The Best Kids’ Books Featuring Awesome Latinx Characters

Read next

Whether you’re a Latinx parent looking for representative board books for baby, cool chapter books for your kids, or an ally seeking more diverse kids’ books, we have you covered. These stories are kid-tested and summer-approved. Scroll down for a list of epic books for kids.

Board Books & Books for Babies and Toddlers 

Be Bold, Baby: Sonia Sotomayor by Alison Oliver  

This installment of the ‘Be Bold Baby’ kids’ book series will introduce small fry to Sonia Sotomayor. Celebrate pivotal moments in the career of the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in US history.

Ages: Baby-3 years

Available on Amazon for $10.

The Life of—La Vida de Selena by Patty Rodriguez, Ariana Stein

Singer/Songwriter Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers in the late 20th century. In this kid’s book, you little will learn about Selena’s contributions to the music and fashion industry, interspersed with fun facts about her everyday life.

Ages: Baby-4 years

Available on Amazon for $7.

Hello Friend/ Hola Amigo by Andrés Salguero

Join Latin Grammy Award-winning 123 Andrés in this celebration of friendship. Based off of the hit song from the duo, this bilingual, diverse book will get little hands clapping along to the bouncy rhythms. 

Ages: 2-4 years

Available on Amazon for $9.

Pin Pon by Susie Jaramillo 

Part of the Canticos Nursery Rhymes collection. Susie Jaramillo brings the classic Mexican nursery rhyme of Pin Pon to life in this sturdy book about manners and hygiene. 

Ages: Baby-5 years

Available from Amazon for $11.

Epic Picture Books 

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez 

In this award-winning diverse picture book, a girl and her Abuelo explore the answer to the deceptively simple question, ‘Where are you from?’ Parents will love the lyrical language and themes of self-acceptance. Children will be pulled into a vibrant imaginary world of hurricanes and tiny singing frogs.

Ages: 4-8 years

Available from Amazon for $16.

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal  

What’s in a name? For Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela, her name is a gateway to family history. The warm images and lovable character provide a jumping-off point to discuss your children’s names and the names of those around them.

Ages: 4-8 years

Available from Amazon for $16.

Julian Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love 

Julian’s life is forever changed on the day he sees the brilliant costumes and colorful hair of Coney Island Mermaid Parade participants riding home on the subway. This epic book for kids proves that anyone can be a mermaid. 

Ages: 4-8 years

Available from Amazon for $10.

Starring Carmen! by Anika Denise and Lorena Alvarez Gomez 

Every night Carmen puts on performances for her adoring family. Just one production has seventeen songs. Her parents find it exhausting, while her brother would like to be part of the show. Is the family stage really big enough for two? Carmen isn’t so sure. 

Ages: 5-7 years

Available from Amazon for $14.

Tia Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina 

Tia Isla wants to take the whole family to the beach. In this tale of family love and reunification, Medina weaves an easy-going tale of a family working toward a long-range goal. 

Ages: 3-7 years

Available from Amazon for $7.

Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda and his Muse by Alexandria Giardino

A celebratory story inspired by poet Pablo Neruda’s poem “Ode to the Onion.” This kids’ book takes young readers through diverse emotions with the help of Matilde Urrutia (Neruda’s muse) and her garden. 

Ages: 4 - 8 years 

Available from Amazon for $18.

Islandborn by Junot Díaz

Lola’s abuela tells her “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.” In this lyrical tale from Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz, Lola learns what it means to belong to a place even if “you left before you could start remembering.”

Ages: 5 - 8 years

Available on Amazon for $11.


I Know the River Loves Me (Yo Se Que El Rio Me Ama) by Maya Christina Gonzalez

See the beauty in the world through the eyes of Maya, a person with a deep connection to a river and the ecosystem around it. A gentle story filled with love and respect for the environment.

Ages: 5-8 years

Available from Amazon for $10.


Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh  

Seven years before Brown vs. Board of Education, the Mendez family sued the California school board for the right to send their children to the neighborhood school. Incorporating interviews with Sylvia Mendez and court documents, Tonatiuh tells the riveting tale of the family that helped end segregation in California schools.

Ages: 6-9 years

Available from Amazon for $17.


