Community Organization Helps Libraries Add Caribbean Books to Summer Reading Lists

Community Organization Helps Libraries Add Caribbean Books to Summer Reading Lists

The mission of Advocacy to Legacy, Inc. is to educate individuals, families and communities how to advocate for themselves for positive change. They are a small, but nimble and effective, organization and much of their work is accomplished by volunteers.

Violette Haldane, the founder of Advocacy to Legacy, Inc. has collaborated with Hartford and Bloomfield Public Libraries to bring more books written by Caribbean authors or about the Caribbean to this year’s summer reading lists.  The libraries are committed to having the books on the shelves by June if they do not have copies already.

Violette Haldane states, “I am excited that students will have the opportunity to read about different cultures or see their culture reflected in their books.”

Below is the Caribbean Book List compiled by Bloomfield and Hartford Public Libraries.

Grades K-2

Alcantara, J.        The Field.    K-3.  Creole/St. Lucia

Bloom, Valarie    Fruits (A Caribbean Counting Poem)

Canady, M.    Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale.  3-7yrs. Puerto Rico

Danticat, E.    Eight Days.   4-6yrs.  Haiti

DeGroat,G.     Me Encanta, I Love Puerto Rico.   Gr.1-2.  Puerto Rico

Engle, M.         All the way to Havana.  PreS-2.  Cuba

Engle, M           Hurricane Dances (preS -2) Cuba

Garne, S. T.              By A Blazing Blue Sea

Gershator, P.   Tukama Tootles the Flute.  K-2.  Antilles

Hohn, N.           Malaika’s Costume.   PreS-2.  Caribbean

Isadora, R.        Caribbean Dream. PreS-2

Lessac, France     Caribbean ALphabet

Leston, K.          Grandpa Take Me To T and T.  Trinidad and Tobago

Martinez, Juana     Alma and How She Got Her Name

Mitchell, R.P.    Hue Boy.  3-6yrs.  Islands

Pomerantz, C.  Chalk Doll.  4-8yrs.  Jamaica

Richards, S.       Rice and Rocks. 5-6yrs.  Jamaica

Senior, O.          Anna Carries Water.  4-7. Jamaica

Williams K.        Tap-Tap. 4-7. Haiti

Grades  3-4

Baptise, Tracey    The Jumbies

Campbell, N.       My Caribbean Grandma.   Jamaica

Chambers, V.      Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa.  Gr. 3-4   Havana

Engle, M.             Drum Dream Girl-How One Girls Courage Changed Music    Gr. 1-4.  Cuba

Gershator, David    Kallaloo     Gr. 1 -4

Greenwood, M.    Drummer Boy of John John.  Gr. 1-4.  Trinidad

Harris, D.              Yes, I Can  (Bobsled Team)     Gr. 3-4.  Jamaica

Perez, C.               First Rule of Punk.                    Gr. 3-6   Mexican

San Souci, R.        Cendrillon  (Caribbean Cinderella)    Gr.  K-5   Martinique

San Souci, R.         Faithful Friend.                         Gr.  K-3+ West Indies

Storace, P.             Sugar Cane. (Caribbean Rapunzel)  Gr. 1-5

Tavares, M.           Growing Up Pedro.      Gr.3-7  Dominican Republic

Turnbull, E.           Janjak and Freda Go To the Iron Market  Gr.3-7   Haiti

Grades 5-8

Ada, A.           Island Treasures.                  Gr. 7+   Cuba

Ada, A.           Under the Royal Palms.       Gr. 3-7.  Cuba

Baptiste, T.    The Jumbies.                         Gr. 4-6+  An Island  (Other Jumbie titles)

Behar, R.         Lucky Broken Girl.               Gr. 4-6+  Cuba

Callendar, K.  Hurricane Child.                    Gr. 3-7.  St. Thomas

Cartaya, P.     Marcus Vega Doesn’t  Speak Spanish.    Gr. 5-6.  Puerto Rico

Engle, M.        Forest World.                          Gr. 4-7.  Cuba

Green, Jen    The Caribbean (A World of Food)  Gr. 4 -6

Medina, T.      I and I Bob Marley.                 Gr. 4-7   Jamaica

Perez, C.         First Rule of Punk.                   Gr. 4-7  Mexican

Rogé.               Haiti, My Country-  Haitian Children Portraits and Poetry.  Gr. 5-8

Sheen, Barbara       Foods of the Caribbean  Gr 5-6

Speare, E.        Witch of Blackbird Pond        Gr. 5-8.  Barbados

Grades  9-12

Acevedo, E.        The Poet X.      Dominican

Acevedo, E.        With the Fire on High.   Gr. 9+       Caribbean author

Alvarez, J.           Before We Were Free.         Gr. 7-9      Dominican Republic

Ayala, V.             Puerto Rico Strong:  A Comics Anthology Supporting Puerto Rican Disaster.

Cofer, J.O.           An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio.   Gr. 7+        Puerto Rico

Danticat, E.         Everything Inside.          Gr. 9-12     Haiti

Danticat, E.         Krik? Krak!         Haiti

Engle, M.            Poet Slave of Cuba.                                 Gr. 7-12

Engle, M.            The Surrender Tree.                                Gr.7-12    Cuba

Gibson, T.           Drums Beyond the Shore.                      Gr. 7-12      Trinidad and Tobago

Hernandez, R.         Caribbean Islands Facts                Gr. 9 +

Jackson, N.         Star Side of Bird Hill               Barbados

Moulite, M.        Dear Haiti:  Love Elaine                            Gr. 9+

Rivera, L.               Dealing in Dreams                                     Gr. 7+

Taylor, T.             The Cay and Sequels                                 Gr. 7+        West Indies/Curaçao


Breinburg, P     Stories of the Caribbean –


About Advocacy to Legacy, Inc.

Last year, as part of their advocacy work, Advocacy to Legacy, Inc. did some work for United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut  through a mini-grant.  The organization is most popularly known for two community and advocacy accomplishments:

  • Feeding over 125 children at the Albany Avenue Branch of the Hartford Public Library each Friday while school is in session for the last 2 years (on hiatus until librarian is hired.)
  • Their work with Tobacco 21 Legislation in which they trained students on the issue and they advocated for changing the law (raising the age to purchase and use nicotine products from 18 to 21) before the Department of Public Health and the Hartford City Council.

The work they do with adults is primarily about health: surveys, interviews, and community conversations; and civic engagement including voter registration and U.S. Census 2020 awareness.

Advocacy and Legacy, LLC was formed in 1991 by Violette Haldane to educate her family and community about how to advocate for themselves to be a driving force for change in their lives. Advocacy and Legacy focused on education, health, financial literacy, and home ownership. The work is done through workshops at community organizations, churches and schools.

​Sharing information with the community became a larger part of the work over time. As a result, in December 2017, Advocacy and Legacy, LLC became Advocacy to Legacy, Inc. – a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. To date, the organization has worked with hundreds of members of the Greater Hartford community, but the mission remains the same – educating individuals, families, and communities to advocate for themselves for positive change and to leave a legacy.

​Today, Advocacy to Legacy, Inc. works with youth preparing them to become future leaders of their communities. Each year students choose a project to work on and Advocacy to Legacy, Inc. supports them through the process with advocacy training, research guidance, project planning, media relations/campaign implementation and presentation/public speaking preparation.  They engage the community in conversations, surveys or interviews to get residents’ voices represented or heard in local policies and plans (public and private).

For more information about Advocacy to Legacy, Inc., please email 

You may also contact Violette Haldane – Advocacy to Legacy, Inc. –  860-930-2508