Honors Latino writers and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in a work of literature for youth. Named in honor of Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian of the New York Public Library. The first awards, given in 1996, were selected from books published 1990-1995.
Victor Martinez, Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida (Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins, 1996)
Floyd Martínez, Spirits of the High Mesa (Arte Público Press, 1997)
Francisco X. Alarcón, Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems / Jitomates Risueños y otros poemas de primavera, illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez (Children's Book Press, 1997).
Stephanie Garcia, Snapshots from the Wedding, written by Gary Soto (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1997)
Enrique O. Sánchez, The Golden Flower: a Taino Myth from Puerto Rico, written by Nina Jaffe (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1996)
Carmen Lomas Garza, In My Family / En mi familia (Children's Book Press, 1996)
Simon Silva, Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English, written by Alma Flor Ada; English translation by Rosa Zubizarreta (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1997).
Judith Ortiz Coffer, An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio (Melanie Kroupa / Orchard Books, 1995).
Lucía González, The Bossy Gallito / El Gallo de Bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale, illustrated by Lulu Delacre (Scholastic, 1994).
Gary Soto, Baseball in April, and Other Stories (Harcourt, 1994).
Susan Guevara, Chato's Kitchen, written by Gary Soto (Putnam, 1995).
George Ancona, Pablo Remembers: The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead (Lothrop, 1993) [Also published in a Spanish language edition: Pablo Recuerda: La Fiesta de Día de los Muertos].
Lulu Delacre, The Bossy Gallito / El Gallo de Bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale retold by Lucía González (Scholastic, 1994).
Carmen Lomas Garza, Family Pictures / Cuadros de Familia. Spanish language text by Rosalma Zubizaretta (Children's Book Press, 1990).