Barrio: José’s Neighborhood

Arts & Culture, Available in Spanish, Book, Celebrations, Family, Hispanic & Latino, Multicultural, Other Languages, Places

Barrio: José’s Neighborhood

By: George Ancona
Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1998 
Age Level: 9-12
Language: English, Spanish
ISBN: 978-0-15-201049-2 (hardcover), 978-0-15-201048-5 (paperback), 0-15-201808-5 (Spanish)


José’s neighborhood is the Mission District in San Francisco. The book shows the blending of cultures such as Halloween becoming the Day of the Dead which is celebrated in schools, stores, and homes. It is a community that sings out it’s cultures and histories with murals, festivals. gardens, foods, holidays and birthday parties. 




  • Winner of the 1999 Americas Award, Consortium of Latin American Studies Program 
  • The 2000 Pura Belpré Award Honor Book for Illustration


“The book captures the ebb and flow of daily life in Jose’s neighborhood that we overlook in our own, And by telling the story through the eyes of an elementary school student, Ancona has invited young readers to find themselves in Jose’s daily experiences as well.”
Los Angeles Times

“Through text and photographs, Ancona takes readers on a tour of Jose’s mostly Latino community known as El Barrio and introduces them to various shops and foods as well as to the many customs that are part of his daily life. Some difficult issues are touched on: illegal immigration; the problem of gangs; and even AIDS as a teacher is remembered at school. Ancona’s trademark photographs are clear and bright and beautifully capture the many flavors and colors of the barrio. The text is sprinkled with Spanish words that are defined in the glossary. This title successfully captures images of a particular place as seen through the eyes of a child.”.
School Library Journal