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Press Release

Friday, September 11, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department Announces 2009 Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List
~ Literary selections nurture appreciation of Hispanic culture ~

Tallahassee - In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Florida Department of Education’s Just Read, Florida! Office announces the 2009 Hispanic Heritage Month Recommended Reading List. Appropriate literary selections are included for readers of all ages to help raise awareness and foster interest in the rich legacy and many contributions of Hispanic Americans to Florida’s unique culture and way of life.

“Hispanic Heritage Month is a wonderful way for students and families to experience the heritage and traditions of people from Spanish-speaking countries through literature,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I am honored to join Floridians across our state to pay tribute to the extraordinary diversity that has become an integral part of our culture.”

Literary selections from the recommended reading list include “Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems,” by Francisco X. Alarcon for elementary students in grades K-2, “Magic Windows,” by Carmen Lomas Garza for elementary students in grades 3-5, “Under the Same Sky,” by Cynthia DeFelico for middle school students and “A Shadow of the Wind: A Novel,” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Lucia Graves for high school students.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated nationwide and begins Sept. 15, 2009, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also achieved independence on the 16th and 18th of September, respectively. Hispanic Heritage Month has been recognized in the United States since 1974, when President Gerald Ford issued a Presidential Proclamation extending Hispanic Heritage Week into a month-long observation.

The recommended reading list provides a variety of suggested books by grade level and also includes a selection of suggested books for adults. To view the recommended reading list for Hispanic Heritage Month, please visit