Rhode Island Latino Books Award

Promoting bilingual literature, illustrators and authors

In 2024, the Rhode Island Latino Books Award celebrates its ✶ Tenth Anniversary ✶

In the past ten years, we have become a model for other states as we continue to promote the love of reading among Latino young people through the celebration of Latino authors, illustrators and books that highlight Latino culture and Latin American identity.

Through this year-long celebration, RILA encourages librarians, teachers, educators and booksellers to promote books written by and for Latinos, and we encourage all Rhode Islanders to read books in both English and Spanish and written by Latino authors and illustrators.
For more information about the Rhode Island Latino Books Award and/or to participate, contact Maria Cotto, RILA's Latino Books Award Coordinator For information about Rhode Island Latino Arts, contact Marta V. Martínez, RILA'S Executive Director.
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Thank you to the Rhode Island Center for the Books for providing copies of our selected books

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Latino Books Award Committee Members 2024: Patty DeFrancesco, Maria Cotto (Chair), Alaina Moran, Gisele Esquivel, Jennifer McGrath

How do we select our books?

Rhode Island Latino Arts Executive Director and board members support the Rhode Island Latino Books Award (RILBA) Coordinator and the RILBA Committee Members, which includes Rhode Island educators, school librarians, public librarians, and paraprofessionals, who use specific selection criteria to create an annual list of nominated titles. The RILBA Committee is intentional in seeking books that affirm marginalized groups and champions stories and characters that reflect the lived experiences of Rhode Island Latino/Latina/Latinx young people, as well as the larger world. RILBA aims to provide a list of nominees that maintains diversity in race, gender, sexuality, family makeup, socioeconomic background and ability. Nominees are thoughtfully curated to allow all youth to be seen and their voices actively heard.

➤ 2024 Book List

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Here are covers of the books on our 2024 list.

  • Lola Out Loud by Jennifer Torres (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Mariana and Her Familia by Mónica Mancillas (Balzer + Bray)
  • Growing An Artist: The Story of a Landscaper and His Son by John Parra (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)
  • On This Airplane by Lourdes Heuer (Tundra Books)
  • I Want to Be a Vase by Julio Torres (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstram (Charlesbridge)
  • Me Gusta by Angela Domínguez (Henry Holt and Co. (BYR))
  • Carlos Gómez Freestyles…Heavy on the Style by Chuck Gonzáles (Reycraft Books)
  • The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border by Stephen Briseño (Random House Studio)
  • Bad Luck Lola by Keka Novales (‎Picture Window Books; Bilingual edition)
  • Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Treasure Tracks by S.A. Rodríguez (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
  • Tumble by Celia C. Pérez (Kokila)
  • Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega (First Second)
  • Seed in the Sun by Aida Salazar (Dial Books)
  • Invisible: A Graphic Novel by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Graphix; Bilingual edition)
  • The Keeper by Guadalupe García McCall (HarperCollins)
  • Boys of the Beast by Monica Zepeda (Tu Books)
  • Inheritance: A Visual Poem by Elizabeth Acevedo (Quill Tree Books)
  • Our Shadows Have Claws by Yamile Saied Méndez and Amparo Ortíz (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes (Balzer + Bray)
  • The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas (Feiwel & Friends)