Hispanic Heritage Month

Children
Alma and How She Got Her Name – Juana Martinez-Neal
A charming picture book featuring Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela, who feels overwhelmed writing her very long name, until her Dad introduces her to all the remarkable people in her family for whom she is named.

  Pepe and the Parade – Tracey Kyle
Pepe, who is Mexican American, enjoys participating in a festival celebrating his heritage and that of his family and friends, who are from Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and many other countries. Includes author’s note about Hispanic American History month and the difference between the terms Hispanic and Latino.

Nosotros Means Us – Paloma Valdivia
A moving bilingual ode to the unshakeable bond between a parent and child in the tradition of Runaway Bunny and The Wonderful Things You Will Be.  
My Papi Has a Motorcycle – Isabel Quintero
When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there. With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl’s love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change

  Julian is a Mermaid – Jessica Love
While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?

  Across the Bay – Carlos Aponte
Carlitos lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. Life in his hometown is cozy as can be, but the call of the capital city pulls Carlitos across the bay in search of his father.

  Areli is a Dreamer – Areli Morales
In the first picture book written by a DACA dreamer Areli Morales tells her own powerful and vibrant immigration story of moving from a quiet town in Mexico to the bustling and noisy metropolis of New York City

  Loteria – Karla Arenas Valenti
In Oaxaca City, Mexico, ancient friends Life and Death discuss free will while engaged in a game of chance, with eleven-year-old Clara as the protagonist of their theories and a pawn in their game, moving inevitably towards her ultimate fate. 

  They Call Me Güero – David Bowles
This collection of narrative poetry explores a year in the life of a Mexican-American boy: caring, talented, and irrepressibly mischievous. Twelve-year-old Güero is Mexican American, at home with Spanish or English and on both sides of the river. He’s starting 7th grade with a woke English teacher who knows how to make poetry cool. In Spanish, “Güero” is a nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo. But make no mistake: our red-headed, freckled hero is puro mexicano, like Canelo Álvarez, the Mexican boxer. Güero is also a nerd–reader, gamer, musician–who runs with a squad of misfits like him, Los Bobbys. Sure, they get in trouble like anybody else, and like other middle-school boys, they discover girls. Watch out for Joanna! She’s tough as nails. But trusting in his family’s traditions, his accordion and his bookworm squad, he faces seventh grade with book smarts and a big heart. Life is tough for a border kid, but Güero has figured out how to cope – He writes poetry.

Merci Suårez Changes Gears – Meg Medina
Merci Suárez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school.  
Teen​
Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo
A unique story based on a real-life event, Clap When You Land is about two girls from different countries who experience a shared trauma and discover they are connected in a way they never could have imagined 

  Juliet Takes a Breath – Gabi Rivera
Juliet, a self-identified queer, Bronx-born Puerto Rican-American, comes out to her family to disastrous results the night before flying to Portland to intern with her feminist author icon–whom Juliet soon realizes has a problematic definition of feminism that excludes women of color

  Furia – Yamil Saied Méndez 
Seventeen-year-old Camila Hassan, a rising soccer star in Rosario, Argentina, dreams of playing professionally, in defiance of her fathers’ wishes and at the risk of her budding romance with Diego.
A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow – Laura Taylor Namey
Seventeen-year-old Lila Reyes, furious when her parents send her to the English countryside to recover from grief and heartbreak, unexpectedly falls in love with a teashop clerk–and England, itself. After graduation, everything Lila Reyes had planned for her life fell apart. Her worried parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila. Until she meets Orion Maxwell. A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion appoints himself as Lila’s personal tour guide. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind– one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

  We Are Not From Here – Jenny Torres Sanchez
Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. And these three teens have one another. But, none of them have illusions about the town they’ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home. Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life — if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.

  Never Look Back – Lilliam Rivera
A modern retelling of the myth, Orpheus and Eurydice, in which Eury leaves Puerto Rico for the Bronx, haunted by losing all to Hurricane Maria and by evil spirit Ato, and meets a bachata-singing charmer, Pheus. She fully expects the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. Pheus is a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer, ready to spend the summer on the beach with his friends. When he meets Eury, all he wants is to put a smile on her face and fight off her demons. But some dangers are too powerful for even the strongest love. As the world threatens to tear them apart, Eury and Pheus must fight for each other and their lives.

  Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet – Laekan Zea Kemp
Told in two voices, Pen, whose dream of taking over her family’s restaurant has been destroyed, and Xander, a new, undocumented, employee seeking his father, form a bond.

As an aspiring pastry chef, Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her traditional Mexican-American mom and dad have different plans. Xander Amaro Is a new hire at Nacho’s. For him, the job is an opportunity for a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo’s, and to find the father who left him behind. When both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his new found family and himself

  Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun – Jonny Garza Villa
Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life. Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown–literally–out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self. Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone. Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.

  Where I Belong – Marcia Argueta Mickelson
Guatemalan-American high school senior Millie Vargas struggles to balance her family’s needs with her own ambitions, especially after her mother’s employer, a Senate candidate, uses Millie as a poster child for “deserving” immigrants.

  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sanchez
Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.
Adult
Gods of Jade and Shadow – Silvia Moreno Garcia
From the author of Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow is an adventure featuring Gods from Mayan mythology set in Mexico City at the dawn of the Jazz Age. 

