Some of my favorite reads featuring or focusing on The Day of the Dead.
Dia de Los Muertos
A picture book celebrating Dia De Los Muertos. Taking place in a pueblo or town it shows the town getting ready to celebrate, decorating with colored streamers, calaveras, and pan de muertos, or bread of the dead. The book explains the festivities and music involved and is interspersed with Spanish vocabulary
Día de los Muertos (Celebrate the World)
A board book series focusing on celebrations around the world. This book teaches about the traditions surrounding Dia De Los Muertos, such as sugar skulls and alters. Along with the importance of honoring ancestors and loved ones.
Illustrated by Golden Globe-winning Mexican illustrator Jorge Gutierrez.
Amazon: Dia De Los Muertos Board Book
Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble
Another book focused on The Day of the Dead. Leonora Logroño’s family are bakers in fact they own the most popular bakery in Leonora’s small-town Rose Hill. The family makes cakes for all occasions but the biggest event is the annual Dia de Los Muertos festival.
Leo has dreamed every year of helping her family prepare for the festival, but she’s always told she’s too young. Leo’s curiosity is peaked when she notices something strange at the bakery and sneaks out of school to check on her family.
What she finds is surprising, her mother, aunt, and four older sisters are not just bakers: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry. They add their magic to everything they make.
Finding out she has magical powers make Leo more determined to join the family business than ever before. But she needs a little bit of practice before she lets her family know she knows the family secret.
So when her best friend Caroline has a problem that looks like it could be solved with magic, Leo can’t help herself from jumping in to assist her friend. After all, she figures it’s just one little spell, what could possibly go wrong?
The first in a series by Anna Meriano.
A love story to grief, family and The Day of the Dead. Catrina doesn’t want to think about the fact that her little sister Maya is sick. Even as her family is moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister because the weather there helps her little sister’s cystic fibrosis.
She also isn’t excited about leaving her friends and going to a whole new town. But her sister and she soon meet a boy who lets them in on a town secret, their new town of Bahía de la Luna, has ghosts.
Maya longs to meet one but Catrina wants nothing to do with the idea. It makes her think too much about Maya’s own mortality.
But as the veil between the world of the living and the dead thins, Catrina must find a way to put aside her fears for her sisters’ sake and perhaps her own?
I wish I’d been able to find more books, a lot of the focus seemed to be children’s picture books, but I would have liked to find more MG/YA.
Do you know of any middle grade or young adult books that focus on this holiday?
Photo by Valeria Almaraz on Unsplash