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Illustration by Robert Casilla.  Copyright (c) by Houghton Mifflin Company.  
Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.  All rights reserved.
Illustration by Robert Casilla. © by Houghton Mifflin Co.
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Biography
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Books in this category reflect the people of the world's nations, religions, and cultures, sometimes as a central feature of the story and other times as part of the story's background.
This is whichCatvalue: 2
 
   All Books in the Cultural & Religious Groups Category
 
  Drita, My Homegirl
Written by
Jenny Lombard
Drita and her family come to New York as refugees from war-torn Kosovo. Even though she barely speaks English, Drita can’t wait to start school and make a new best friend. But her new classmates don’t make it easy, teasing her about virtually everything. The worst is Maxie, a tough African-American girl whose sassy attitude hides a painful secret. When Maxie takes things too far, their teacher assigns Maxie a paper on Drita and her journey to America from Kosovo. Suddenly, Maxie realizes she and Drita have more in common than she thought. And when Drita’s mother gets sick, there’s only one person who can help—Drita’s new homegirl.
[Grade Level: 3 - 5]
 
  Drylongso
Virginia Hamilton (Author), Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)
A young man called Drylongso relieves a family's distress during a drought.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
  El bisonte americano/American Bison
Cheryl Walsh Bellville (Illustrator), Ruth Berman (Author)
A look at the crucial role the bison played in the lives of both Native Americans and early settlers.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
  El Chino
Written and Illustrated by
Allen Say
Billy, the son of immigrants from China, was always told by his father that "In America, you can be anything you want to be." Billy's dreams of being a famous basketball player, however, are met with laughs and comments like, "Who's ever heard of a Chinese athlete!" Billy gives up his hopes of being a great athlete and studies engineering. Years later, while visiting Spain, Billy's dreams are reawakened when he falls in love with bullfighting and defies expectations to become the first Asian matador.
[Grade Level: 2 - 6]
 
  Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez
Rudolfo A. Anaya (Adapter), Gaspar Enriquez (Illustrator)
Chicano novelist Rudolfo Anaya was greatly influenced by the heroic life of labor and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. This poem eulogizes Cesar and his work, expressing the grief of la gente and calling all peoples together to continue the nonviolent struggle for freedom and justice. Includes a chronology of Cesar's life.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
  Elena’s Serenade
Campbell Geeslin (Author), Ana Juan (Illustrator)
Elena, a young girl who lives in Mexico, dreams of being a glassblower like her father. When Papa rebuffs her dream by commenting, "Who ever heard of a girl glassblower?," Elena takes one of his old glassblowing pipes, disguises herself as a boy, and sets off to Monterrey, home of Mexico's "great glassblowers.” Along the way, she discovers that she can play sweet songs on the pipe, and when she finally reaches her destination, she creates beautiful ornaments, which are shaped by the tunes she plays on her pipe. Elena eventually creates a crystal swallow to carry her back home, where she disguises herself as an elderly man and shows her creations to Papa. When she finally reveals her identity, Papa realizes how special his daughter is.
[Grade Level: K-4]
 
  Elfwyn's Saga
Written by
David Wisniewski
The story of a girl who is the heroine of her people.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
 
  Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson (Illustrator), Michael J. Rosen (Author)
A young Jewish boy, Michael, is given a carved wooden angel at Christmas-time by his African-American friend, an old man in his eighties (based on an actual person—Elijah Pierce, a wood carver, lay minister, barber, and educator from Columbus). Michael is concerned that an angel may not be an appropriate gift for a Jew, but his parents assure him that it is a gift of friendship and that friendship means the same thing in any religion. In return, Michael presents his friend with a menorah he made and, for all eight nights of Chanukah, the menorah glows and sheds light on Elijah’s beautiful carvings.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
 
  Elizabeti's Doll
Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen (Author), Christy Hale (Illustrator)
Set in Tanzania, a young girl learns to accept her new baby brother by finding a baby doll of her own to take care of like her mom takes care of her brother.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
 
  Ellen Ochoa: First Latina Astronaut
Lila Guzman (Author), Rick Guzman (Author)
Part of the Famous Latinos series, this easy-to-read biography describes the life of the first Hispanic woman in space. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Ochoa excelled in school and went on to be an electrical engineer, inventor and pilot, but dreamed of being an astronaut. Ochoa pursued her goal, even after being turned down twice by NASA, and was accepted into the space program in 1990. Using simple text, numerous photographs, a timeline and glossary, the authors describe Ochoa’s training and experiences as an astronaut. The book is also available in a Spanish language edition, Ellen Ochoa: La Primera Astronauta Latina.
[Grade Level: 2 - 4]
 
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