REFORMA Announces the 2018 Pura Belpre Award Winners

Every year, the Pura Belpré Award is presented to a Latino/Latina author and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
Established in 1996, the award is named after a pioneer in Latino librarianship, Pura Belpré, who was the first Latina to work at the New York Public Library and who was also a writer and storyteller.

The most prestigious award for Latino Children's Literature, the Pura Belpré is co-administered by the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

This year's awards were announced during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Colorado, on Monday February 12th, 2018.

Winners of the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal:

“La Princesa and the Pea,” illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was written by Susan Middleton Elya and published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Delicate illustrations in a traditional Peruvian setting, including intricate textiles and expressive characters, complement a fun plot twist on the traditional tale of the princess and the pea.

"Lucky Broken Girl" is the 2018 Pura Belpré Author Award winner. The book was written by Ruth Behar and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Set in the New York of the 1960's, Ruthie and her Jewish-Cuban family are adapting to life in the U.S. After a car accident leaves her unable to leave her bed, Ruthie has to learn to deal with her isolation from the outside world and having to rely on her family and friends for support and healing.

Two Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were named:

“All Around Us,” illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia, written by Xelena González, and published by Cinco Puntos Press.  

“Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos,” illustrated by John Parra, written by Monica Brown, and published by NorthSouth Books.

Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named:

“The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora," written byPablo Cartaya and published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

“The First Rule of Punk,” written by Celia C. Pérez and published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

For more information on the Pura Belpré award visit:

Established in 1971, REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos. For more information on REFORMA, visit

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