Special Collections

YA Books with Latino Protagonists

Description: In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, Bookshare presents a collection of young adult novels with a broad range of Latino protagonists. #teens #latino #hispanic


Showing 1 through 25 of 30 results

Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The "Hollywood" where Sammy Santos and Juliana Ríos live is not the West Coast one, the one with all the glitz and glitter. This Hollywood is a tough barrio at the edge of a small town in southern New Mexico. Sammy and this friends--members of the 1969 high school graduating class--face a world of racism, dress codes, war in Vietnam and barrio violence. In the summer before his senior year begins, Sammy falls in love with Juliana, a girl whose tough veneer disguises a world of hurt. By summer's end, Juliana is dead. Sammy grieves, and in his grief, the memory of Juliana becomes his guide through this difficult year. Sammy is a smart kid, but he's angry. He's angry about Juliana's death, he's angry about the poverty his father and his sister must endure, he's angry at his high school and its thinly disguised gringo racism, and he's angry he might not be able to go to college. Benjamin Alire Sáenz, evoking the bittersweet ambience found in such novels as McMurtry's The Last Picture Show, captures the essence of what it meant to grow up Chicano in small-town America in the late 1960s.Benjamin Alire Sáenz--novelist, poet, essayist and writer of children's books--is at the forefront of the emerging Latino literatures. He has received both the Wallace Stegner Fellowship and the Lannan Fellowship, and is a recipient of the American Book Award. Born Mexican-American Catholic in the rural community of Picacho, New Mexico, he now teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso, and considers himself a "fronterizo," a person of the border.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Out of Darkness

by Ashley Hope Pérez

Set against the back drop of one of the worst school tragedies in American history, Out of Darkness is a brutal and gripping novel about race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Gringolandia

by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Daniel's papá, Marcelo, used to play soccer, dance the cueca, and drive his kids to school in a beat-up green taxi-- all while publishing an underground newspaper that exposed Chile's military regime. After papá's arrest in 1980, Daniel's family fled to the United States. Now Daniel has a new life, playing guitar in a rock band and dating Courtney, a minister's daughter. He hopes to become a US citizen as soon as he turns eighteen. When Daniel's father is released and rejoins his family, they see what five years of prison and torture have done to him. Marcelo is partially paralyzed, haunted by nightmares, and bitter about being exiled to "Gringolandia". Daniel worries that Courtney's scheme to start a bilingual human rights newspaper will rake up papá's past and drive him further into alcohol abuse and self-destruction. Daniel dreams of a real father-son relationship, but he may have to give up everything simply to save his papá's life. This powerful coming-of-age story portrays an immigrant teen's struggle to reach his tortured father and find his place in the world.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Cinnamon Girl

by Juan Felipe Herrera

From U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera comes the story of one teen's emotional journey in the days after 9/11, and a personal look at the culture of Loisaida, the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

This emotional and stirring novel won the Américas Award and is written in a unique and arresting style.

When the Twin Towers fell, New York City was blanketed by dust. On the Lower East Side, Yolanda, the cinnamon girl, makes her manda, her promise. She vows to gather as much of the dust as she can.

Maybe if she can return it to Ground Zero, she can comfort all the voices. Maybe that will help Uncle DJ open his eyes again. As tragedies from her past mix in the air of an unthinkable present, Yolanda searches for hope. Maybe it's buried somewhere in the silvery dust of Alphabet City.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Make Your Home Among Strangers

by Jennine Capó Crucet

When Lizet-the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school-secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy-Lizet's older sister, a brand-new single mom-without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live.

Amidst this turmoil, Lizet begins her first semester at Rawlings College, distracted by both the exciting and difficult moments of freshman year. But the privileged world of the campus feels utterly foreign, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling both socially and academically, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet's entire family, especially her mother.

Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever. Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it's the new story of what it means to be American today.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

by Julia Alvarez

“Simply wonderful.” —Los Angeles Times Acclaimed writer Julia Alvarez’s brilliant and buoyant and beloved first novel gives voice to four sisters recounting their adventures growing up in two cultures. Selected as a Notable Book by both the New York Times and the American Library Association, it won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for books with a multicultural perspective and was chosen by New York librarians as one of twenty-one classics for the twenty-first century. Ms. Alvarez was recently honored with the 2013 National Medal of Arts for her extraordinary storytelling. In this debut novel, the García sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía—and their family must flee their home in the Dominican Republic after their father’s role in an attempt to overthrow a tyrannical dictator is discovered. They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence in the Caribbean. In the wild and wondrous and not always welcoming U.S.A., their parents try to hold on to their old ways, but the girls try find new lives: by forgetting their Spanish, by straightening their hair and wearing fringed bell bottoms. For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating to be caught between the old world and the new. How the García Girls Lost Their Accents sets the sisters free to tell their most intimate stories about how they came to be at home—and not at home—in America. “A joy to read.” —The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Labyrinth Lost

