Sleeping With The Light On

Davico lives with his family above La Casita – the Little House – in Guatemala City in the early 1950s. But it’s not just a little house. It’s also the family restaurant!
The restaurant provides plenty of distraction and adventure for Davico and his older brother, Felipe. The mean cook, Augusto, and the always-late waiter, Otto, love to play tricks on Davico. There’s a huge oven in the gas cookstove, which Felipe knows how to light ― if he can only reach the box of matches above the stove. And there’s the endless fascination of the glass tank of live lobsters ― including the king of them all, Genghis Khan, who stares at Davico with round unblinking black eyes, waving his antennas like submarine periscopes. Could Genghis Khan climb on the back of the other lobsters and get out of the tank, Davico wonders. Could he move faster on land than in the water?

The Way To Rio Luna

Eleven-year-old Danny Monteverde believes in magic, he believes that the enchanted land of Rio Luna in his older sister’s favorite book is real, and most of all he believes that if he can find the way to Rio Luna he will find his sister Pili there, because he does not believe that his sister would run away from the group home where they lived and leave him behind; but after years of being passed from one foster family to another his faith begins to fade–until one day he finds a mysterious book in the library that contains a map to Rio Luna…and a way to find Pili.

The Land Of The Cranes

Nine-year-old Betita and her parents fled Mexico after her uncle was killed by the cartels, and settled in Los Angeles seeking political asylum and safety in what her father calls Aztlan, the land of the cranes; but now they have been swept up by by the government’s Immigration Customs Enforcement, her father deported back to Mexico, and Betita and her mother confined in a family detention camp–Betita finds heart in her imagination and the picture poems her father taught her, but each day threatens to further tear her family apart.

Stella Diaz Never Gives Up

Stella gets a big surprise when her mom plans a trip to visit their family in Mexico! Stella loves marine animals, and she can’t wait to see the ocean for the first time . . . until she arrives and learns that the sea and its life forms are in danger due to pollution. Stella wants to save the ocean, but she knows she can’t do it alone. It’s going to take a lot of work and help from old and new friends to make a difference, but Stella Díaz never gives up! This is the second middle-grade novel from award-winning picture book author and illustrator Angela Dominguez. Based on the author’s experiences growing up Mexican-American, this infectiously charming character comes to life through relatable story-telling including simple Spanish vocabulary and adorable black-and-white art throughout.

Birdie’s Beauty Parlor

Birdie and Grandma are having a girls’ day! But Grandma’s all worn out now. Birdie has a solution: a makeover! It’ll give Grandma a chance to relax. Birdie insists that Grandma lie down because this beauty parlor has a lot of moving parts―chinny-chin-chin hair removal, long stretches of blush, slashes of lipstick, and eyeshadow. Earrings, scarves, the works! Birdie knows best: she owns this beauty parlor!

Caravan To The North: Misael’s Long Walk

This novel in verse is a powerful first-person account of Misael Martinez, a Salvadoran boy whose family joins the caravan heading north to the United States. We learn all the different reasons why people feel the need to leave the hope that lies behind their decision, but also the terrible sadness of leaving home. We learn about how far and hard the trip is, but also about the kindness of those along the way. Finally, once the caravan arrives in Tijuana, Misael and those around him are relieved. They think they have arrived at the goal of the trip — to enter the United States. But then tear gas, hateful demonstrations, force and fear descend on these vulnerable people. The border is closed. The book ends with Misael dreaming of El Salvador. This beautiful and timely story is written in simple but poetic verse by Jorge Argueta, the award-winning author of Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds. Award-winning Mexican illustrator Manuel Monroy illuminates Misael’s journey. An author’s note is included, along with a map showing the caravan’s route.

The Other Half of Happy

Twelve-year-old Quijana is a biracial girl, desperately trying to understand the changes that are going on in her life; her mother rarely gets home before bedtime, her father suddenly seems to be trying to get in touch with his Guatemalan roots (even though he never bothered to teach Quijana Spanish), she is about to start seventh grade in the Texas town where they live and she is worried about fitting in–and Quijana suspects that her parents are keeping secrets, because she is sure there is something wrong with her little brother, Memito, who is becoming increasingly hard to reach.

Let’s Work

Cynthia Weill scores again with an early concept book that bring every kind of job to life, including the work of the dedicated palm weavers of Flavio Gallardo’s workshop, whose miniature palm weavings illustrate this playful book, teaching children words for work in two languages. The weavers live in the village of Chigmecatitlán in the Mixteca part of the Mexican state of Puebla. With tremendous skill and patience, the artisans of this region practice palm weaving, a craft which came to Mexico even before the arrival of the Spanish in the early 15th century. Imagine being able to hold all of the illustrations in one book in the palms of your hands. You can do that with the tiny weavings in Let’s Work. Most pieces are no larger than a dime!