An intergenerational story of family ties, cultural pride, and spelling bee victory following a young boy who bonds with his beloved abuela over a love of Spanish.
As a boy prepares for his school’s Spanish spelling bee, he asks his grandmother for help with some of the words he doesn’t know how to spell yet. When she studies with him, she tells him how different things were back when she was a girl, when she was only allowed to speak English in school. This only inspires him to study even harder and make his family proud.
Based on stories author Michael Genhart heard from his mother as a child, Spanish is the Language of My Family is about the joy of sharing cultural heritage with our families, inspired by the generations of Latino people were punished for speaking Spanish and the many ways new generations are rejuvenating the language.
Michael Genhart’s text is as touching as it is poignant, and it’s paired with the striking artwork of multiple Pura Belpre Award-Winning Illustrator John Parra. Extensive material at the back of the book includes essays from the author about the history of Spanish suppression in U.S. schools and information about the Spanish alphabet.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
About the Author
Michael Genhart’s text for Spanish is the Language of My Family is inspired by stories his mother told to him as a child. He is a clinical psychologist and the author of eight picture books including Love Is Love (a Notable Social Studies Trade Book) and Rainbow: A First Book of Pride, which Publishers Weekly called “A joyous tribute to LGBTQ families.”
John Parra is an award-winning illustrator, fine artist, designer, and educator best known for his children’s books about the experiences of Latino people. Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos (by Monica Brown) was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book and won a Pura Belpre Honor for Illustration. He also won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Illustration for Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans (by Phil Binder), and a Pura Belpre Honor for Green is a Chile Pepper (by Roseanne G. Thong). He lives with his wife in Queens, New York.
★ "A beautifully designed read-aloud that celebrates the importance of knowing more than one language, while also shedding light on what first-generation immigrants went through to make that possible today."—School Library Journal, Starred Review