Houghton Mifflin Social Studies

World Cultures & Geography

Unit 3 Bibliography: Latin America

The books listed below may be available through publishers, distributors such as bookstores or online retailers, or library systems.

Books for Independent Reading

Extra Support

Chocolate: Riches from the Rainforest
by Robert Burleigh
Abrams, 2002
Readers discover chocolate's origins in the ancient Maya and Aztec cultures and how the conquistadors brought the treat to Europe.

Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself
by Margaret Firth and Tomie dePaola
Grosset, 2003
This story of Mexican painter Kahlo's life is illustrated with reproductions of her artwork and imagined scenes from her childhood.

The Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Maya
by Leonard Everett Fisher
Holiday, 1999
This book provides an introduction to the culture and pantheon of Mayan deities.

South American Animals
by Caroline Arnold
Murrow, 1999
Readers learn about the birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians of South America.

On Level

Amazon: A Young Reader's Look at the Last Frontier
by Peter Lourie
Caroline, 1991
This firsthand account of a journey through the Brazilian state of Rondônia, the heart of the Amazon, also describes the destructive burning of the jungle.

Esperanza Rising
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Scholastic, 2004
Tragedy forces Esperanza to leave the good life in Mexico and join other Depression-era migrant workers in California.

Everyday Life of the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans
by Neil Morris
Smart Apple, 2004
The civilization of each of these ancient cultures is described in detail.

Golden Tales: Myths, Legends, and Folktales from Latin America
by Lulu Delacre
Scholastic, 2001
Tales from 13 Latin American countries are told here.

Under the Royal Palms: A Childhood in Cuba
by Alma Flor Ada
Atheneum, 1998
This children's author recalls growing up in Cuba.


Mysteries of the Rain Forest: 20th Century Medicine Man
by Elaine Pascoe
Blackbirch, 1998
A modern doctor studies the medicinal benefits of rain forest vegetation.

The Panama Canal in American History
by Ann Graham Gaines
Enslow, 1999
The planning, building, and maintaining of the canal are discussed here.

Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Wildlife Viewing Guide
by David Nellis
Falcon, 1999
Readers discover wildlife on the ground, in the air, and under the water.

Quinceañera: Celebrating Fifteen
by Elizabeth King
Dutton, 1998
Mexican and Salvadoran coming-of-age ceremonies are explored here.

Read Aloud and Reference

Read Aloud Books

The Eagle and the Rainbow: Timeless Tales from Mexico
by Antonio Hernández Madrigal
Fulcrum, 1997
This collection presents five stories from five indigenous cultures.

Latino Read-Aloud Stories: Best-Loved Selections from Latino Cultures
by Maite Suárez-Rivas
Black Dog & Leventhal, 2000
Legends, fairy tales, and fables from ancient times are featured here.

Reference Books

Central America: A Natural and Cultural History
by Antony Coates, ed.
Yale University, 1998
The geography, flora, and fauna of Central America are featured here.

The History Atlas of South America
by Edwin Early
Macmillan, 1998
This book offers comprehensive coverage of South American history.

The Maya: Life, Myth, and Art
by Timothy Laughton
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1998
A celebration of the cultural and artistic legacy of the Maya is presented here.

by Jen Green
Raintree, 2000
Readers discover the geography, history, economy, culture, and daily life of Mexico.

The Tree Is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems and Stories from Mexico with Paintings by Mexican Artists
by Naomi Shihab Nye, ed.
Simon & Schuster, 1995
This book provides rich contemporary cultural content.