Join us in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month by reading one these amazing Latinx reads!
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Magnificently crafted, Acevedo’s bildungsroman in verse is a stunning account of a teen girl’s path to poetry. Sophomore Xiomara Batista is simultaneously invisible and hyper visible at home, at school, and in her largely Dominican community in Harlem—her body is “unhide-able” she tells readers early on, and she bristles at how others project their desires, insecurities, failures, and patriarchal attitudes toward her. Though she is quick to battle and defend herself and her twin brother Xavier, Xiomara’s inner life sensitively grapples with these projections and the expectations of her strict, religious mother.
What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.
BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?
What if it’s us?
All the Stars Denied by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
A harrowing account of a lesser known episode in the United States' unseemly history of discriminatory immigration policies. Estrella del Toro is witnessing change all around her Monteseco, TX, community. Empty homes and classrooms denote the friends and neighbors being "repatriated," or deported en masse to Mexico during the 1930s, many of whom are American citizens and never lived in Mexico. The "mexicanos" who remain face bigotry from Anglo-owned businesses who refuse services and segregate sections of their town. Activism runs in Estrella's family, but after speaking out against the injustices, the authorities retaliate against the del Toro family, rounding them up, burning their ranch to the ground, and forcefully boarding them onto trains headed toward Mexico. Estrella, her mother, and toddler brother struggle to reunite with her father, navigating unjust policies and unfamiliar bureaucracies.
Pride by Ibi Zoboi
This Bushwick-set, contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice tackles gentrification, Blackness, and romance with honesty, humor, and heart. Afro-Latina Zuri Benitez is proud of her Dominican and Haitian heritage, close-knit family, and bustling block. However, the teen knows that the renovation of the abandoned house across the street into a mansion portends a gentrifying trend that she’s not quite ready for. It also ushers in the arrival of the wealthy Darcy brothers—Ainsley, the charming and friendly college boy who is possibly striking up a romance with Janae, Zuri’s college freshman sister; and Darius, the too-cool-for-school younger brother, who is as handsome as he is snooty. Zoboi follows her novel American Street with this send-up of Austen’s classic, an insightful commentary on socioeconomic class, changing neighborhoods, and the pressures of growing up and falling in love as a second-generation immigrant.
Cool Salsa by Lori Marie Carlson
Growing up Latino in America means speaking two languages, living two lives, learning the rules of two cultures. Cool Salsa celebrates the tones, rhythms, sounds, and experiences of that double life. Here are poems about families and parties, insults and sad memories, hot dogs and mangos, the sweet syllables of Spanish and the snag-toothed traps of English. Here is the glory―and pain―of being Latino American.
Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle by Hilda Eunice Burgos
Ana María Reyes doesn’t live in a castle, she lives in a two-bedroom apartment with her three sisters and both parents in Washington Heights, New York City. Ana María is caring, outspoken, and impulsive, driven by her emotions but also very goal-oriented. She yearns to attend a private academy, the Eleanor School, but her family doesn’t have the money for tuition. To earn a scholarship, she must pass a test and impress the judges playing the piano in a showcase recital at Lincoln Center. This middle grade novel is an engaging, character-driven story about an 11-year-old Dominican American girl who is learning about herself and to appreciate her family and friends. It is an authentic representation of an immigrant, middle class Latinx family who values education, community, and family and stays true to their roots.
Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you're only in the eighth grade, you're both a threat and a target.
After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mom decides it's time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don't remember or have never met. But Marcus can't focus knowing that his father--who walked out of their lives ten years ago--is somewhere on the island.
So begins Marcus's incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn't know if he'll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way.
The Princess and the Warrior by Duncan Tonatiuh
Award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh reimagines one of Mexico’s cherished legends. Princess Izta had many wealthy suitors but dismissed them all. When a mere warrior, Popoca, promised to be true to her and stay always by her side, Izta fell in love. The emperor promised Popoca if he could defeat their enemy Jaguar Claw, then Popoca and Izta could wed. When Popoca was near to defeating Jaguar Claw, his opponent sent a messenger to Izta saying Popoca was dead. Izta fell into a deep sleep and, upon his return, even Popoca could not wake her. As promised Popoca stayed by her side. So two volcanoes were formed: Iztaccíhuatl, who continues to sleep, and Popocatépetl, who spews ash and smoke, trying to wake his love.
Danza!: Amalia Hernández and Mexico's Folkloric Ballet by Duncan Tonatiuh
Danza! is a celebration of Hernández’s life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernández traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklórico de México, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today.
Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh
Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.
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