It's women's empowerment month. Becoming an empowered woman doesn't happen overnight. It's your life lessons and experiences that build you up to become the strong Latina that you are today. But what about our daughters? We can teach them to become empowered little girls through their own life lessons and the messages we teach them. These messages can come in the form of things we say so they can mimic us, empowered clothing, and books, my personal favorite. Here are some great books that we've read that will speak to that little feminista.
7 Books to Empower Latinx Girls
1. Alma and How She Got her Name (English) or Alma y Como Obtuvo su Nombre by Juana Martinez-Neal
Concept: What’s in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from — and who she may one day be.
If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.
Why my daughter loves it? She loves the illustrations and loves asking, "what is her name?" She can't imagine having a name so long.
Why I love it? This is such a beautiful yet simple book. It teaches children the importance of where we come from and how a name has so much significance. It's truly a great book to add to your English or Spanish collection.
2. Be Bold Be Brave by Naibe Reynoso (bilingual)
Concept: Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas who made U.S. History, Sé Audaz! Sé Valiente!: 11 Latinas que hicieron historia en los Estados Unidos is a bilingual book that highlights 11 Latinas who excelled in various fields including medicine, science, sports, art and politics. By presenting the true biographical stories of these outstanding Latinas in rhyming verses, young readers will easily follow their journey to success. Some of the women highlighted include Antonia Novello (first female Surgeon General in the U.S.), Ellen Ochoa (first Latina to go to space), Sonia Sotomayor (first Latina Supreme Court Justice,) Rita Moreno (first Latina to win an Oscar), Selena, and Pura Belpre (first Latina to incorporate and promote bilingual literacy in Public Libraries).
Why my daughter loves it? She loves it because we talk about the different careers and what she'd like to do when she grows up.
Why I love it? I love this book because it's not only educational and highlights amazing Latina women but both the English side and the Spanish side rhyme and it provides for a very pleasant read in teaching bilingual children. There is now a board book version great for those little ones!
3. I am Enough by Grace Byers
Type: Hardcover or Paperback
Ages: 5-8 years
Concept: "This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another. This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation. We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it."
Why I love it? I love the message in this book. It gives girls positive affirmations and empowers them to believe that they are enough just the way they are while still sending a message of kindness. This book is a definite must.
4. Where are you from? (English) or ¿De Donde Eres? (spanish) by Yamile Said Méndez
Language: English or Spanish
Ages: 4-8 years
"This resonant picture book tells the story of one girl who constantly gets asked a simple question that doesn’t have a simple answer. When a girl is asked where she’s from—where she’s really from—none of her answers seems to be the right one.
Unsure about how to reply, she turns to her loving abuelo for help. He doesn’t give her the response she expects. She gets an even better one.
With themes of self-acceptance, identity, and home, this powerful, lyrical picture book will resonate with readers young and old, from all backgrounds and of all colors—especially anyone who ever felt that they don’t belong."
Why I love it? Because in it I see my whole family. I love how beautifully written it is and how it touches on a subject that may not be easy for many kids to answer.
5. Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza
Lucía zips through the playground in her cape just like the boys, but when they tell her "girls can't be superheroes," suddenly she doesn't feel so mighty. That's when her beloved abuela reveals a dazzling secret: Lucía comes from a family of luchadoras, the bold and valiant women of the Mexican lucha libre tradition. Cloaked in a flashy new disguise, Lucía returns as a recess sensation! But when she's confronted with a case of injustice, Lucía must decide if she can stay true to the ways of the luchadora and fight for what is right, even if it means breaking the sacred rule of never revealing the identity behind her mask. A story about courage and cultural legacy, Lucía the Luchadora is full of pluck, daring, and heart.
Why I'm adding it to our buy list? My daughter loves female superhero stories and this is right up that alley. I love that this book touches on courage and deciding what to do in a sticky situation and who doesn't love lucha libre?!
6. My Magical Words by Becky Cummings (English)
What we say we feel! What we feel we believe! What we believe we become! Have you ever heard your child say...I am bad at it! Nobody likes me. I can't do it!
It's heartbreaking to hear children say negative things about themselves, but ALL children struggle with learning to manage emotions. And now you can help!
My Magical Words is the experience children need to grow self-love and build confidence. It is a first book of positive affirmations.
Children will learn to SAY I am statements that empower them to FEEL and BELIEVE they are special, loved, smart, beautiful, strong, healthy, and more.
Your special time with your children will soar to a new level as you show them that words have power and what they say about themselves matters. Teaching your children positive self-talk at an early age will lay the foundation for future success!
Why I love it? The messages in this book our so powerful. What we say to ourselves from childhood impacts us way into adulthood. Having a book with positive affirmations for a child is a definite must in my opinion and great as part of your daily reads.
7. She Persisited Ella Persistió by Chelsea Clinton in English or Spanish
Concept: Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what's right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren's refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.
She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.
With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn't give up on their dreams. Persistence is power.
Why I love it? I like that the book highlights different accomplished women in history. I think it's important that our little Latinas see all types of women from different backgrounds so they can get inspired to make a difference and impact. Though this book is for the older girl, I'd recommend 5 and over it's a great addition to your girl power collection :)
I hope these books will help empower your little Latinas and send them a message that si se puede!
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