Skip to main content

Interested in Starting Your Own Family Reading Fun Packs?

Family Literacy Initiative


Family Literacy Leaders

HPN Family Literacy Leaders invite all guardians of Park and Harder Elementary students to the Parent Centers to learn more about the benefits of reading aloud to their child.  We have great books for you to check out and activities to help you build your child's vocabulary, help them grow a deeper understanding of what they read, and make connections to their community and the world around them.

Family Reading Fun Packs

Family Reading Fun Packs are available at Park Elementary and Harder Elementary Parent Centers.  Stop by to check out a Family Reading Fun Pack and learn new ways to make reading even more fun and enjoyable with with your child!


Interested in starting your own Family Reading Fun Pack?   Check out the resources here to get you started:

Family Reading Fun Pack Distribution Guide English

Family Reading Fun Pack Distribution Guide Spanish

In-Home Libraries

We distribute books to youth year-round to support building in-home libraries and a love for reading.  Come by the Parent Resource Center HUB at 24823 Soto Road, Hayward, CA 94544, in rooms 13 and 15 to get your child's free book anytime.

Parent Center Book Club Lending Library

A Jar of Dreams

Growing up in California during the depression isn't easy for eleven-year-old Rinko. She desperately wants to fit in and be like everyone else, but instead she is ridiculed and made to feel different because she is Japanese. But when Aunt Waka comes to visit, and brings with her the old-fashioned wisdom of Japan, she teaches Rinko the importance of her Japanese heritage, and the value of her own strengths and dreams, in this warm and touching story.


Absolutely Normal Chaos

Dear Mr. Birkway,

Here it is: my summer journal.

As you can see,

I got a little carried away.

The problem is this, though.

I don't want you to read it.


Remember Mary Lou Finney from Walk Two Moons? Here's her complete, secret journal! Mary Lou Finney is less than excited about her assignment to keep a journal over the summer. Boring! Then cousin Carl Ray comes to stay with her family, and what starts out as the dull dog days of summer quickly turns into the wildest roller-coaster ride of all time. How was Mary Lou supposed to know what would happen with Carl Ray and the ring? Or with her boy-crazy best friend, Beth Ann? Or with (sigh) the permanently pink Alex Cheevey? Suddenly a boring school project becomes a record of the most exciting, incredible, unbelievable summer of Mary Lou's life.

But what if her teacher actually does read her journal?


Eight Tales of Terror

A collection of horror stories includes depictions of a man haunted by the spirit of his dead wife, strange plots of revenge, and a traveler trapped on a ghost ship.


Esperanza Rising

Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.


Esperanza Renace

Esperanza pensaba que viviría siempre con su familia en su rancho en México--que tendría siempre vestidos de lujo, una hermosa casa y criados. Pero una tragedia repentina obliga a Esperanza y Mamá a huir a California durante la Gran Depresión y a instalarse en un campamento para trabajadores agrícolas mexicanos. Esperanza no está lista para el trabajo duro, las luchas financieras o la falta de aceptación que ahora enfrenta. Cuando su nueva vida es amenazada, Esperanza debe encontrar la manera de superar sus circunstancias difíciles—la vida de mamá y de ella misma dependen de eso.    

Gaby, Lost and Found

"My name is Gaby, and I'm looking for a home. Having the nicest clothes or cell phone isn't important, but I'd like to have a cat that I can talk to when I'm home alone."


When Gaby Ramirez Howard starts volunteering at the local animal shelter, she takes special pride in writing adoption advertisements. Her flyers help the cats and

dogs there find their forever homes: places where they'll be loved and cared for, no matter what. Gaby is in need of a forever home herself. Her mother has recently been deported to Honduras and Gaby doesn't know where to turn. Meanwhile, Gaby's favorite shelter cat, Feather, needs a new place to live. Gaby would love to adopt her-- but if Gaby doesn't have a place that feels like home to her, how can she help Feather?

Gaby, Perdida y Encontrada

"Mi nombre es Gaby y estoy buscando un hogar. Tener la mejor ropa o celular no es importante, pero me gustaría tener un gato con el que pueda hablar cuando esté sola en casa." 

