Book of the Month — September 2016 (Hispanic Heritage Month)

Welcome back, readers!

At the beginning of September, we revealed that it was Library Card Sign-Up Month and encouraged you to take your family to the library to register for your free library cards.

Today, we are happy to present to you our selected book for the month of September:


September 15th – October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month


President Lyndon B. Johnson established Hispanic Heritage Week back in the 1960’s. It wasn’t until 1988 when President Ronald Reagan declared a 30-day celebration. Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th because it is a date of historic significance. September 15th is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries — Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. (Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16th and 18th, respectfully.)

Return to Sender, written by Julia Alvarez, is the story of an unlikely friendship that arose during unsettling times. Tyler’s family owns a farm in Vermont, but they face foreclosure when Tyler’s father is hurt in an accident. The family decides to hire a family of Mexican migrant workers to help with the manual labor. Mira and her family park their trailer on the farm and start getting to work, still unaware of what has become of Mira’s mother. Tyler is skeptical about the new workers and wonders if they are undocumented. He forms a friendship with Mira as their families slowly discover they have more in common than they thought.

The book is unique in that it alternates between chapters narrated by Tyler and letters written by Mira. The book also includes some literal translations of English to Spanish and Spanish to English, with humorous results.

Tip: If the words are too difficult for your child, read the book aloud to your child. Try alternating pages or chapters. Help your child sound out difficult words. As you read aloud, your child learns fluency, rote, rate, and inflection. It’s a great learning opportunity!

Please support the Creative Education Institute and consider purchasing your book through Amazon Smile. 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to help struggling students learn how to read.


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About the Author

Dave Hoffman