The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.
2021 Young Adult Author Award Winner
Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
Furia brings us a story about Camila “La Furia” Hassan, a young Argentine girl and fútbol player with monumental talent. Living in a household that considers fútbol a boys’ sport and a society fighting for gender equality, Camila goes against all odds to follow her dreams and her heart.
2021 Young Adult Author Honor Books
Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera
In Never Look Back, Lilliam Rivera depicts the diverse culture of the Bronx and its people through the nascent romance of Eury and Pheus. This retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice evokes the smooth sounds of bachata, joys of Caribbean heritage, and the trauma caused by grief and loss.
We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez
We Are Not from Here is a compelling and realistic story of teenage friends, Pulga, Pequeña and Chico, forced to leave their homes in Guatemala and embark upon a dangerous and uncertain journey to the U.S. hoping for safety. An eye-opening and timely read.
2021 Children’s Author Award Winner
Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros
Efrén Divided brings us the story of twelve-year-old Efrén, whose world flips when his mother is deported to Mexico, but whose determination to reunite his family never wavers. Ernesto Cisneros’s debut novel adeptly balances hope and heart break in this timely story of undocumented individuals working to build a better life.
2021 Children’s Author Honor Books
The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas
Army kid Nestor Lopez knows the drill: new deployment, new town, don’t settle in, no real friends. But his new posting has a mystery: animals are disappearing and afraid (they told him themselves), and Abuela is acting suspicious. To rescue the town, Nestor may have to break his own rules.
Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera
Lupe Wong never imagined a goofy dance could hamstring her chance to meet her pitching idol and fellow Mexinese/Chinacan, Fu Li Hernandez. But taking up the cause against square dancing in gym class proves to be more challenging, and enlightening, than this opinionated dreamer expected.