by Zoraida Cordova

"Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic." --Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must DieNothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...Praise for Labyrinth Lost:"Zoraida Córdova's prose enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic." --Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight"Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine's journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family." --Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix"A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante's Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary."--Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper"Labyrinth Lost is a magical story of love, family, and finding yourself. Enchanting from start to finish." --Amy Tintera, author of Ruined.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Accidental Love

by Gary Soto

It all starts when Marisa picks up the wrong cell phone. When she returns it to Rene, she feels curiously drawn to him. But Marisa and Rene aren't exactly a match made in heaven. For one thing, Marisa is a chola; she's a lot of girl, and she's not ashamed of it. Skinny Rene gangles like a sackful of elbows and wears a calculator on his belt. In other words, he's a geek. So why can't Marisa stay away from him? Includes a glossary of Spanish words and phrases.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


History Is All You Left Me

by Adam Silvera

"This book will make you cry, think, and then cry some more." —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything From the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not comes an explosive examination of grief, mental illness, and the devastating consequences of refusing to let go of the past. When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


I Will Save You

by Matt de la Peña

Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña's I Will Save You is a "heartwarming, root-for-the-underdog novel." [SLJ] Kidd is running from his past and his future. No mom, no dad, and there's nothing for him at the group home but therapy. He doesn't belong at the beach where he works either, unless he finds a reason to stay. Olivia is blond hair, blue eyes, rich dad. The prettiest girl in Cardiff. She's hiding something from Kidd--but could they ever be together anyway? Devon is mean, mysterious, and driven by a death wish. A best friend and worst enemy. He followed Kidd all the way to the beach and he's not leaving until he teaches him a few lessons about life. And Olivia."A taut psychological novel...[with] intriguing, well-developed characters...[that] will stay with readers."-Booklist"De la Peña skillfully captures the slippery sides of a schizophrenic personality in this heartwarming, root-for-the-underdog novel."-SLJAn Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award FinalistALA-YALSA Best Book for Young ReadersAn ALA-YALSA Quick PickA Junior Library Guild SelectionFrom the Trade Paperback edition.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


A Thunderous Whisper

by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Ani believes she is just an insignificant whisper of a 12-year-old girl in a loud world. This is what her mother tells her anyway. Her father made her feel important, but he's been off fighting in Spain's Civil War, and his voice in her head is fading. Then she meets Mathias. His family has just moved to Guernica and he's as far from a whisper as a 14-year-old boy can be. Ani thinks Mathias is more like lightning. A boy of action. Mathias's father is part of a spy network and soon Ani finds herself helping him deliver messages to other members of the underground. She's actually making a difference in the world. And then her world explodes. The sleepy little market town of Guernica is destroyed by Nazi bombers. In one afternoon Ani loses her city, her home, her mother. But in helping the other survivors, Ani gains a sense of her own strength. And she and Mathias make plans to fight back in their own unique way.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Dreams of Significant Girls

by Cristina García

Brought together each summer at a boarding school in Switzerland, three girls learn a lot more than just French and European culture. Shirin, an Iranian princess; Ingrid, a German-Canadian eccentric; and Vivien, a Cuban-Jewish New Yorker culinary phenom, are thrown into each other's lives when they become roommates. This is a story of 3 paths slowly beginning to cross and merge as they spend the year apart, but the summers together. Through navigating the social-cultural shoals of the school, developing their adolescence, and learning the confusing and conflicting legacies of their families' past, Shirin, Ingrid, and Vivien form an unbreakable bond. Like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, this story takes readers on a journey into the lives of very different girls and the bonds that keep them friends.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


The Lightning Dreamer

by Margarita Engle

"I find it so easy to forget / that I'm just a girl who is expected / to live / without thoughts." Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

by Sonia Manzano

One of America's 2019s most influential Hispanics -- 'Maria' on Sesame Street -- presents a powerful novel set in New York's El Barrio in 1969 There are two secrets Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and stepfather. Her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who's come from Puerto Rico to live with them. Then, like an urgent ticking clock, events erupt that change everything. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, dump garbage in the street and set it on fire, igniting a powerful protest. When Abuela steps in to take charge, Evelyn is thrust into the action. Tempers flare, loyalties are tested. Through it all, Evelyn learns important truths about her Latino heritage and the history makers who shaped a nation. Infused with actual news accounts from the time period, Sonia Manzano has crafted a gripping work of fiction based on her own life growing up during a fiery, unforgettable time in America, when young Latinos took control of their destinies.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Shadowshaper

by Daniel José Older

Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world. Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on. With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one -- and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come. Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaper introduces a heroine and magic unlike anything else in fantasy fiction, and marks the YA debut of a bold new voice.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


More Happy Than Not

by Adam Silvera

Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera's extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

The Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto--miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. Aaron could never forget how he's grown up poor, how his friends aren't there for him, or how his father committed suicide in their one-bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it's not enough.

