"Story is both individual and collective," says Candis Grover, director of literacy and Spanish development at ReadyRosie, an educational web site.
She says students need more than just a few scattered stories: "We need to give them a large literary room of characters to connect with."
So, in that spirit, we've reached out to experts and scoured the blogs and asked authors what books they'd put in that big room. Here are five great examples:
The Name Jar
by Yangsook Choi and Yangsook Choi
Names are an important part of our identity. Unhei's classmates show their support as she decides whether to keep her Korean name or choose a completely new American one.
Chocolate Milk, Por Favor
by Maria Dismondy and Donna Farrell
Body language helps overcome language barriers. Gabe's classmates learn how to communicate with him through sports, food, and play.
Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match/Marisol McDonald No Combina
by Monica Brown and Sara Palacios
No one would dare stop Pippi Longstocking from being her own unique self. Marisol, like Pippi, owns her identity. She redefines what it means to be Peruvian-Scottish-American.
by Natasha Wing and Robert Casilla
Pablo spends quality time with his Mexican mom and Jewish father learning about their respective cultures through food. Instead of favoring one culture, Pablo chooses to celebrate both.
Maximilian & The Mystery Of The Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller
by Xavier Garza
Whether it's read in Spanish or English, Mexican traditions and pop culture shine in this book for older students.