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Home  Awards & Grants  ALSC Book & Media Awards  Pura Belpré Medal

Welcome to the Pura Belpré Award home page!
Pura Belpre Medal

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 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), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA), an ALA affiliate.

2009 Author Award Winner 

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt)

Engle’s hauntingly beautiful free verse prose breathes life into this finely crafted story that illuminates Cuba’s fight for independence from Spain in the 1800’s. Told from the perspective of four distinct voices, Engle intricately weaves a harrowing, heart-wrenching story of enslavement, survival, determination and heroism.

“Engle’s prose breathes life into each character, and her rich use of language catapults the reader into the jungles of Cuba.  The engaging story keeps the reader racing through the pages of history,” said Belpré Committee Chair Claudette McLinn.

2009 Illustrator Award Winner

Just In Case, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales (A Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press)

Morales’ vibrant, shimmering jewel-tone colors masterfully capture the exuberant and playful story of Señor Calavera’s quest to find the perfect birthday gift for Grandma Beetle. Part ghost story, part trickster tale, the book features motifs from Mexican culture that represent each letter of the Spanish alphabet. 

“Morales infuses humor with a bold and rich palette of color in this delightful, imaginative story to whimsically bring this intergenerational story to life,” said Belpré Committee Chair Claudette McLinn.

Read Yuyi Morales' quote about winning the 2004 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award.

2009 Author Honor Books

Just In Case, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales (A Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press)

Reaching Out by Francisco Jiménez (Houghton Mifflin Company)

The Storyteller’s Candle / La Velita de los Cuentos,” written by Lucía González, illustrated by Lulu Delacre (Children’s Book Press)

2009 Illustrator Honor Books

Papá and Me, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Arthur Dorros (Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)

The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos, illustrated by Lulu Delacre, written by Lucía González (Children’s Book Press)

What Can You Do With a Rebozo? illustrated by Amy Córdova, written by Carmen Tafolla (Tricycle Press, an imprint of Ten Speed Press)

 Back to the ALSC Book and Media Awards main page.


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