Cuando Gaby Ramírez Howard comienza a ser voluntaria en el refugio local de animales, ella toma un orgullo especial en escribir anuncios de adopción. Sus volantes ayudan a los gatos y perros de ahí a encontrar sus hogares para siempre: lugares donde serán amados y cuidados, sin importar lo que pase. Gaby está necesitando un hogar para siempre, para ella misma. Su madre ha sido recientemente deportada a Honduras y Gaby no sabe a quién acudir. Mientras tanto, la gata de refugio favorita de Gaby, Feather, necesita un nuevo lugar para vivir. A Gaby le encantaría adoptarla--pero si Gaby no tiene un lugar que se sienta como en casa, ¿cómo puede ayudar a Feather?


Handbook for Boys

Jimmy and Kevin could really use a guide to life. Their activities almost land them in juvenile detention until Duke employs them in his Harlem barbershop. Duke has rules for everything. But is he offering good advice or just more aggravation? In the groundbreaking tradition of the award-winning Monster and Bad Boy: A Memoir, Walter Dean Myers fashions a complex, layered novel about the rules for success. Handbook for Boys is the book that he wishes he could have read while growing up. It is also the book young people need to read today.


Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent

It's 1863. Harriet Tubman is facing one of the biggest—and most dangerous— challenges of her life. She has survived her master's lash, escaped from slavery, and risked her life countless times to lead runaway slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Now she has a new role—that of Union spy! The outcome of a secret night raid deep into Confederate territory depends on the accuracy of the intelligence she and other black spies have gathered. Success will mean freedom for hundreds of slaves. Failure will mean death by hanging.


You are about to enter the undercover world of African-American spies—enslaved and free—risking everything in the name of freedom. How were the Underground Railroad and slave songs used to pass secret messages? What were "contrabands" and "Black Dispatches?" What did Harriet have in common with the Secret Six and a maidservant in the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis? You'll discover these answers and more as the action unfolds.


Thomas B. Allen, author of the award-winning George Washington, Spymaster, has sifted through military and intelligence archives, diaries, and little-known memoirs from ex-slaves to bring to light new facts about the role Harriet and other black spies played in helping the Union win the war.


This detailed account combined with powerful archival images supplemented with woodcuts by Carla Bauer, maps, a time line, footnotes, and extensive quote sources make this incredibly detailed account an excellent resource for report writing as well as an exciting true-life adventure.

Heroes de Guerra (can't find)


Hidden Like Anne Frank

Jaap Sitters was only eight years old when his mother cut the yellow stars off his clothes and sent him, alone, on a fifteen-mile walk to hide with relatives. It was a terrifying night, one he would never forget. Before the end of the war, he would hide in secret rooms and behind walls. He would suffer from hunger, sickness, and the looming threat of Nazi raids. But he would live.


This is just one of the true stories told in Hidden Like Anne Frank, a collection of eye-opening first-person accounts that share the experience of going into hiding to escape the Holocaust. Some were just toddlers when they were hidden; some were teenagers. Some hid with neighbors or family, while many were with complete strangers. But all know the pain of losing their homes, their families, even their own names. They describe the secret network that kept them safe. And they share the coincidences and close calls that made all the difference.



Describes the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, particularly as it affects Sachi, who becomes one of the Hiroshima Maidens.


Las Aventuras de super bebe Panal (can’t find)


Money Hungry

Thirteen-year-old Raspberry Hill is starved for money. She will do just about anything legal to get her hands on the almighty dollar--wash cars, sell rotten candy, skip lunch, clean houses. She is obsessed. She is driven. She is afraid. Memories of being homeless, sleeping in the streets, and eating handouts keep Raspberry's eye on the only prize that matters to her: cold, hard cash. When the green stuff greases her palm, she gets comfort from feeling its crinkly paper power. And, when money is your best friend, there's more to do than hold it. Raspberry kisses her cash. She smells it. She loves it. But even money can't answer the questions that keep Raspberry awake at night.


Paint The Wind

Maya lives like a captive. At Grandmother's house in California, everything is forbidden: friends, fun, even memories. And her life is built on lies: lies Grandmother tells her about her dead mother, lies Maya tells to impress or manipulate. But then she moves to the vast Wyoming wilderness where her mother's family awaits - kind, rugged people who have no tolerance for lies. They challenge Maya to confront the truth about who she is. And a mysterious mustang called Artemisia waits, too. She holds the key to Maya's freedom. But to find it, Maya will have to risk everything, including her life.