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn't mind Aaron's obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn't mind talking about Aaron's past. But Aaron's newfound happiness isn't welcome on his block. Since he can't stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Crossing the Line

by Malín Alegría

In Dos Rios, Texas, life is all about borders -- and what happens when you cross the line.

Nothing is simple in a border town like Dos Rios, in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Even for high school students Fabiola Garza and her younger sister Alexis, whose parents run a local Tex-Mex restaurant, Dos Rios is full of borders -- where you should go, who your friends should be, which boy you should date.

Dos Rios is also full of opportunities, but it's a town divided, between the haves and the have-nots, the Whites and the Mexicans-Americans, the Texans and the Mexicans, the legal and illegal. But through it all, the Garza sisters have each other. Water can be crossed, but blood is the ultimate borderline -- no matter what.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Juliet Takes a Breath

by Gabby Rivera

A gutsy, queer coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Nina LaCour, Rainbow Rowell, and Elizabeth Acevedo.Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she's not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer--what's sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet's coming out crashes and burns, she's not sure her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan--sort of. Her internship with legendary author Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women's bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff, is sure to help her figure out this whole "Puerto Rican lesbian" thing. Except Harlowe's white. And not from the Bronx. And she definitely doesn't have all the answers . . . In a summer bursting with queer brown dance parties, a sexy fling with a motorcycling librarian, and intense explorations of race and identity, Juliet learns what it means to come out--to the world, to her family, to herself.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Mexican WhiteBoy

by Matt de la Peña

DANNY'S TALL AND skinny. Even though he's not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. A 95 mph fastball, but the boy's not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it.But at his private school, they don't expect much else from him. Danny's brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can't speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they've got him pegged. Danny's convinced it's his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico. And that's why he's spending the summer with his dad's family. Only, to find himself, he might just have to face the demons he refuses to see right in front of his face.From the Hardcover edition.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


The Education of Margot Sanchez

by Lilliam Rivera

Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

Things/People Margot Hates: Mami, for destroying her social life Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal The supermarket Everyone else After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts. With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Don't Ask Me Where I'm From

by Jennifer De Leon

First-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.Liliana Cruz is a hitting a wall—or rather, walls.

There’s the wall her mom has put up ever since Liliana’s dad left—again. There's the wall that delineates Liliana’s diverse inner-city Boston neighborhood from Westburg, the wealthy—and white—suburban high school she’s just been accepted into. And there’s the wall Liliana creates within herself, because to survive at Westburg, she can’t just lighten up, she has to whiten up. So what if she changes her name? So what if she changes the way she talks? So what if she’s seeing her neighborhood in a different way? But then light is shed on some hard truths: It isn’t that her father doesn’t want to come home—he can’t…and her whole family is in jeopardy. And when racial tensions at school reach a fever pitch, the walls that divide feel insurmountable. But a wall isn’t always a barrier. It can be a foundation for something better. And Liliana must choose: Use this foundation as a platform to speak her truth, or risk crumbling under its weight.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


Sanctuary

by Abby Sher and Paola Mendoza

Co-founder of the Women's March makes her YA debut in a near future dystopian where a young girl and her brother must escape a xenophobic government to find sanctuary.

It's 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens are chipped and everyone is tracked--from buses to grocery stores. It's almost impossible to survive as an undocumented immigrant, but that's exactly what sixteen-year-old Vali is doing. She and her family have carved out a stable, happy life in small-town Vermont, but when Vali's mother's counterfeit chip starts malfunctioning and the Deportation Forces raid their town, they are forced to flee.

Now on the run, Vali and her family are desperately trying to make it to her tía Luna's in California, a sanctuary state that is currently being walled off from the rest of the country. But when Vali's mother is detained before their journey even really begins, Vali must carry on with her younger brother across the country to make it to safety before it's too late. Gripping and urgent, co-authors Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher have crafted a narrative that is as haunting as it is hopeful in envisioning a future where everyone can find sanctuary.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


They Call Me Guero

by David Bowles

Twelve-year-old Guero, a red-headed, freckled Mexican American border kid, discovers the joy of writing poetry, thanks to his seventh grade English teacher.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

by Shaun David Hutchinson

From the critically acclaimed author of We Are the Ants and At the Edge of the Universe comes a mind-bending, riveting novel about a teen who was born to a virgin mother and realizes she has the power to heal—but that power comes at a huge cost.

Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth.

This can be scientifically explained (it’s called parthenogenesis), but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot.

Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds.

What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place.

As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all—that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it.

Date Added: 08/05/2021


I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

by Erika L. Sánchez

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

A New York Times Bestseller

National Book Award Finalist!

Date Added: 08/05/2021



Showing 1 through 25 of 30 results