I’m always happy to find a good biography in Spanish because these books are a wonderful way to share culture and language with kids. Also, my students love knowing a story is about a real person. This biography of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is perfect to share with Spanish learners.
Be sure to check out all our reading resources on our Spanish Reading for Kids page. There you’ll find a book list, printable pages and more book recommendations.
A Library for Juana
A Library for Juana by Pat Mora won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award in 2002. So, I’m thrilled that Lee & Low Books has re-released this wonderful biography in Spanish and English! The title of the Spanish edition is Una biblioteca para Juana.
In addition, the book is available from Amazon at Una biblioteca para Juana / A Library for Juana: El mundo de Sor Juana Inés / The World of Sor Juana Ines (Spanish Edition).
Sor Juana Inés: Spanish Biography for Kids
The biography tells the amazing story of Juana Inés. She loved poetry and learning at a time when there were few opportunities for girls. It’s the story of her determination to learn and to write. This determination made her one of the most brilliant authors in Mexican history.
There are many reasons to share this book with children. First, it is about a love of learning and about the power of girls. As Juana says “Las niñas podemos hacer otras cosas fuera de coser e hilar. Podemos estudiar y demostrar lo que sabemos.”
A Library for Juana is also about colonial Mexico, offering a glimpse of what life was like when Spain ruled the country. For example, Juana leaves her rural village and goes to Mexico City. There, she becomes a lady-in-waiting at the colonial viceroy’s court.
In addition, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is a beloved figure in Mexican culture and literature. For example, she is on 200 peso bill and her name is on the wall of the Mexican congress. So, this biography is a wonderful way to introduce kids to an important part of Mexican culture.
Spanish Biography for Kids: José Martí
Lee & Low Books also has a bilingual biography of Cuban poet and hero José Martí. Martí’s Song for Freedom/ Martí y sus versos por la libertad is recommended for ages 7-12 and is an excellent introduction to Cuban history for kids. You can read more about the book here: Cuban History for Kids: Bilingual Book and Activities
A Library for Juana is an enchanting story of a child who knows her mind and will not be denied. In addition, it is full of details that will captivate and inspire young readers. It is a wonderful addition to any classroom or home library.