Books Set in the Dominican Republic

Islandborn Cover Image
By Junot Díaz, Leo Espinosa (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735229860
Availability: Backordered
Published: Dial Books - March 13th, 2018

From New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz comes a debut picture book about the magic of memory and the infinite power of the imagination.

A 2019 Pura Belpré Honor Book for Illustration
 
Every kid in Lola's school was from somewhere else.
Hers was a school of faraway places.
 
So when Lola's teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can't remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola's imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island.  As she draws closer to the heart of her family's story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela's words: “Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you.”
 
Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination's boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves.


If Dominican Were a Color Cover Image
By Sili Recio, Brianna McCarthy (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534461796
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books f - September 22nd, 2020

The colors of Hispaniola burst into life in this striking, evocative debut picture book that celebrates the joy of being Dominican.

If Dominican were a color, it would be the sunset in the sky, blazing red and burning bright.
If Dominican were a color, it’d be the roar of the ocean in the deep of the night,
With the moon beaming down rays of sheer delight.

The palette of the Dominican Republic is exuberant and unlimited. Maiz comes up amarillo, the blue-black of dreams washes over sandy shores, and people’s skin can be the shade of cinnamon in cocoa or of mahogany. This exuberantly colorful, softly rhyming picture book is a gentle reminder that a nation’s hues are as wide as nature itself.


Before We Were Free Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780399555497
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Ember - March 27th, 2018

A new paperback edition of Julia Alvarez’s beloved Pura Belpré winner about life in Trujillo’s Dominican Republic. “Diary entries written by a child while in hiding will remind readers of Anne Frank’s story.” —SLJ
 
Anita de la Torre never questioned her freedom living in the Dominican Republic. But by her twelfth birthday in 1960, most of her relatives have immigrated to the United States, her Tío Toni has disappeared without a trace, and the government’s secret police terrorize her remaining family because of their suspected opposition to Trujillo’s iron-fisted rule.
 
Using the strength and courage of her family, Anita must overcome her fears and fly to freedom, leaving all that she once knew behind.
 
From renowned author Julia Alvarez comes an unforgettable story about adolescence, perseverance, and one girl’s struggle to be free.
 
Miami Herald Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Winner of the Pura Belpré Award
An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book

“A stirring work of art.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
 
“A realistic and compelling account of a girl growing up too quickly while coming to terms with the cost of freedom.” —The Horn Book, Starred Review
 
“Diary entries written by the child while in hiding will remind readers of Anne Frank’s story. . . . Readers will bite their nails as the story moves to its inexorable conclusion.” —SLJ
 
“Alvarez’s story will spark intense discussion about politics and family.” —Booklist


Clap When You Land Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062882769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 5th, 2020

In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. 

Great for summer reading or anytime! Clap When You Land is a Today show pick for “25 children’s books your kids and teens won’t be able to put down this summer!"

Plus don't miss Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X and With the Fire on High!


Dominicana: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250205940
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Flatiron Books - August 25th, 2020

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK

Shortlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world

Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.

As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.


In the Time of the Butterflies Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781565129764
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - January 12th, 2010


25th Anniversary Edition

"A magnificent treasure for all cultures and all time.” --St. Petersburg Times

 
It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their deaths as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leónidas Trujillo’s dictatorship. It doesn’t have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas--the Butterflies.


In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters--Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and the survivor, Dedé--speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from secret crushes to gunrunning, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo’s rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez’s imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage and love, and the human costs of political oppression.

Julia Alvarez’s new novel, Afterlife, is available now.


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781594483295
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 2nd, 2008

Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.