"I Have a Secret/Tengo un secreto" by Maritere Rodríguez Bellas is an empowering and relatable story of a young boy named Yunito. Like many bilingual children living in the US, Yunito does not want to stand out from the other kids at school. Even at home, he claims to speak only English, and begs his parents not to speak Spanish with him.

Eventually, the secret gets out, and Yunito has to decide how to handle the situation. Thanks to a recently-arrived classmate named Gabi and a wise teacher, Yunito learns to be proud of his bilingual superpowers.

As the parent of three bilingual children, I can relate to Yunito's parents' sadness when Yunito appears to reject their family's home language. As a teacher of multilingual learners, I have also seen how many kids at this age want to blend in with their classmates, not stand out.

I love the message of this story, and the way that Yunito's friend and teacher help him to feel confident in showing this side of himself to his classmates.

This book has an important message for bilingual kids to feel proud of their language and culture. In addition, kids who speak only English could benefit from reading this book to learn empathy and grow in their appreciation for other languages and cultures.

The book is written in both English and Spanish, so families can read the book in either language or switch back and forth.

Maritere is an energetic advocate for bilingual families! Check out her social media, webpage and podcast for more encouragement and resources. 

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