  A Long Petal of the Sea – Isabel Allende 
In the late 1930s, civil war gripped Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life irreversibly intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them wants, and together are sponsored by poet Pablo Neruda to embark on the SS Winnipeg along with 2,200 other refugees in search of a new life. As unlikely partners, they embrace exile and emigrate to Chile as the rest of Europe erupts in World War. Starting over on a new continent, their trials are just beginning. Over the course of their lives, they will face test after test. But they will also find joy as they wait patiently for a day when they are exiles no more, and will find friends in the most unlikely of places. Through it all, it is that hope of being reunited with their home that keeps them going. And in the end, they will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.
The Murmur of Bees – Sofia Segovia
From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can — visions of all that’s yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats — both human and those of nature — Simonopio’s purpose in Linares will in time, be divined.

  Children of the Land – Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
With beauty, grace, and honesty, Castillo recounts his and his family’s encounters with a system that treats them as criminals for seeking safe, simple lives. He writes of the Sunday afternoon when he opened the door to an ICE officer who had one hand on his holster, of the hours he spent making a fake social security card so that he could work to support his family, of his father’s deportation and the decade that he spent waiting to return to his wife and children only to be denied reentry, and of his mother’s heartbreaking decision to leave her children and grandchildren so that she could be reunited with her estranged husband and retire from a life of hard labor.

Sabrina & CorinaKali Fajardo-Anstine
Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado–a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite–these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.

Next Year in Havana – Chanel Cleeton
After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution… Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary… Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage–and what it means to be Cuban.

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents – Julia Alvarez
In the 1960s, political tension forces the García family away from Santo Domingo and towards the Bronx. The sisters all hit their strides in America, adapting and thriving despite cultural differences, language barriers, and prejudice. But Mami and Papi are more traditional, and they have far more difficulty adjusting to their new country. Making matters worse, the girls–frequently embarrassed by their parents–find ways to rebel against them.

Crux – Jean Guerrero
A daughter’s quest to understand her charismatic and troubled father, an immigrant who crosses borders both real and illusory–between sanity and madness, science and spirituality, life and death. ¿Papi, dónde estás? Throughout Jean Guerrero’s childhood, her father, Marco Antonio, was an erratic and elusive presence. A self-taught genius at fixing, creating, and conjuring things–and capable of transforming himself into a shaman, dreamcaster, or animal whisperer in his enchanted daughter’s eyes–he gradually began to lose himself in his peculiar obsessions, careening wildly between reality and hallucination. In time, he fled his family and responsibilities–to Asia, Europe, and eventually back to Mexico. He succumbed to drug- and alcohol-fueled manias, while suffering the effects of what he said were CIA mind-control experiments. As soon as she was old enough, Jean set out after him. Now a journalist, she used the tools of her trade to find answers to the questions he left behind. In this lyrical, haunting memoir, Jean Guerrero tries to locate the border between truth and fantasy as she searches for explanations for her father’s behavior. 

Cantoras – Carolina De Robertis
From the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of The Gods of Tango, a revolutionary new novel about five wildly different women who, in the midst of the Uruguayan dictatorship, find each other as lovers, friends, and ultimately, family. In 1977 Uruguay, a military government has crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In an environment where citizens are kidnapped, raped, and tortured, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression. And yet, despite such societal realities, Romina, Flaca, Anita “La Venus,” Paz, and Malena–five cantoras, women who “sing”–somehow, miraculously, find each other and discover an isolated cape, Cabo Polonio, inhabited by just a lonely lighthouse keeper and a few rugged seal hunters. They claim this place as their secret sanctuary. Over the next 35 years, their lives move back and forth between Cabo Polonio and Montevideo, the city they call home, as they return, sometimes together, sometimes in pairs, with lovers in tow, or alone. Throughout it all, the women will be tested repeatedly–by their families, lovers, society, and each other–as they fight to live authentic lives. A genre-defining novel and De Robertis’s masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit. De Robertis has written a novel that is at once timeless and groundbreaking–a tale about the fire in all our souls and those who make it burn.

  Infinite Country – Patricia Engel
Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Columbia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the Untied States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally be reunited with her family in the north. How this family came to occupy two different countries, two different worlds, comes into focus like twists of a kaleidoscope. We see Talia’s parents, Mauro and Elena, fall in love in a market stall as teenagers against a backdrop of civil war and social unrest. We see them leave Bogotá with their firstborn, Karina, in pursuit of safety and opportunity in the United States on a temporary visa, and we see the births of two more children, Nando and Talia, on North American soil. We witness the decisions and indecisions that lead to Mauro’s deportation and the family’s splintering – the costs they’ve all been living with ever since. Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engle, herself a dual citizen and the daughter of Colombian immigrants, gives voice to all five family members as they navigate the particulars of their respective circumstances. And all the while, the metronome ticks: Will Talia make it to Bogotá in time? And if she does, can she bring herself to trade the solid facts of her father and life in Colombia for the distant vision of her mother and siblings in North America? Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality of the undocumented in the United States, Infinite Country is the story of two countries and one mixed-status family – for whom every dream pursued bears the weight of a dream deferred. 

  Descriptions in bold provided by DPL
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