How many Hispanic authors are on your bookshelf right now? Here is an opportunity to expand your reading selections with titles that cover almost every genre. From superheroes to feminism, pick up books that will entertain, educate, and take you to the future for Hispanic Heritage Month. Here are eight reads you should add to your bookshelf right now.
Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
Camilla is 17 and all she wants to do is play soccer. She’s not just good at it, either—she’s great, even more so than her brother. The problem is, her parents don’t support her dreams. Camilla is a strong Argentinian girl who, through feminism empowerment, takes control of her own legacy in the face of an abusive father. She never gives up hope and decides that her dream of being a world-renowned soccer player will not be diminished because of her family’s wishes.
Historically Inaccurate by Shay Bravo
Sol is a college student who is still dealing with the hurt and pain she’s endured from her mother’s deportation to back to Mexico. To heal, she finds herself trying to remain busy so she can fit in with her peers on campus. Her life changes when she meets Ethan and joins a history club that turns out to be more cult-like than extracurricular. If you are looking for something that shows you the impact of how immigration affects families, this is a title to consider.
Zorro’s Shadow: How a Mexican Legend Became America’s First Superhero by Stephen J.C. Andes
When you think of superheroes, do you ever consider Zorro? If you don’t, you should. The story of Zorro and its popularity makes the case that this Mexican superhero is indeed American’s first real superhero. Not only can you argue that Zorro is the first, but you can also pinpoint how Zorro laid the framework for Batman and Superman, and all of the other heroes we love today.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Because of this book I’ve developed an appreciation for Latinx horror and gothic stories. It is filled with suspense and gore. Mexican Gothic intertwines the supernatural world, violence, and family secrets.
A Spy in the Struggle by Aya de León
Aya de León is great at using social issues with intersectional feminism to create complex characters. Yolanda gets hired as a lawyer for the FBI to go undercover and infiltrate a teen activist group. Initially nervous, she prepares herself to get the job done. Yolanda is faced with an ideological political and culture clash as she learns more about the teens and their social activism. Yolanda eventually has to determine if she will fight for the government or the community who seeks justice.
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
If you are looking for Afro-Latinx representation, check out Clap When You Land. This novel-in-verse takes on heavy subjects such as grief, but Acevedo does it in a remarkable poetic motion. It will make you cry and touch your soul.
Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher
If you crave dystopian Latinx stories, Sanctuary will keep you on your toes. The year is 2032 and everyone is chipped. Well, almost everyone at least. Vali, a young woman who is an undocumented immigrant, is navigating a world where at any time she can be stopped and apprehended because she isn’t registered. Her family was living a quiet life until her mother’s chip was proven to be a fake and their town was raided. Now Vali has to travel with her family and find safety undetected. Even though it’s based in the far future, it feels very current.
This anthology isn’t exclusively about immigrants of Hispanic heritage, but there are a couple of essays that are written by authors who are first and second generation immigrants. The contributors detail how they’ve had to navigate their lives by learning American English, maintaining their culture, and assimilating into American society to achieve the American dream. It’s an honest look into real lives and experiences that we don’t get the privilege to see every day.