Pintar el Viento

Maya vive como una cautiva. En casa de la abuela en California, está prohibido todo: amigos, diversión, incluso recuerdos. Y su vida se basa en mentiras: mentiras que abuela le cuenta sobre su madre muerta, mentiras que Maya cuenta para impresionar o manipular. Pero luego se traslada al vasto desierto de Wyoming donde espera la familia de su madre – personas buenas, robustas, quienes no tienen tolerancia para las mentiras. Desafían a Maya para enfrentar la verdad sobre quién es ella. Y una misteriosa yegua mesteña llamada Artemisia, también espera. Ella tiene la llave para la libertad de Maya. Pero para encontrarla, Maya tendrá que arriesgarlo todo, incluso su vida.    


Red Scarf Girl

His accessible autobiography is the true story of one girl's determination to hold her family together during one of the most terrifying eras of the twentieth century. It's 1966, and twelve-year-old Ji-li Jiang has everything a girl could want: brains, friends, and a bright future in Communist China. But it's also the year that China's leader, Mao Ze-dong, launches the Cultural Revolution—and Ji-li's world begins to fall apart. Over the next few years, people who were once her friends and neighbors turn on her and her family, forcing them to live in constant terror of arrest. When Ji-li's father is finally imprisoned, she faces the most difficult dilemma of her life.


Taking Sides

Lincoln is in a jam when his basketball team at his new school--where the students are rich and mostly white--faces his old team from the barrio on the boards. How can he play his best against his friends? No matter who wins, it looks like it will be lose-lose for Lincoln.


The House on Mango Street

Aclamada por críticos, adorada por lectores de todas las edades, enseñada en todas partes desde escuelas del centro de la ciudad hasta universidades por todo el país, y traducida por todo el mundo, La Casa en la Calle Mango es la extraordinaria historia de Esperanza Cordero. 

Contada en una serie de viñetas – a veces desgarradoras, a veces profundamente alegres – es la historia de una joven Latina creciendo en Chicago, inventando para ella misma el quién y qué será. Pocos otros libros en nuestro tiempo han tocado a tantos lectores. 


The House on Mango Street

Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero.


Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.


The Not-So-Great Depression

Jacki’s ninth–grade teacher is always going on about the unemployment index and the recession, but nothing sinks in until her mom is laid off and everything seems to cost more than they can afford. Acclaimed author Amy Goldman Koss delivers a warm hearted and timely tale about the things we lose and the insights we gain.


The Secret Life of Sonia

Sonia Rodriguez was born in the United States, but her parents are Mexican immigrants who came to California before she was born. Her father has three Social Security numbers, her mother is pregnant (again), and neither of them speaks English. Sonia's mother spends most of her time in bed, watching soap operas, and letting Sonia clean up after her brothers. Sonia's father works dutifully to support his family, but he knows that his daughter's dreams are bigger than making tamales for family get-togethers. When Sonia attempts to put school work before her familia, her mother decides that it's time for Sonia to visit her grandmother in Mexico to learn "the ways of the old world." While in Mexico, Sonia gets to know her wise grandmother and her cousin Maria, who teach her that while familia is important, the most important thing is to follow your heart. Sonia returns to the States determined to succeed in school, but the birth of her new twin siblings, inappropriate advances from her drunk uncle (Drunkle), and a forbidden relationship with an El Salvadorian boy push school to the back burner. If only Sonia can find the time to cook dinner, secretly meet with her boyfriend, avoid her Drunkle, AND finish her homework, she just might be able to graduate from high school. . . .


The Skin I’m In

Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they're not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it's about her dark, black skin.


When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. But the new teacher's attitude surprises Maleeka. Miss Saunders loves the skin she's in. Can Maleeka learn to do so


The Sunita Experiment

When her grandparents come for a visit from India to California, thirteen-year-old Sunita finds herself resenting her Indian heritage and embarrassed by the differences she feels between herself and her friends.


Toning the Sweep

Angela Johnson's Coretta Scott King Award winning novel that traces three generations of African American women as they learn one another's truths.


Three generations of African American women, each holding on to a separate truth. Their story -- encompassing racism and murder as well as the family commonplaces that make a life -- is one that readers will never forget.


Yo, Naomi Leon

Naomi Soledad León Outlaw ha tenido que enfrentarse a mucho en su corta vida, empezando por su nombre. También está el problema de su ropa (hechas por su abuela en tela de poliéster), su timidez y la fama que tiene en la escuela de no ser nadie especial. Pero según su abuela, la mayoría de los problemas se solucionan con mentalidad positiva. Y su vida, junto a su abuela y su pequeño hermano, Owen, en el parque de casas móviles Avocado Acres, es tranquila y feliz... hasta que su mamá aparece luego de siete años, creando confusión y retando a Naomi a que averigüe quién es.