Galapagos Girl by Marsha Diane Arnold 

Discover the beauty of the Galapagos Islands through the eyes of Valentina. Inspired by the life of biologist Valentina Cruz, whose family was among the first to permanently inhabit the islands, this picture book lovingly depicts the plants and animals she has sworn to protect.

Ages: 4-8 years

Available from Amazon for $20.

Chapter Books 

Without Separation: Prejudice, Segregation, and the Case of Roberto Alvarez by Larry Dane Brimner

Do you know who Roberto Alvarez is? In 1931 in Lemon Grove, California, this young man took up a case against his local school board as they attempted to segregate Mexican American students. In a much-earned victory, Roberto's case is considered the first where an immigrant community used the court system to fight injustice.

Ages: 7-10

Available from Amazon for $19

Lola Levine Is Not Mean! by Monica Brown 

In this diverse first book in a series, soccer-loving Lola Levine tackles friendship and peer conflict with warmth and honesty. Parents will love Lola for handling conflict through writing. Tweens will relate to Lola’s real-world problems. 

Ages: 6-10 years

Available from Amazon for $6.

What If a Fish by Anika Fajardo

Eddie Aguado has never left Minnesota. With his father deceased and his mother unwilling to talk about him, young Eddie has a hard time feeling connected to his half-Colombian heritage. In this whimsical story about intergenerational family, Eddie discovers that building an identity is a bit more complicated than he thought.

Ages: 8-12 years

Available from Amazon for $16.

The Moon Within by Aida Salazar 

Celi Rivera's mother wants her to have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. Celi promises she will NOT participate. A sensitive, empowering exploration of what it means to teeter on the cusp of puberty by a diverse Latinx cast. 

Ages: 8-12 years

Available from Amazon for $6.

Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez  

This is the story of 14-year-old Lucía Álvarez. Her parents, afraid of Fidel Castro’s revolution, send her to Nebraska, accompanied only by her little brother. Based on historical events, this chapter book touches on family and the true meaning of home. 

Ages: 8-12 years

Available from Amazon for $8.

Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres 

More than anything else in the world, Stef Soto wants her father to get a normal job and quit working the family taco truck. But when circumstances threaten the family business, Stef discovers that being known as the Taco Queen isn’t so bad after all. An epic chapter book about identity and what’s truly important.

Ages: 8-12 years

Available from Amazon for $6.

Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook by Iva-Marie Palmer 

When baseball all-star Gabby Garcia moves to another school, it looks like her championship streak is headed for a strikeout. But Gabby has a play-by-play plan to save the day. What could possibly go wrong? A humorous chapter book filled with fun sports facts and a lot of heart.

Ages:8-12 years

Available from Amazon for $9.

Red Panda and Moon Bear By Jarod Roselló 

Villains beware: RP and MB fight crime and look for adventure all before their parents get home from work. A graphic novel with siblings that love each other? Yes, please! 

Ages: 9-12 years

Available from Amazon for $13.

Merci Suarez Changes Gears, by Meg Medina

Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal. Sixth-grader Merci Suarez isn’t like the other kids in her private school in Florida. She’s a scholarship student. Instead of spending her weekends on a boat like the other kids, she performs community service to help pay for her free tuition. A sensitive coming of age chapter book that perfectly encapsulates the joy and uncertainty of the middle school years.

Ages: 9-12 years

Available from Amazon for $8.

Running by Natalia Sylvester  

When 15-year-old Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president, the added media scrutiny of her Cuban-American family causes her to notice that he isn’t the man she thought he was. What do you do when you don’t agree with your parents’ political views, and the world is watching you?

Ages: 12 & up

Available from Amazon for $9.

Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza & Abby Sher 

By a co-founder of the Women’s March. 16-year-old Vali is an undocumented immigrant on the run in a near-future America where everybody is microchipped and tracked. Her goal: to reach the sanctuary state of California before it’s walled off from the rest of the country.

Ages: 12 & up

Available from Amazon for $10.

—Teresa Douglas

All photos: Courtesy of Amazon/Featured image: iStock 



25 Banned Books to Read to Your Child Tonight

105 Best Books to Read Before They Turn 12

Amazon Announces Best Children’s & YA Books of 2020 So Far