, 32 pages)

A young girl describes her feelings when her father decides to leave their home in Mexico to look for work in the United States.

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. NY: Philomel Books, 1998. (Reading level: Ages 4-8, 40 pages)

Español: Gracias, Sr. Falker

Trisha can paint and draw beautifully, but when she looks at words on a page, all she can see is jumble. It takes a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha's dyslexia.

The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter. NY: Harcourt, 2004. (Reading level: Ages 9-12, 32 pages)

Español: La bibliotecaria de Basora

Alia Muhammed Baker is the librarian in Basra, Iraq.  When war comes, she fears that the library will be destroyed forever. 


Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig. NY: Aladdin, 1987. (Reading level: Ages 4-8, 32 pages)

Español: Silvestre y la piedrecita mágica

When Sylvester finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true, he is frightened into making a wish that brings disastrous results.

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Courage: Novel

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2000. (Reading level: 9-12, 288 pages)

Español: Gracias a Winn-Dixie

Along with her smiling dog, Winn-Dixie, 10-year-old Opal makes friends in her new town.  Eventually she develops the courage to confront her past.

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Freedom: Picture Books

The Storyteller’s Candle / La Velita de los Cuentos by Lucía M. González, illustrated by Lulu Delacre. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 2008. (Reading level: Ages 4-8, 40 pages)

As Three Kings' Day approaches, Hildamar and Santiago mourn the loss of their sunny home in Puerto Rico and wonder about their future in New York. But when a storyteller and librarian named Pura Belpré arrives in their classroom, the children begin to understand just what a library can mean to a community.

Harvesting Hope by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Yuyi Morales. NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. (Reading level: Ages 4-8, 48 pages)

Español: Cosechando esperanza

A biography of Cesar Chavez, from age ten when he and his family lived happily on their Arizona ranch, to age thirty-eight when he led a peaceful protest against California migrant workers' miserable working conditions.

Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee. NY: Lee & Low, 1993. (Reading level: Ages 4-8, 32 pages)

Español: El béisbol nos salvó

A Japanese-American boy describes his life in an internment camp and the baseball diamond that embodies freedom and respect when he returns home and continues his baseball career.

Smoky Night by Eve Bunting, illustrated by David Diaz. San Diego, CA: Voyager Books, 1994. (Reading level: Ages 4-8, 36 pages)

Español: Noche de humo

When riots break out in the streets of their neighborhood, a young boy and his mother learn the value of getting along with others, no matter what their background or nationality.

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Freedom: Novel

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan. NY: Scholastic, 2000. (Reading level: Ages 9-12, 266 pages)

Español: Esperanza renace

Fleeing Mexico, Esperanza and her family must make a new life in California as migrant workers.