Pura Belpré Award
2009

Medal Winner for Narrative

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle For Freedom by Margarita Engle YA 811 ENG
It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not tree. People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness. Rosa is a nurse, but she dares not go to the camps. So she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her.
Black, white, Cuban, Spanish—Rosa does her best for everyone. Yet who can heal a country so torn apart by war? Acclaimed poet Margarita Engle has created another breathtaking portrait of Cuba.
 

Medal Winner for Illustration

Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book Illustrated by Yuyi Morales, J Award Picture Book MOR

In this companion to her award-winning Just a Minute, Morales brings back Seor Calvera, the skeleton from Day of the Dead celebrations. This stunning picture book functions both as a Spanish alphabet book and an engaging story about finding a birthday gift for Grandma Beetle.

 

Honor Books for Narrative

Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book by Yuyi Morales, J Award Picture Book MOR

In this companion to her award-winning Just a Minute, Morales brings back Seor Calvera, the skeleton from Day of the Dead celebrations. This stunning picture book functions both as a Spanish alphabet book and an engaging story about finding a birthday gift for Grandma Beetle.

 

 

Reaching Out by Francisco Jiménez  YA JIM
Papa’s raging depression intensifies young Jiménez’s personal guilt and conflict in the 1960s: “So now you think you’re better than us because you are going to college!” He is the first in his Mexican American migrant family to attend college in California. While at home, the family struggles with backbreaking work and lives without indoor plumbing; in college, Jiménez finds friends and mentors in class and at church, discovers the great literature in his native Spanish language, and joins César Chávez in the drive to unionize farm workers. Like his other fictionalized autobiographies, The Circuit (1997) and Breaking Through (2001), this sequel tells Jiménez’s personal story in self-contained chapters that join together in a stirring narrative. As he works many jobs to send something home, he is haunted by memories of his childhood spent laboring in the fields, and in college, he tells no one that he was born in Mexico and is not an American citizen. Rooted in the past, Jiménez’s story is also about the continuing struggle to make it in America, not only for immigrant kids but also for those in poor families. Never melodramatic or self-important, the spare episodes will draw readers with the quiet daily detail of work, anger, sorrow, and hope. Grades 7-12.
 


The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos,written by Lucía González, illustrated by Lulu Delacre J Picture Book GON
It is the winter of 1929, and cousins Hildamar and Santiago have just moved to enormous, chilly New York from their native Puerto Rico. As Three Kings' Day approaches, Hildamar and Santiago mourn the loss of their sunny home and wonder about their future in their adopted city. But when a storyteller and librarian named Pura Belpre arrives in their classroom, the children begin to understand just what a library can mean to a community. In this fitting tribute to a remarkable woman, Lucia Gonzalez and Lulu Delacre have captured the truly astounding effect that Belpre had on the city of New York. 

Honor Books for Illustration

Papá and Me, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Arthur Dorros J Picture Book DOR
When I'm with my "papa," I can fly like an eagle, an "aguila."
I can climb "alto," high, in a tree, And I am the "ganador," the winner, of many races.
When I am with my "papa," I hear the best "cuentos," stories,
and I give him the biggest "abrazos," hugs.

A young boy and his papa may speak both Spanish "and" English, but the most important language they speak is the language of love. Here, Arthur Dorros portrays the close bond between father and son, with lush paintings by Rudy Gutierrez.

The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos,written by Lucía González, illustrated by Lulu Delacre J Picture Book GON
It is the winter of 1929, and cousins Hildamar and Santiago have just moved to enormous, chilly New York from their native Puerto Rico. As Three Kings' Day approaches, Hildamar and Santiago mourn the loss of their sunny home and wonder about their future in their adopted city. But when a storyteller and librarian named Pura Belpre arrives in their classroom, the children begin to understand just what a library can mean to a community. In this fitting tribute to a remarkable woman, Lucia Gonzalez and Lulu Delacre have captured the truly astounding effect that Belpre had on the city of New York. 

What Can You Do With a Rebozo? illustrated by Amy Córdova, written by Carmen Tafolla J Picture Book TAF
A cradle for baby, a superheros cape, a warm blanket on a cool night-there are so many things you can do with a rebozo. Through the eyes of a young girl, readers are introduced to the traditional shawl found in many Mexican and Mexican-American households. Now in an Engligh-Spanish bilingual edition, the lively rhyme and brightly colored illustrations of the original are available to a whole new audience.