Now in its 19th year, the International Latino Book Awards celebrated more than 200 authors in early September at California State University, Dominguez Hills. The awards are the largest in the U.S. to honor works by Latino authors in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Established in 1997, the awards are produced by Latino Literacy Now, an organization which was founded by Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whistler. This year’s awards were presented in partnership with Las Comadres de las Americas, REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking), and Mi Libro Hispano, a Hispanic heritage literature organization.

For its first 15 years, the ceremony was held in conjunction with BookExpo America in May, and later with the American Library Association. This is the second year in a row that the awards took place in fall in Los Angeles, where, according to Whistler, it is easier to accommodate the growing number of attendees. Furthermore, Whistler says organizers are working toward making the annual award ceremony a televised special, noting that “Los Angeles is a great place for it.”

This year’s entries were judged by a group of nearly 200 industry leaders, and actor Rick Najera and author Katherine A. Díaz were this year’s emcees. Below are some of this year’s winners.


Best novel, adventure or drama—English

The Invisible Guardian

Dolores Redondo, Atria

Best novel, adventure or drama—Spanish

Un espejo en la selva

Silverio Pérez, Planeta México.

Best historical fiction—English

What We Become

Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Atria

Best historical fiction—Spanish

Un espejo en la selva

Silverio Pérez, Planeta México


Most inspirational nonfiction—English

The Journey Home

Jorge Posada, HarperCollins

Most inspirational nonfiction—Spanish

Cartas a Karina

Oscar López Rivera, Cartas a Karina Project

Best biography—Spanish

Querido Alberto

Eduardo Magallanes, Atria

Best history book

La vitrina rota o ¿qué carajo pasó aquí?

Silverio Perez, Callejón

Best political/current affairs book

The Book of Isaias

Daniel Connolly, St. Martin’s

Best business book

Chaos Monkeys

Antonio García Martínez, HarperCollins

Best arts book

Colibríes en Colombia

Murray Cooper, Villegas

Best Translations

Best children’s picture book translation—English to Spanish

La leyenda de Roberto Cofresí, Janet

Balletta, trans. by Ana Morris, WRB

Best chapter/young adult book translation—English to Spanish

Tesoros de mi isla

Alma Flor Ada, Santillana

Best fiction translation—English to Spanish

Dos santos

Fernando de Aragón, Lepican


Best Latino-focused children’s picture book

¡Todos a comer! A Mexican Alphabet Book María Alma González Pérez, Del Alma

Best children’s fiction picture book—bilingual

Somos como las nubes/We Are Like the Clouds

Jorge Argueta, illus. by Alfonso Ruano, Groundwood

Best children’s fiction picture book—English

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet

Carmen Agra Deedy, Scholastic

Best children’s fiction picture book—Spanish

La siesta perfecta

Pato Mena, NubeOcho

Best children’s nonfiction picture book

Pablo Pineda

Alberto Bosch and María Sala, illus. by Silvia Álvarez, Cuento de Luz

Best educational children’s picture book

It Starts with a Raindrop/Comienza con una gota de lluvia

Michael Smith, East West Discovery

Most inspirational children’s picture book

I Matter/Yo importo

Georgette Baker, Cantemos

Best youth chapter fiction—English

Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words

Margarita Engle, Simon & Schuster

Best youth chapter fiction—Spanish

Juana & Lucas

Juana Medina, Candlewick

Best young adult fiction—Spanish

En el reino de la Garúa

Emilio del Carril, País Invisible