Trailblazing Latinx women

Quintero, Isabel  Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide
Middle school, high school     96 pp.     Getty

2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award winner. Illustrated by Zeke Peña. Photographer Iturbide’s story is told in comic-panel format, with striking black-and-white illustrations, high-quality reproductions of her own photographs, and spare first-person narration drawing upon her writing and interviews; interspersed are section introductions in a more conversational third-person, direct-address text. A powerful homage to the five-decade evolution of an artist still working — and still evolving — today. Additional biographical information is appended. Reading list.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Visual Arts; Photography; Women—Photographers; Mexico; Women—Biographies; Iturbide; Graciela

Acevedo, Sylvia  Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist
Gr. 4–6, middle school    311 pp.     Clarion

Acevedo defied expectations as a girl growing up in a working-class Mexican American family in 1960s and 1970s Las Cruces, New Mexico. She went on to become (literally) a rocket scientist and is now CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Her moving autobiographical account shines in its honesty, personal details, and inspirational message. Occasional black-and-white photographs between chapters add intimacy.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Women—Biographies; Latino Americans; Women—Latina Americans; Women—Autobiographies; Autobiographies; Women—Scientists; Science; Space—Astronautics; Girl Scouts; Scouts and scouting; Acevedo, Sylvia; Women—Mexican Americans; Mexican Americans

Engle, Margarita  The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar
Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Atheneum

Illustrated by Sara Palacios. In this slightly fictionalized account (with brief invented dialogue), Engle and Palacios introduce readers to Latina air-and-space pioneer Aída de Acosta (1884–1962), who defied the sexist attitudes of her era to learn to pilot dirigibles. Lilting, intermittently rhyming text highlights the difficulties Aída faced. Mixed-media illustrations capture the giant scale of the dirigibles without sacrificing detail in scenes of people on the ground.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Women—Biographies; Vehicles—Airships; Pilots; Acosta, Aida de; Santos-Dumont, Alberto; Women—Pilots; Latino Americans; Women—Latina Americans

Mendoza, Sylvia  Sonia Sotomayor: A Biography
Gr. 4–6, middle school     112 pp.     Zest

Living History series. A readable biography of the first Latinx person and third woman to be appointed a Supreme Court Justice. Beginning with her childhood poverty and early diagnosis of diabetes, the book shows how Justice Sotomayor's experiences in her youth have shaped her adult life. Well researched, with detailed chapter notes and quotations from the Supreme Court Justice's autobiography.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; United States Supreme Court; Judges; Women—Latina Americans; Latino Americans; Women—Hispanic Americans; Puerto Ricans; Sotomayor, Sonia; Women—Biographies; Hispanic Americans; Women—Judges

Tonatiuh, Duncan  Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México
Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Abrams

Amalia Hernández (1917–2000) traveled throughout Mexico learning about regions' unique histories and traditions in order to incorporate them into dance; in 1952, she founded Mexico's most famous dance company, El Ballet Folklórico de México, which still performs today. Tonatiuh's illustration style, inspired by Mixtec art and with well-chosen photo-collage elements, is particularly resonant with a subject who celebrated Mexican arts and culture. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Dance—Ballet; Women—Dancers; Hernández, Amalia; Dance—Folk dancing; Mexico; Women—Biographies

From the September 2018 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book: 2018 BGHB Nonfiction Awards Edition. See more on the 2018 BGHB Award winners and honor books here. Click here for National Hispanic Heritage Month resources.
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