Luci was born without a shadow. Mamá says no one notices. But Luci does. And sometimes others do too. Sometimes they stare, sometimes they tease Luci, and sometimes they make her cry. But when Luci learns to look at what makes her different as a strength, she realizes she has more power than she ever thought. And that her differences can even be a superpower.
Young Julia struggles with the steps to the Afro-Puerto Rican dance known as bomba, but when she stops trying so hard and listens and feels the beat of the drums, she is able to relax, enjoy herself, and do the steps perfectly.
After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus’s mother takes him and his younger brother, who has Down syndrome, to Puerto Rico to visit relatives they do not remember or have never met, and while there Marcus starts searching for his father, who left their family ten years ago and is somewhere on the island.
This book has been included in WOW’s Language and Learning: Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Booklist. For our current list, visit our Booklist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.
Eleven-year-old Ada De Jesús was on the cusp of her teens when she moved to the United States from Puerto Rico. Hurricane Hugo had just decimated the island and her father couldn’t find a job. In Chicago, the white dress she arrived in didn’t protect her from the snow and frigid temperatures! Constantly exposed to new things, she developed a resilience that served her well. “From one place to another, like riding a bike, if you keep pedaling, you won’t fall.” Ada discovered that students in the United States were frequently disrespectful to their teachers. At school she often felt like a two-year-old as she grappled with a completely new language. In addition to navigating a different culture, she had to deal with all the issues familiar to teenage girls: the growth of body hair, pimples, menstruation and burgeoning feelings for the opposite sex. Her memories of first intimate encounters, fending off unwanted advances and fear of pregnancy will strike a chord with readers. In these short vignettes recollecting her middle-school years, Ada De Jesús shares her poignant and often funny experiences as a newcomer and an adolescent. Young readers will relate to—and laugh at—her experiences; some may take heart that they too will overcome the difficulties common at this age.
Set in New Jersey in 1984, Beatriz’s story is a timeless one of a teenager’s navigation of romance, her brother’s choices, and her own family’s difficult past. A companion novel to the much-lauded Like Vanessa.
Carlitos lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. Life in his hometown is cozy as can be, but the call of the capital city pulls Carlitos across the bay in search of his father. Jolly piragueros, mischievous cats, and costumed musicians color this tale of love, family, and the true meaning of home.
Eleven-year-old Carolina moves with her family from Puerto Rico to upstate New York, where she attends Silver Meadows camp with her cousin, finds an abandoned cottage, and reclaims parts of the life she left in Puerto Rico.
Ranging from Puerto Rico to Cuba and the United States, this engaging novel for teens follows historical figures that were instrumental in the fight for self-determination in Puerto Rico. Addressing issues that remain relevant today racism, women’s rights and Puerto Rico’s status. The Season of Rebels and Roses also sheds light on women’s involvement in their nation’s liberation and their own.
In this wordless picture book, a boy who is confined to his room fills his sketch pad with lions and elephants, then imagines himself on a safari.
The day before Christmas, everyone in Jose’s neighborhood seems grumpy, including his mother who is homesick for Puerto Rico, but when he and his parents return from the pizzeria where they borrowed an oven to cook their roast, the heavenly aroma reminds those they pass of all they have to celebrate.